Harvard all-time moment #5: Winning the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2012

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because who needs ties?

In 2012, the season following Harvard’s first Ivy League title, the Crimson competed in “The Battle 4 Atlantis” in the Bahamas. The tournament field was stacked with high-major competition, including No. 4 Connecticut and No. 22 Florida State. The Crimson cruised against Utah, their first opponent, then faced a tougher test in the Seminoles.

Harvard all-time moment No. 6: Harvard hangs with Michigan State in the Round of 32

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because Crimson uber-donor Steve Ballmer can stick his entire hand in his mouth.

The Sweet Sixteen was the hallowed ground Harvard had never reached since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. The only thing standing in their way in the 2014 NCAA Tournament was the seventh ranked Michigan State Spartans. Harvard held its own for much of the first half but trailed by 12 at the break. The start of the second half was no better, and Harvard trailed by 16 with 15:48 remaining. Then-senior captain Brandyn Curry nailed two threes to start a comeback for the ages.

Harvard all-time moment No. 7: Harvard’s amazing comeback vs. North Carolina in first round of 2015 NCAA Tournament

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because …go Knicks!

March 15, 2015 was Selection Sunday, and Harvard fans and players gathered in the Murr Center in Cambridge to see who the Crimson would face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This was the fourth consecutive year the Crimson would be dancing. In the previous three years, they had faced three solid teams in Vanderbilt, New Mexico and Cincinnati. Then the brackets were revealed, and Harvard learned that this year it was matched against perennial national championship contender North Carolina. Everyone knew this year would be different.

Harvard all-time moment No. 8: Dartmouth keeps Harvard in the dance

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because why not turn fat cells into lasers?

March 6’s bout between the Yale Bulldogs and the Harvard Crimson was the rubber match of the 2015 Ivy League season. People (like me!) called it “The Game 2.0.” Yale came into Crimson territory and left with a big win, one that seemed to ensure that the Bulldogs would go to the Big Dance for the first time in 53 years. All Yale needed to clinch sole possession of the Ivy League title was a win at Dartmouth the next night, or a Harvard loss to Brown. As for Harvard, there was only one way left for them to tie Yale for the Ivy title: Defeat Brown the following night and pray for the Big Green to shock the Bulldogs in Hanover.

The Crimson took care of business at Lavietes Pavilion, beating Brown 72-62 behind a strong second-half surge. As the Harvard-Brown game ended, a group of diehard Crimson fans in Lavietes turned their attention to the Dartmouth-Yale game, which Yale led by two with 10 minutes to go. The teams battled hard until, with 24 seconds remaining, Yale led by three and had possession of the ball. Then craziness ensued.

James Jones, Tony Lavelli to be inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame

Yale Athletics announced Tuesday that the school’s all-time winningest coach James Jones and 1949 National Player of the Year Tony Lavelli will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on Aug. 8 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Jones has helmed the Bulldogs since 1999, and Yale has finished in the top half of the league for each of the past 15 years, winning a share of the Ivy crown in 2002 and 2015.

Lavelli led the Elis to a NCAA Tournament appearance in 1949, his senior season, before being selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Draft that year. He played the next two seasons in the NBA with the Celtics and New York Knicks.

Lavelli was also an outstanding accordian player, even providing halftime entertainment with accordian appearances, and released two records as an accordionist. He died in 1998.

 

Harvard all-time moment No. 9: Beating Bill Bradley in 1964

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because eight U.S. presidents attended Harvard, exactly half the current Republican presidential candidate field.

On Feb. 7, 1964, Harvard took the floor in front of a packed Harvard Indoor Athletic Building to face Bill Bradley’s Princeton Tigers. That year, Bradley would be named an All-American for the third time, lead the conference in scoring with 33.1 points per game and set the still standing Ivy record for most points in a season (936). He would lead Princeton to a 12-2 record and the Ivy League championship and even win the gold medal on the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team. On this winter night in Cambridge, however, Bill Bradley’s banner year was rudely interrupted by the Ivy League’s perennial bottom feeder.

Bradley had a below average night against Harvard, scoring only 30 points. On the other side, Harvard’s Merle McClung matched Bradley with 30 points of his own, and Keith Sedlacek dropped 31 points, leading the Crimson to a remarkable 88-82 victory. The monumental win over the best player the Ivy League has ever witnessed was huge for the Crimson, as it put them in a tie for first place at the time. Unfortunately, Harvard finished a lackluster 6-8 in Ivy play that year, continuing an 18-year title drought which didn’t end until 47 years later.

Harvard all-time moment No. 10: Clinching second NCAA Tournament appearance

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Harvard is next because a Harvard study has predicted the Miami Dolphins are going to the Super Bowl, and that’s totally going to happen.

Going into the final weekend of the 2013 Ivy League season, Princeton led Harvard by half a game, after Harvard had been swept by the P’s only a weekend earlier. The Tigers were in control of their own destiny: three wins and they would be in the tournament. However, Friday night had yielded a Harvard win and a Princeton loss, essentially tying the two teams atop the conference. A Crimson win over Cornell and a Princeton loss to Brown would clinch the tournament for Harvard, but if both teams won out – as was expected –  another Ivy playoff would ensue.

Harvard vs. Cornell began at 5:30 p.m. in Cambridge, while Princeton vs. Brown began a half hour later in Providence. Harvard led Cornell all game and won by nine points, behind 16 points from Siyani Chambers and 17 points from Laurent Rivard. Then all attention turned to Providence, where Brown led Princeton by four points at the half, leading many Harvard fans and players to stick around Lavietes Pavilion in case something miraculous happened. One fan was able to turn on the PA system, and he announced the score every time a bucket was scored. As the game wound down, Brown gained a commanding lead. The Harvard crowd became giddy with excitement as the Crimson clinched their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance (more on that later).

Check out the last few seconds of this video to see the Harvard fans’ reaction.