Men's Hoops to Head South to Face Penn, Princeton

Tommy O'Neil action photo
Photo Courtesy: Gil Talbot.
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard continues its five-game Ivy League road trip this week when it visits Penn and Princeton. The Crimson, which has won eight straight contests, including six in a row on the road, will face the Quakers on Friday (5 p.m. ET, ESPNU) before taking on the Tigers on Saturday (6 p.m. ET, ESPN+).

How to Follow
Broadcast: at Penn - ESPNU | at Princeton - ESPN+, International Stream
Live Stats: at Penn | at Princeton
Game Notes: at Penn/at Princeton
Twitter: @HarvardMBB

What to Know
• This week's game features three of the top four teams in the 2019-20 Ivy League preseason poll. Harvard was tabbed the favorite, picking up 134 points and 15 first-place votes, while Penn was the runner-up with 117 points and two first-place considerations. Princeton was picked fourth with 88 points. The Crimson and Tigers enter the week in a first-place tie along with Yale, which was selected third in the preseason poll (94 points).

• Harvard is coming off a season sweep of Dartmouth after its 70-66 road victory in Hanover last week. Sophomore Noah Kirkwood hit a career-high-tying five three-pointers en route to a team-best 17 points. Senior Chris Lewis contributed 13 points and game-high figures of nine rebounds and two blocked shots. First-year Chris Ledlum, meanwhile, chipped in 12 points and six boards in 18 minutes off the bench.

• The victory at Dartmouth propelled Harvard to its eighth straight win and its sixth consecutive on the road, both of which are among the longest active streaks in the country (see charts to the right). Additionally, the Crimson's eight-game winning streak is the longest the Ivy League has seen this season, eclipsing the previous mark of seven set by Yale.

• Harvard, which is receiving votes in the latest AP Top-25 Poll for a third straight week, is off to its fifth-best 17-game start (13-4) under Tommy Amaker. It is the Crimson's best start since 2013-14 (14-3).

• The Crimson is looking to open Ivy action with three consecutive victories for the first time since 2017-18 and for the eighth time under Tommy Amaker.

• Harvard is not unfamiliar with the road, having played seven true road games entering the weekend. The Crimson is 6-1 (.857) in those games and its road winning percentage is tied for fifth nationally (through Jan. 28) with Wright State (6-1), trailing only San Diego State (7-0; 1.000), Gonzaga (6-0; 1.000), Baylor (5-0; 1.000) and Dayton (4-0; 1.000). 

At The Helm
The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker is on the Harvard sidelines for his 13th season. The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball has directed the Crimson to a period of unprecedented prosperity in the form of four NCAA tournament appearances (2012-15), seven Ivy League championships (2011-15, 18-19) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 419-274 career record: 243-135 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.