When the Harvard men's basketball team takes the court against Yale tonight, there won't be any national titles at stake. In fact, not even an Ivy crown will be contested.
Even so, NBC, the network that broadcasts the national college game of the week, will be taping the event, which features the 4-15 Crimson (2-3 in the Ivy League) challenging the Elis, who boast an 8-8 record (3-2 in the Ivies).
Yale's two league losses were by a total of only three points--86-84 against Penn last weekend and 64-63 against Brown early in the season.
However, the Crimson five should match up fairly well with the Bulldogs' personnel. "They're like us. They play with no real big kids and start a 5-9 ball handler that runs the show," assistant coach Terry O'Connor said.
Junior Larry Zigerelli handles the point guard chores in Glenn Fine-like style, while Dick Shea and Frank Maturo pump in baskets from all over the floor, averaging 15 points apiece each game.
The Crimson will also have its hands full trying to prevent 6 ft.-8 in. freshman Tim Daaleman from controlling the boards. The Eli currently leads the league in rebounds with an 11.6 average.
Saturday night the cagers will host a surprising Brown squad that has already battled Notre Dame, ranked number one in the country, and Marquette, ranked in the top 20, succumbing to the latter by a measly eight points.
The big story at Brown is coach Joe Mullany, once a Los Angeles Laker steward when Wilt Chamberlain played center. Mullany has put together a disciplined team in the model of Pete Caril's squads at Princeton, but with less talent. The Bruins are a defensive club, permitting their opponents just 65 points a game compared to Harvard's 84.
"We've been playing hard, even though we've been losing a lot of games," O'Connor said. "We're not giving up, there's second and third place at stake," he added.