Harvard vs. Cornell
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Celebrating its senior class while hosting its final two contests of the 2017-18 campaign, Harvard men's basketball will welcome Cornell and Columbia to Lavietes Pavilion for a pair of 7 p.m. tip-offs March 2-3. The Cornell bout will be broadcast on ESPN3, and both games can be found on the Ivy League Network.
The Opening Tip
• Harvard is 15-12 on the season, including a 10-2 second-place mark in Ivy League action. The squad's 9-1 start in league play was its best since 2014-15, when the program capped five-straight years starting 9-1 in Ivy play. All five of those teams qualified for postseason play, including four NCAA tournament berths.
• Sophomore Seth Towns leads the Crimson with 15.8 points per game, including 19.0 points per game in conference play, which is third in the league. Towns also ranks third with 31 made threes while hitting 50 percent from beyong the arc during Ivy action, and was named the Ivy League Player of the Week for Jan. 15-21.
• Harvard clinched a top-two seed in the second-annual Ivy League tournament with victories over Brown and Yale Feb. 16-17. The Crimson is now one of three teams to clinch a spot in each of the first two Ivy tournaments, as Yale and Penn were the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds a year ago.
Prior to the team's Saturday clash with Columbia, Harvard will honor its class of 2018: Andre Chatfield, Zach Yoshor and team captain Chris Egi.
The trio helped the Crimson advance to its fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015, and to the first two Ivy League Tournaments over the past two seasons. Their passion and dedication have kept Harvard as one of the top teams in the Ancient Eight, as Harvard has won an impressive 37 games in conference play during their tenure.
Last Time Out
Harvard split its final weekend series at Princeton and Penn, winning 72-66 (OT) over the Tigers and falling to the Quakers late, 74-71.
Sophomore Justin Bassey led the offense against Princeton with a career-high 18 points, including a 3-for-4 mark from beyond the 3-point arc. Bassey also added eight rebounds, as the Crimson outmuscled the Tigers on the glass, 38-24. Sophomore Chris Lewis and freshman Danilo Djuricic were also in double figures, netting 13 and 12, respectively.
Sophomore Seth Towns paced Harvard with a game-high 22 points against Penn, going 7-for-10 from the floor with a 2-for-2 mark from 3-point range. Junior Corey Johnson contributed 14 points with four triples, as Harvard went 10-for-21 from beyond the arc in the game. Bassey, meanwhile, filled the stat sheet with nine points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Home Court Advantage
Harvard is 8-1 at home this season, and holds a .800 winning percentage at home under head coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson has won 12 of its last 13 games at home, and 18 of its last 20. Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Harvard holds a 26-7 home record against Ivy opponents.
Harvard currently sits second in the Ivy League standings, but could tie Penn for the league championship with two wins and a Quaker loss. If Penn falls to Yale, Harvard would have the tiebreaker for the top seed, where it could face any of the four teams still trying to qualify for the Ivy tournament: Columbia, Cornell, Brown or Princeton.
The 200-Win Club
Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, became the fifth coach in Ivy League history to reach 200 wins with an Ivy school with a win over Dartmouth Jan. 20. Amaker was the second-fastest to achieve the honor, doing it in 315 games. Princeton's Pete Carril did it the quickest, in 286 games, while Penn's Fran Dunphy (316 games) and Yale's Joe Vancisin (415) and James Jones (417) have also reached 200 wins.
Amaker has 384 total wins as a Division I head coach, which also spans time at Seton Hall and Michigan. He is already the all-time winningest head coach in Harvard basketball history, surpassing Frank Sullivan with a win over Boston College Dec. 7, 2016.
The Crimson is 10-2 in 2017-18 after a pair of victories over Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale and Brown, and one apiece over Cornell and Penn. Harvard is led by Seth Towns' 19.0 points per game in conference play, which is third in the league.
Harvard is outscoring its opponents by a 5.9-point margin in conference action, while allowing Ancient Eight foes to just 63.2 points per game, three points better than second-place Penn.
Sophomore Seth Towns has been one of the top shooters in the Ivy League this season, as he ranks in the top-five in the league in 3-point percentage (.442) and in the top-10 for 3-pointers made (53). Towns also ranks seventh in the league in scoring (15.8 points) and 14th in rebounding (5.3 boards).
In Ivy games only, Towns ranks third with 19.0 points and 2.9 triples per game.
Columbia is 8-17 on the season, including a 5-7 mark in Ivy play. The Lions are the frontrunner for the fourth seed in the Ivy tournament, and can clinch its spot this weekend outright with two wins.
Mike Smith leads the team with 17.5 points and 4.5 assists per game, the latter of which leads the Ivy League. Lukas Meisner and Quinton Adlesh are also averaging double figures, with 11.7 and 11.6 points per game, respectively.
Cornell is 11-14 this season, including a 5-7 mark in Ivy play, which is tied for fourth. The Big Red currently don't have the tiebreaker for the last playoff spot by virtue of Columbia's win against Harvard Feb. 2.
Matt Morgan leads the Big Red with 22.4 points per game, which ranks ninth in the country and first in the Ivy League. Stone Gettings is also in double figures with 17.0 points to go with a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game.
Sophomore Christian Juzang has burst onto the scene in conference play, where he is averaging 9,7 points, 3.5 rebounds and a team-high 3.7 assists per game. Juzang set a career-best with 20 points against Princeton, and topped it just a week later with 21 against Brown. He also dished a career-best eight assists against Yale.
Just Lew It
Chris Lewis has been tough to handle on the glass and in the paint, as the sophomore leads the Ivy League in blocks per game (1.6), and is among the leaders in double-doubles (4), field goal percentage (59.9) and offensive rebounds per game (1.9). He's also averaging a career-best 12.1 points per game, which ranks 12th in the league.
Harvard also leads the league as a team in blocked shots, with 3.9 per game.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight. Full archives of every game on the Ivy League Network are also available.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app! The #ILN is also available on Apple TV and Roku.
Harvard returns to the Palestra for the first round of the Ivy League Tournament. The Crimson is guaranteed a top-two seed, and the semifinal bouts will be broadcast on ESPN2 or ESPNU.