After being unable to qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 65 years, the Harvard Crimson are now dancing for a second consecutive season here in 2013.
Harvard was unable to secure a win within the Big Dance a season ago and there’s no arguing that this year’s squad is not nearly as dangerous as they were in 2012. However, you shouldn’t sleep on Harvard despite their difficult second round match-up against third seeded New Mexico and that’s thanks in large part to a dynamic duo in both Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers.
During the regular season, Saunders stuffed the stat sheet for a Harvard group that enters the NCAA Tournament at 19-9 overall. Saunders currently ranks first on the team in scoring, averaging 16.5 points per contest. In addition to that, Saunders is second on the team in both rebounds (4.1) and assists (3.4). Chambers on the other hand is very similar in regards to stuffing the stat sheet. This point guard is averaging 12.9 points per game, which is second to Saunders on the team and 5.8 assists each contest.
Albeit this may not help the Crimson here in 2013, do you know what the most dangerous aspects of this one-two punch is?
Saunders is a sophomore and Chambers is a freshman.
Yes, that’s enough firepower for Harvard to start a dynasty within the Ivy League in the coming years. Now although they are not much of a sleeper pick against the Lobos on Thursday, just imagine how much more dangerous they would be had the academic scandal not affected the men’s basketball team this past fall. Head coach Tommy Amaker lost two starters in both Kyle Casey andBrandyn Curry in that debacle.
Even despite the losses, Harvard won the league and is dancing here in 2013. That’s a true credit to the work of Amaker and the production of this team, most notably, Saunders and Chambers.
Tip-off between No. 14 Harvard and No. 3 New Mexico is scheduled for 9:50pm (EST) on Thursday.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS