Magic of Numbers: Basketball Success

Published by Alexander Koenig on February 17, 2011 at 3:11AM

Each Thursday, The Crimson will compile a series of unique statistics about Harvard's sports scene. Welcome to the Magic of Numbers—without the problem sets. We'll do the math for you.

0 – number of times Harvard has finished in the top two of the Ivy League in Men’s Basketball. It is the only Ivy League school never to have won a conference championship. At 7-1 in conference the Crimson is currently in second behind 7-0 Princeton, and the two will meet on March 5 at Lavietes Pavilion for the final regular season game.

.594 – Junior co-captain Keith Wright’s field goal percentage, good enough for first in the Ivies and 10th in the country.

89 – ESPN.com’s ranking for forward Wesley Saunders and center Kenyatta Smith, both of whom have verbally committed to the Crimson.

5.26 – Harvard’s “Simple Rating System” score, a system that takes into account point values relative to NCAA averages and strength of schedule. This is only the second time the Crimson has ever had a positive rating over the course of a season, following last year’s 1.61 rating. In 1985-86, Harvard had a minus -19.72 rating.

0.12 – The Crimson’s efficiency rating in Ivy League play so far this year, second to Princeton’s .17. ER is calculated by subtracting the points per possession allowed from the points per possession scored.

1986 – The last time the Ancient Eight was represented in the NCAA tournament by a school other than Princeton, Penn or Cornell. Brown won that year, and “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco topped the charts. If the Crimson wins out and takes the Ivy League title, it would be the first time Harvard has made it to the NCAAs since 1946.

Always En Garde (or Fencing Success Continues)

2 – Ranking of the men’s fencing team. The Crimson has posted a 13-2 record this season, including consecutive victories in the Ivy Championships and the Beanpot. Harvard will be competing in the NCAA Regionals on March 13th.

3 – Ranking of the women’s fencing team. Like the men, the Crimson (12-4) swept the Beanpot but it couldn’t bring home the Ivies, finishing third.

6 – The number of total Ivy League titles between the two teams. The Crimson took the National Title in 2006 and will be looking to unseat twice-defending champion Penn State.

Men’s Volleyball on the Rise

1993 – The last time the Crimson beat Springfield, something they did on Monday in four sets.

.857 – Harvard’s winning percentage so far this season. Last year the Crimson went 5-21 for a winning percentage of .238.