Expectations Mount as Experts Pick Crimson

Getting Ready
Robert F Worley

The Crimson huddle during its open practice on Wednesday.

SPOKANE, Wash.—“We gon make them respect us.”

Those six words were tweeted by Cincinnati senior forward Titus Rubles last Sunday, just after it was announced that his men’s basketball team would face Harvard in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

He was speaking to the likes of Seth Davis and Doug Gottlieb, CBS analysts who predicted on Selection Sunday that the Crimson, at the No. 12 seed, would upset its fifth-seeded Bearcat opponents.

“I'm an Ivy guy and would love to see Harvard win a game, but it's not happening. They have no chance against New Mexico. Awful draw for them.”

Those were the sentences tweeted by Sports Illustrated writer Andy Glockner before to the 2013 Big Dance. Glockner’s words, of course, turned out to be anything but prescient—the Crimson beat New Mexico, 68-62, busting brackets and propelling Harvard into the national spotlight.

Clearly, something has changed.

Ever since Harvard upset the Lobos and advanced to the third round of the Tournament, there has been an increased focus on and fascination with the Crimson around the nation. The New York Times, Slam Magazine and SBNation have all written features on the team, and for many, Harvard’s No. 12 seed takes away nothing from its ability to take down Cincinnati on Thursday.