King James Bible: Crimson Does Double Take

Two games, two opponents, same result—and one freaked out reporter

Eleven long years ago, a film entitled Groundhog Day debuted in theaters starring Bill Murray as Phil Connors—a man who was forced to live the same day over and over again.

After this weekend, I know exactly how he felt.

The Harvard men’s basketball team played two identical games on Friday and Saturday night against two vastly different opponents in Cornell and Columbia. Watching the same game unfold twice in one weekend is downright eerie. So eerie that I’ve decided to share.

Friday, 6:45 pm: I arrive at Lavietes Pavilion to hear Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” blasting out the vents at the top of the arena. As I enter the building, I stop off in the press room for game notes and a Diet Coke.

Saturday, 6:45 pm: Same song. This time, though, I go with a Coke.

Fri., first half, 17:58: The Crimson grabs an early bucket in the paint to take a 2-0 lead, but the Big Red nails some quick three pointers to put Harvard in an early hole.

Sat., first half, 18:29: The Lions choose to respond with buckets of the two-point variety, but otherwise no difference.

Fri., first half, 12:13: The Crimson pushes its lead to six and begins to seize control of the game in the early going.

Sat., first half, 17:37: After two free-throws by sophomore forward Luke McCrone, Harvard once again holds an early six point lead.

Fri., first half, 7:06: The Crimson blows the game wide open, holding a 14 point lead, 33-19. I begin using the word blowout in association with the contest.

Sat., first half, 4:02: In the absence of better judgment and a short-term memory, I once again describe Harvard’s 33-19 advantage as a developing blowout.

Fri., first half, 3:01: Sophomore point guard Michael Beal sits down with his second foul and freshman guard Jim Goffredo commits a turnover as the Crimson’s lead shrinks from 14 to seven. I come down with foot-in-mouth disease.

Sat., first half, 2:28: Identical. And creepy.

Fri., first half, 0:00: A steal and a fast-break layup from Goffredo seemingly gives Harvard the momentum heading into halftime. But just before the half expires Cornell’s Cody Toppert gets a three-pointer to fall, making it just a two-possession game at the break.

Sat., first half, 0:00: Columbia’s Dragutin Kravic plays the role of Toppert in tonight’s rendition and junior guard David Giovacchini fills in for Goffredo.

Fri., halftime: I talk to men’s basketball sports information director Chuck Sullivan and express concern about the loss of momentum heading into intermission.