UConn plays Harvard at Gampel Pavilion at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, and it figures to be an intense, and fairly even matchup. Harvard is playing great basketball right now, and has given UConn tough games at Gampel the last two seasons.
It’s going to be a very important game, with UConn’s RPI status falling after the two losses in Texas. Just as important, the Huskies need to get their confidence back with a good win over a good team.
Here’s a look at Harvard and the matchup:
- Harvard is 13-1, the program’s best start since the 1945-46 season, and got right now. The Crimson have won nine in a row, having gone to Houston and defeated Rice on Saturday by 15 points.
- Harvard’s lone loss was at Colorado on Nov. 24, 7-0-62. The Crimson are 4-1 on the road, 4-0 at neutral sites.
- They’re in the mid-20s in RPI, so it could prove to be an important game for both teams when bracketology begins.
- Harvard is outscoring opponents 75.8-61.6, outrebounding them 36.4 to 30.7. They’re shooting 47.1 percent from the floor, 36 percent on threes. Their opponents: 40.7 percent and 29 percent.
- Guard Laurent Rivard, hero of their NCAA tournament win, is averaging 8.4 points per game. Top scorer is Wesley Saunders at 15.7, a forward. Saunders had 18, Brandyn Curry 16 in the victory at Rice.
- Havard beat Boston College by 15 points. UConn beat the Eagles by two.
- Harvard’s win over New Mexico was its first ever in the Tournament. Harvard’s three tournament appearances are: 1946, 2012 and 2013.
- UConn and Harvard have played 18 times, UConn has won 16. Harvard’s last win was 1972. In recent years, with Harvard growing in stature, games gave been scheduled at Gampel or XL regularly – every year since 2009. Jeremy Lin scored 30 against UConn in 2009. DeAndre Daniels had a breakout game, with 23 points in UConn’s 57-49 win over Harvard last season.
- Though Harvard does not offer athletic scholarships, the school’s financial aid policies implemented in 2006 make it accessible to low- and middle-income students, so under Tommy Amaker the program has become very competitive in recruiting.