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You have to wonder if they'll come riding in on steers, twirling their lassoes, yip-yip-yipping away and dribbling behind their backs while wrestling a helpless 250-lb. calf to the ground--all in the tip-off circle.
When the University of Texas brings its Longhorns into Boston Garden tonight for an 8:30 battle with Harvard's hoopsters, East will meet West (or Southwest) in a culturally shocking conflict of Ivy League versus Southwest Conference competitors.
Both Harvard and UT are 1-0 in the season coming into tonight's contest, but that's where the similarities end. The Crimson may find itself gaping in awe of the Garden's cavernous depths after spending most of its time in the laughable broomcloset called home court in the IAB.
Texas, on the other hand, regularly plays before a crowd of almost 10,000 in the Special Events Center (capacity 16,281), the Austin home for the squad.
As far as records go, Harvard comes off an 8-21 season while Texas boasts a mirror-image 21-8 year, 13-3 in the South-west Conference (tied for first). But Harvard coach Frank McLaughlin has never been one to back away from a challenge.
Both Harvard and Texas are young--Texas starts three freshmen, Harvard goes with two sophomores--but the Longhorns carry a distinct height advantage. While 6-ft. 5-in. Mark Harris will face the task of guarding UT's highly-touted freshman postman LaSalle Thompson (6-ft. 10-in. out of Cincinnati), the Longhorns will keep seven-foot freshman Steve Frederick on the bench, waiting to compound the Crimson woes.
Sophomore Don Fleming and one of the three Harvard guards will not give away much height to the Texas forwards, but they will face UT's two most experienced players--seniors Ron Baxter (6-ft. 4-in.) and John Danks (6-ft. 6-in.). Baxter, the only returning starter from last year's Longhorn squad, should lead the way, though Danks pumped in 27 points (11-14 from the field) to power UT to an 83-76 win over Northwestern Louisiana in the team's season opener last week.
With exciting Boston College facing Fairfield in the 6:30 preliminary bout, the Garden should at least showcase some good college basketball tonight. But it could be a painful evening for the Crimson.
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