Breaking it Down
March is when the sports stats community comes out of hibernation in the name of ‘bracketology’, with multiple predictions trying to put a number on the Crimson’s chances.
Michigan State plays in the mold of its coach as a tough defensive team with a host of rugged post defenders that clean up the defensive glass.
Both teams’ hopes rest on their respective stars being able to shut down the other while continuing to contribute on the offensive end. Harvard and Cincinnati are just 11-8 when their stars make less than 35 percent of their shots, and a combined 42-2 otherwise.
Now, as it enters its opening game in the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon against Cincinnati (27-6, 15-3 American Athletic Conference), Harvard has a chance to re-assume the exciting identity of the underdog—and relief has given way to a different feeling.
The appeal of March Madness lies in its unpredictability. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket are worse than 1 in 100 billion, which you recognize to be true every year on the first Friday of the tournament when your surefire Final Four pick is upset by the No. 15 seed.