The Harvard Crimson have cracked the Top 25 in the nation, and they are going to be out looking for some big time respect when they try to beat the NCAA basketball odds against the defending national champions, the Connecticut Huskies.
Head Coach Tommy Amakar knew that this was the year that he was really shooting at to be a legitimate contender for the NCAA Tournament, and a win in this one would serve notice, not just to the rest of the Ivy League, but to the rest of the country as well, that the Crimson are a force to be reckoned with. They are 8-0 and are the only undefeated team in the Ivy League, and they have a very veteran squad that could be capable of beating anyone in America. A quick glance at the individual stats on this team don’t look all that impressive, as there are only five players that are averaging more than five points per game, none of which are averaging more than the 11.4 points per game of Keith Wright. The squad is only averaging 67.6 points per game, and it isn’t even really shooting the lights out from beyond the arc as most Ivy League teams do, as 33.6 percent is a rather average number. Then, take a look at the defensive stats. The Crimson haven’t allowed more than 70 points in a game this year, and they are allowing just 54.4 points per game, No. 10 in the country.
The Huskies have only been beaten once this year, and that came in the Bahamas against the UCF Knights. That being said, we’re really waiting for this team to come up with a fantastic game against a great opponent, and this might be the spot for that. Ryan Boatwright will be out of the lineup in this game, as he is dealing with eligibility issues. That being said, the only two consistent scorers are Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier. These two are averaging 37.0 points per game between them. That’s just about half of the points per game that this squad is coming up with. As a team though, the Huskies are shooting 48.7 percent, one of the best 30 marks in the land. Defensively, opponents are only shooting 36.9 percent from the field, which leaves UConn as one of the best teams in the country. However, this is probably the toughest game that the team has played all season long, unless you want to count the Florida State Seminoles in the Bahamas as harder than this, and against a Harvard team that can shut down the best team in the land, this defense really needs to stay firm.
Harvard Crimson @ Connecticut Huskies Keys: It is clear that the team that plays better defense is going to win this game. Harvard, though a very talented team, doesn’t quite have the squad that the Huskies have. If the Crimson can knock down a few timely shots, they can win this game on the road and shock UConn. If not, the Huskies are going to be in good shape, though they could be in some trouble if either Napier or Lamb don’t have a solid game.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.