Despite the Harvard men’s basketball team’s recent success, there has always been one knock against the Crimson: When the pressure is on, Harvard folds.
The criticism is not unfounded. Take, for instance, the Crimson’s 3-8 record in games televised on the ESPN family of networks over the past three seasons. Or look at Harvard’s embarrassing last two postseason appearances: a 93-71 loss to Appalachian State in the first round of the 2010 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament and a 71-54 defeat at Oklahoma State on national television in the National Invitation Tournament last March.
When a ranked team loses to a 13-10 squad, it’s not surprising that a scapegoat is sought. So after the Harvard men’s basketball team’s 70-62 loss to Princeton on Saturday, the media (myself included) looked for a place—or person—to pin the blame. This time around, it fell on junior forward Kyle Casey.
Casey missed four of five critical free throws down the stretch, and Princeton closed the game on a 28-18 run to grab the eight-point win that gave the Crimson its first Ivy League loss of the season.
At 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, “Kill Season” officially began.
The Harvard men’s basketball team enters the 2011-12 campaign facing high expectations. It’s not just expected to win the Ivy League championship. It’s not just expected to make the NCAA tournament.
There was a distinct moment from my wrestling matchup with JP O’Connor ’10 when I realized that the grappler is not a normal human being.
This revelation did not occur when he effortlessly lifted me into the air and twirled me above his head, nor when he pinned me to the ground with his hands tied behind his back. (These things really did happen; video proof can be found tomorrow at TheCrimson.com).