Harvard Rises in Rankings, Reaches No. 24

Published by Robert S Samuels on January 16, 2012 at 3:12AM

The Harvard men's basketball team rose to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll after picking up wins over Monmouth and Dartmouth.

Last week, after losing to Fordham, the then-No. 21/22 Harvard men’s basketball team plummeted out of the AP Top 25 and fell four spots to No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

This week went a bit better for the Crimson, which gained ground in both of the two major polls, released Monday afternoon. Fueled by wins over Monmouth and George Washington, Harvard moved to No. 24 in the coaches poll and picked up six more points in the AP.

With the Crimson’s at-large hopes largely shot thanks to the Jan. 3 loss to the Rams, Harvard will likely have to take the Ivy League title to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 66 years. 1-0 in league play so far thanks to a 63-47 win against Dartmouth at Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard has only conference games left on its slate.

After traveling to Dartmouth on Jan. 21, the Crimson will have what most consider its toughest remaining test of the year six days later, visiting a strong Yale team at the John J. Lee Amphitheatre.

The Crimson’s last two trips to New Haven have been painful. On Feb. 26, Harvard missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer, falling to Yale, 70-69. The loss helped set up a one-game playoff for a trip to the Big Dance between the Crimson and Princeton on Mar. 12, again at the John J. Lee Amphitheatre.

In case you forgot, the Tigers won that won on a buzzer-beater, 63-62.