Underdog Harvard shows poise
What a great win for Tommy Amaker and his Harvard Crimson. Yes, a 14-seed knocked off a No. 3 seed as New Mexico was held to 62 points in shock city, baby!
Harvard did a great job of keeping its poise when New Mexico rallied and took the lead in the second half. The Crimson controlled the tempo and took great shots, hitting over 52 percent from the floor. Wesley Saunders and Laurent Rivard shined by combining for 35 points.
The 3-point shot has been a great equalizer in college basketball, and once again, it was a major factor in an upset. Harvard hit 8 of 18 trifectas while the Lobos were cold, going 3-for-14.
Kendall Williams and Tony Snell, who have been so vital for New Mexico in winning the Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles, struggled, combining to shoot 5-for-18. Williams, who had 46 points against a good Colorado State team earlier this season, was held to one field goal and eight points.
This has not been an easy season for Amaker. Two of his best players, forward Kyle Casey and guard Brandyn Curry, withdrew from school before the campaign began. A short-handed Harvard team was expected to finish second in the Ivy behind Princeton in the eyes of many prognosticators.
Instead, the Crimson won an NCAA tournament game for the first time. There is little time to celebrate, as Arizona is up next on Saturday. The Wildcats scored an easy with over upset-minded Belmont.
Coincidentally, Harvard lost in the NCAA tournament last season in Albuquerque, N.M., falling to Vanderbilt. This time around, the Crimson made noise in New Mexico, stunning the Lobos.
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