ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

Men's Basketball Set to Play Princeton for Automatic NCAA Berth

Harvard went 23-5 overall and 12-2 in the Ivy League during the regular season (Mitchell Layton).

The Particulars
Ivy League co-champion's Harvard and Princeton need one more game to decide who will earn the league's automatic berth to the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. The Crimson concluded its regular season with the most wins (23) and conference victories (12) in program history and finished tied with the Tigers atop the Ivy League standings, earning hte program's first Ivy title. With a win against the Tigers, Harvard would receive its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946.

Follow From Home
Saturday's game will be shown live on ESPN3.com. In addition, Sirius Satellite Radio 130 and WHRB.org will carry the game, as well as GoCrimson.com free of charge. As always, Chris Villani will have the call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available on GoCrimson.com.
 
Series History
Harvard and Princeton have played 163 times, with the Tigers owning a 126-39 advantage in the series that dates back to 1900-01. Princeton won five straight games until the Crimson topped the Tigers at Lavietes Pavilion March 5. Saturday's game is the first in the series at a neutral site.
 
Last Time Out
Brandyn Curry, who was honored as Ivy Player of the Week for his effort, recorded his second straight double-double (10 points, 10 assists) and Kyle Casey tallied 24 points, as the Crimson topped Princeton, 79-67, to earn a share of the program's first Ivy League title. Oliver McNally went 10-of-10 from the foul line and Keith Wright added 13 points in the win. Harvard shot 60 percent from the field (24-of-40) and 90 percent from the foul line (27-of-30).
 
Princeton's Last Time Out
Kareem Maddox sank 6-of-11 shots from the floor and converted 11-of-12 free throws, as Princeton downed Penn, 70-58, March 8 to force a tie with Harvard. Ian Hummer (14 points) and Dan Mavraides (10 points) also reached double digits for the Tigers, who shot 77.8 percent from the field (14-of-18) as a team in the second half.
 
Ivy League Playoff History
Saturday's playoff game between Harvard and Princeton marks the eighth time a playoff has been needed to decide the Ivy's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. The previous games were played in 1959 (won by Dartmouth), 1963 (Princeton), 1969 (Columbia), 1980 (Penn), 1981 (Princeton), 1996 (Princeton) and 2002 (Penn).
 
In 2002, there was actually a three-way tie among Princeton, Yale and Penn. Yale topped Princeton, 76-60, before Penn won the final against Yale, 77-58. Saturday marks the first time Harvard has appeared in an Ivy League playoff, while the Tigers have played in all eight Ivy postseasons, owning a 3-4 record.
 
Keith Wright, Ivy Player of the Year
Keith Wright was honored as the Ivy League Player of the Year, becoming the second Harvard player to take home the award (Joe Carrabino '84-85 in 1983-84). Wright was also a unanimous pick to the All-Ivy first team, while Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry earned spots on the second team and Christian Webster received honorable mention.
 
Ivy Champion Harvard Crimson
For the first time in school history, Harvard earned at least a share of the Ivy League title, as the Crimson topped Princeton, 79-67, March 5. Harvard also established a new program record for conference wins in a season with 12, surpassing the 1970-71 team that went 11-3.
 
Harvard Against Princeton This Year
Kyle Casey is Harvard's leading scorer against Princeton this season, as he is averaging 17.5 points per contest in the two games. Keith Wright is also averaging double figures against the Tigers (14.5 ppg) and is Harvard's leading rebounder (8.0 rpg). The Crimson is shooting 51.1 percent from the floor, while holding Princeton to a 42.0 percentage. Harvard owns an edge in rebounds, 46-36, and in blocks, 14-7.
 
New Victory Mark
With its 23 victories this season, Harvard has established a new program record for wins. The previous mark was set in 2009-10, when the Crimson finished 21-8 overall.
 
Casting Ballots
For the third straight season and fourth time in six years, Harvard received a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll this year Jan. 24, Jan. 31, Feb. 21 and March 7. The Crimson also earned a vote in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll March 7, marking the first time in program history Harvard has been highlighted in that poll. Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received a vote in a major national poll this season and currently sits 35th in the NCAA's Rating Percentage Index (RPI) entering this weekend's action.
 
Harvard Down The Stretch
The Crimson is shooting 50.8 percent from the floor (67-of-132) and 36.4 percent from long distance (16-of-44) in the final five minutes of games this season. Harvard has only been called for 72 fouls in that time span, while drawing 116 fouls by opponents.
 
Lavietes Is The Place To Be
Harvard is riding a 17-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is tied for the ninth longest current streak in the NCAA. With a 14-0 home record, Harvard has established a new record for home victories in a season, surpassing last season's 11 wins at Lavietes. The 1937-38 Crimson finished the season 10-0 at home.
 
McNally Closing Out Games
In the last four minutes of games, McNally leads Harvard with a .750 shooting percentage. He has made all six of his eight shots in the final minutes, four of which were from beyond the arc. He is averaging 1.6 points in the last four minutes of games and is 28-of-30 from the foul line (.933).
 
Scoring In Bunches
Harvard is 6-0 this season when scoring 80 or more points, topping Colorado, 82-66, Nov. 28; Fordham, 80-57, Dec. 1; Boston University, 87-71, Dec. 11; MIT, 84-58, Dec. 31; Penn, 83-82, in double overtime Feb. 5 and Brown, 85-78, Feb. 12.
 
Season  Honors
Keith Wright...... Ivy League Player of the Year
Keith Wright........... All-Ivy League First Team
Kyle Casey..........All-Ivy League Second Team
Brandyn Curry.... All-Ivy League Second Team
Christian Webster... All-Ivy League Honorable Mention
 
Weekly Honors
Keith Wright........ Ivy Player of the Week (Nov. 15)
Christian Webster....Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Nov. 22)
Keith Wright........ Ivy Player of the Week (Nov. 29)
Laurent Rivard......... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Dec. 6)
Laurent Rivard........... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Jan. 3)
Laurent Rivard......... Ivy Rookie of the Week (Jan. 17)
Kyle Casey.........Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Jan. 31)
Keith Wright....... Ivy Co-Player of the Week (Feb. 14)
Brandyn Curry.......... Ivy Player of the Week (March 7)
 
Shooting Success
Harvard has made 47.6 percent of its baskets, which ranks first in the Ivy League. The Crimson has buried 195 treys overall for a 37.7 shooting percentage from beyond the arc, ranking the team tied for first in the Ivy League in 3-point proficiency.