As if the Harvard men’s basketball game against Princeton on Saturday didn’t have enough riding on its outcome already, the contest will now be broadcast live from Lavietes Pavilion on ESPN3.com.
The announcement came less than a month after ESPN.com college basketball columnist Andy Katz named the Harvard-Princeton basketball rivalry as one of “the most competitive competitions for the next few years as Sydney Johnson and Tommy Amaker build conference powers.” The budding rivalry between these Ivy powers is undoubtedly gaining recognition across the country.
With less than two weeks left until the warm embrace of Spring Break, the college seems to have shaken off the deep freeze from this past weekend and now students and athletes alike head to the libraries to burn the midnight oil in time for midterms and papers. What’s more, this past week has been one of mixed emotions for Harvard's athletes. From heartbreak to exhilaration and everything in between, the Crimson men and women have experienced it all. So let’s take a breather around the water cooler and break down the latest and greatest from the Ancient Eight.
On the ice, the Crimson women’s hockey team advanced to the ECAC semifinals for the 12th consecutive year after a quarterfinal sweep of St. Lawrence. Next Harvard will face off against Ivy foe Dartmouth. So far the Crimson and the Big Green have met six times in the ECAC tournament with Dartmouth winning four of those contests. But Harvard has beaten the Big Green twice this season and looks to go three-for-three in a must-win contest between two bubble teams seeking a berth into the NCAA tournament.
This upcoming weekend, the world of Ivy League swimming and diving will converge at Blodgett Pool as the Ancient Eight vie for the 2011 Ivy League Championship trophy. Heading into the Championships, this year’s competition looks to be a complete toss-up. This season, Harvard has managed to remain unbeaten in dual meets with a 7-0 record, while Princeton, Cornell, Columbia, and Penn have each managed to gain three wins against fellow league competitors.
After a 10-1 start to the Ivy League season, the Harvard men's basketball team fell in final seconds to Yale, 70-69, and ceded first place in the league standings to Princeton. But the Crimson remains in control of its destiny. Victories over fourth-place Penn and first-place Princeton would give Harvard at least a share of its first-ever Ivy title.
On the women’s side, Harvard similarly fell against Yale, 78-64, and consequently dropped in the Ivy standings from second to third.
The postseason is well underway in Division I women’s hockey, with the semifinals and finals of each of the five conference tournaments scheduled for this weekend. By Sunday night, the eight berths to the NCAA tournament will be decided. But with a lot of high-level hockey still left to play, The Back Page gives you a preview of what that championship field is looking like.
High school senior Billy Orman, who finished sixth at the prestigious Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 2010, has committed to Harvard and will be attending the college next fall. With one of the most highly rated cross country recruits under its belt, the Crimson has strengthened its young core of distance-running talent for years to come.
The interesting thing about Orman is that he will be moving to a whole new world when he sets foot in Harvard Yard. Tuba City, Ariz., his hometown, features desert-like conditions, an elevation of nearly 5000 feet, and a population less than 10000. This is much different from the freezing temperatures, sea-level elevation, and 100,000+ population of Cambridge, Mass.
In high school, Orman qualified for the Foot Locker nationals meet both his junior and senior years. He also won the Arizona state cross country meet and was recently named Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year for Arizona. His PRs are impressive—9:04.97 (3200m) and 4:19.60 (1600m)—and both ESPNRise and MaxPreps regard him as one of the top distance runners in the nation. The Crimson is happy that Orman is bringing his talents to Cambridge.
As Harvard continues to build its cross country program, attracting some of the premier long-distance runners from around the nation, it will be better able to compete against the elite teams in the Ivy League and the NCAAs.
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.
1: The place the Harvard men's basketball team holds in the Ivy League standings going into this weekend’s contests.
1: The number of games the Crimson has to win before tying its program record of 21 total victories.
22: The half-time point deficit Harvard overcame in its last meeting with the Bears this season
9: The number of points by which the Crimson beat Brown after logging its largest comeback in program history after being down 24 points.
130: The Sirius Satellite Radio station on which Harvard’s Friday matchup against Brown will be broadcasted.