The Harvard men's basketball team is making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946 (Gil Talbot).
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No. 12 seed Harvard (26-4, 12-2 Ivy), the Ivy League champion, will face fifth-seeded Vanderbilt (24-10, 10-6 SEC), the SEC tournament champion in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Albuquerque, N.M., Thursday at 4:40 p.m. EST (2:40 MST). The Crimson is making its first trip to the NCAA tournament since 1946.
Thursday's game will be shown live nationally on TNT at 4:40 p.m. EST (2:40 p.m. MST). Spero Dedes, Bob Wenzel and Jaime Maggio will have the call.
WHRB's Charlie Hobbs, Scott Reed and James Yoon will have the audio call on WHRB-FM. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.
Series History Against Vanderbilt
The Commodores hold a 1-0 lead in the all-time series against Harvard with the only meeting coming during the 1993-94 season. The Crimson dropped a 74-58 decision to Vanderbilt on Dec. 28, 1993 at the Music City Invitational in Nashville, Tenn.
Harvard's Last Time Out
Oliver McNally led the way with 17 points, making three treys, while Brandyn Curry drained four triples, finishing with 12 points, as the Crimson defeated Cornell, 67-63, to clinch a share of Harvard's second straight Ivy League title. Harvard drained 12-of-26 3-point attempts (.462) against the Big Red, as the Crimson concluded the regular season with 12 road victories, a program record.
Vanderbilt's Last Time Out
The Commodores knocked off Kentucky, the nation's top team, 71-64 to claim its first SEC tournament championship since 1951. Vanderbilt snapped Kentucky's 24-game winning streak as it held the Wildcats to 35.9 percent shooting (23 of 64) and did not allow a field goal in the last 8:04 of the game. Jeffery Taylor led Vanderbilt with 18 points, while Festus Ezeli and John Jenkins added 17 apiece.
Harvard In The NCAA Tournament
The Crimson is 0-2 all-time in the NCAA tournament, with both games occurring in 1946. Harvard fell to Ohio State, 46-38, and NYU, 67-61, in the only previous trip to the NCAA tournament.
Harvard vs. NCAA Tournament Field
The Crimson owns a 2-1 record against teams in this year's NCAA tournament, as Harvard defeated Florida State and Vermont, but fell at UConn.
Ivy League In NCAA Tournament
In NCAA tournament history, Ivy League teams have combined for a 40-78 (.339) record in 68 appearances since 1939. Since 1957, the Ivy League has a 31-58 (.348) record in 54 appearances.
Tommy Amaker In NCAA Tournament
Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker is 2-1 in the NCAA tournament, with his previous appearance coming in 2000 with Seton Hall. Amaker guided the Pirates to wins over Oregon and Temple, before falling to Oklahoma State in the Sweet 16.
Ivy League Historically in NCAA Tournament
Brown was the first Ivy League team to appear in the NCAA Tournament, losing 42-30 to Villanova in a first-round game of the 1939 NCAA tournament.
In 2010, Cornell, a No. 12 seed, advanced to the Sweet 16 after earning wins over fifth-seeded Temple and fourth-seeded Wisconsin in the first two rounds. The victories were the first for the League since Princeton, as a No. 5 seed, defeated 12th-seeded UNLV in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament. It marked the first time an Ivy team advanced to the regional semifinals since Penn's magical run to the 1979 Final Four.
No. 12 Seed Success In NCAA Tournament
In NCAA tournament history, No. 12 seeds are 59-128 (.316) overall. No. 12 seeds are also 39-89 (.305) vs. No. 5 seeds and 11-19 vs. No. 4 seeds (.367).
Harvard vs. The SEC
The Crimson boasts an 0-4 record all-time against current members of the SEC, falling once to Vanderbilt (74-58, 1993-94), Florida (95-75, 1969-70), Tennessee (84-69, 1974-75) and South Carolina (71-63, 1976-77).
For the second straight year and for the second time in school history, Harvard earned the Ivy League title, as the Crimson topped Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., 67-63, March 3, 2012. Harvard also tied the program record, set last season, by winning 12 conference games.
For the third straight year, and fourth time overall, Harvard earned a postseason tournament bid this season. In 1946, the Crimson qualified for the NCAA tournament and returned to the postseason in 2010, playing in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Last year, Harvard earned a bid to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the first time in program history, before earning an NCAA tournament berth this season.
Harvard is looking for its first postseason victory. The Crimson is 0-5 all-time in the postseason, falling to NYU and Ohio State during the NCAA tournament in 1946, losing at Appalachian State in the CIT in 2010 and dropping the Ivy League playoff to Princeton and falling at Oklahoma State in the NIT last year.
Harvard concluded the regular season No. 35 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2, 2011.
Back To 20
For the third straight year and the third time in program history, Harvard has won 20 games in a season, boasting a 26-4 overall mark this season. The Crimson went 21-8 in 2009-10 and posted a 23-7 overall mark last season. Harvard's 24 victories set a new program record.
Stepping Up On D
The Crimson is allowing only 54.0 points per game this season, good for third in the nation in scoring defense. Wisconsin paces the nation, surrendering only 51.7 points per contest, while Virginia sits second (52.2 points allowed per game)Harvard has only allowed 70 points twice and surrendered 50 or less points in 11 games and less than 40 points twice.
All We Do Is Win
Entering the week, Harvard was one of only 15 schools in the nation with at least 26 victories this season, joining North Carolina, Duke, Belmont, Syracuse, Kansas, Missouri, Drexel, Virginia Commonwealth, Wichita State, Creighton, Murray State, Kentucky, Oral Roberts and St. Mary's.
With 43 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks first in program history with 149 rejections, having surpassed Brian Cusworth '07 (147). Wright broke the record with a rejection in the second half against Penn Feb. 25, 2012. Wright's 54 blocks last year also stand second in Harvard history for a single season. Brian Banks '78 had 59 rejections during the 1977-78 campaign. Wright's 43 blocks this year ranks seventh in team history.
Kyle Casey has rejected 90 blocks in his career, including 35 this season, ranking him fifth in program history in rejections.
Handing Out Dishes
Brandyn Curry has handed out 421 assists in his career, ranking the junior fifth in program history. Curry trails Glenn Fine '79 (559) for fourth place in the Harvard record book.
On The Big Screen
The Crimson will play at least 10 games on national or regional television this season.
Harvard is 6-3 on TV this year after earning wins over Utah (HDNet), No. 20/22 Florida State (Versus) and Central Florida (Versus) at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson also defeated Boston University (NESN), Boston College (ESPN3) and Cornell (ESPN3) but fell on the road at No. 9/9 Connecticut (ESPN2), at Princeton (ESPNU) and at home to Penn (ESPN3).