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NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Get to know Harvard

Mar 7, 2012, 9:00 AM EST

Harvard Cornell Basketball AP

Read through the rest of the NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Ivy

Coach: Tommy Amaker

Record: 26-4, 12-2 (1st)

Rankings and Ratings:

- Kenpom: 38
- RPI: 36
- AP/Coaches: Unranked

Seeding?: It will be interesting to see where Harvard gets seeded. They had a solid RPI, a top 25 win and a 5-3 record against the top 100, but they also played the 223rd toughest schedule. I’ll say they end up with somewhere around an 11 or a 12 seed.

Names to know: Kyle Casey (11.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Keith Wright (10.7 ppg, 8.1 rpg), Brandyn Curry (7.8 ppg, 5.0 apg)

Stats to know: Three numbers you need to know — their defensive effective field goal percentage is 26th in the country, their defensive rebounding percentage is 15th in the country and their defensive free throw rate is 33rd in the country. They make you miss, they get the defensive boards and they don’t put you on the free throw line. Sometimes this game is simple.

Tendencies: Harvard wants to control the pace of the game. They want to limit the number of possessions and try to capitalize on the fact that they are a very good defensive team. Offensively, they play through their big men (Wright and Casey) and allow Curry to make plays when the clock winds down.

Big wins, bad losses: The Crimson ran through the Battle 4 Atlantis, beating Utah, Florida State and Central Florida in the process. They also beat Boston College and St. Joe’s but lost to Fordham.

How’d they get here?: Ironically enough, the Crimson were studying for midterms when Penn lost to Princeton to give Harvard the Ivy League’s regular season title.

Outlook: I have my concerns about Harvard. I think they can get stagnant offensively, I have concerns about their front court getting overwhelmed by bigger and more athletic front lines and I think they can be streaky shooting the three ball. But Harvard defends well, controls pace and gets to the foul line. Depending on where they get seeded — honestly, an 11 or a 12 seed would be better than a nine or a ten to avoid one of the top two seeds — I think this team can make the Sweet 16, but it will take the right matchup.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.