Back To the Future

For Peters' Sake

Let us take a trip in the magical Harvard basketball time machine.

We turn the dials, and flip the switches until the controls are set for the legendary season of 1945-46. The present is 46 years in the future.

There are no thoughts of the 0-10 start of 1991-92. The year destined to go down as the worst in Harvard basketball history has never happened.

Instead, we are reveling in the glory of a 19-1 regular season. The heroic Floyd S. Stahl had just led the Crimson to its finest season ever. A scant two seasons before, Stahl led Harvard to its worst start in basketball history (0-9). (Remember, the present has yet to happen.)

The Crimson were about to get their first bid to the double-elimination NCAA tournament.


Close, But No Cigar

But even though Harvard was in the midst of its best season ever, the Crimson was robbed of the chance to win the Ivy League crown. From the years 1943 to 1946, there was no official Ivy League champion.

In 1945-46, Harvard went 3-0 in the Ivy League, with two victories against Brown and one against Yale. If the Crimson was undefeated in Ivy play, how could it not have a share of the title?

Perhaps it was the war. Perhaps it was a conspiracy. The truth has yet to be revealed.

Harvard's only setback that stunning season was a heartbreaking 47-42 defeat at the hands of Holy Cross.

The Crimson did not fare so well in the NCAA's either. Harvard was defeated first by Ohio State, 46-38. Elimination followed with a loss to New York University, 67-61.

The Crimson's finest victory that year was a 82-25 stomping of Northeastern. The most unique win may have been the 40-20 scoring-fest against the Coast Guard Academy.

There might be some controversy about three victories in that campaign, though.

Something Fishy

Harvard was successful three times against the Chelsea Naval Hospital (86-71, 77-54, and 63-38). No one knows whether they played doctors or patients.