Harvard all-time moment No. 2: Harvard stuns New Mexico

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 the Crimson wreak havoc on 10-year contracts.

Harvard won its third straight Ivy League title in 2013, but the Crimson were happy just to be mentioned on the nationally televised Selection Sunday Show, as this would be only its second NCAA Tournament appearance. When the matchup with the 11th-ranked, third-seeded Mountain West Champion New Mexico Lobos was finally announced, Harvard players and fans gulped at the daunting challenge that lay ahead. Then they sat on the edges of their seats to hear the CBS analysts’ take: “I like this New Mexico team to go to the Final Four!” Doug Gottlieb said enthusiastically. With that, the Crimson headed to Salt Lake City as 11-and-a-half point underdogs.

Read moreHarvard all-time moment No. 2: Harvard stuns New Mexico

Harvard all-time moment No. 4: Harvard Defeats Cincinnati in the 2014 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 its students are “fraudsters and liars” … according to 1968 Penn alumnus Donald Trump.

In 2014, the Crimson capped off a fourth consecutive “Ivy banner” season with a third straight trip to the Big Dance. A year after being huge underdogs versus New Mexico in the NCAA Tournament, however, the Crimson were a popular upset pick in the always interesting “twelve-five game.” Harvard was looking for a second straight first-round win, but Cincinnati, which had shared the American Athletic Conference regular season title with Louisville and had knocked off eventual national champion UConn, was no pushover.

Read moreHarvard all-time moment No. 4: Harvard Defeats Cincinnati in the 2014 NCAA Tournament

North Carolina ekes past Harvard, 67-65

Wesley Saunders scored 26 points in his final collegiate game Thursday night. (zimbio.com)
Wesley Saunders scored 26 points in his final collegiate game Thursday night. (zimbio.com)

So close. So very close.

After trailing 50-34 with 16:36 remaining in its NCAA tournament matchup with North Carolina, Harvard looked done. The No. 13 Crimson looked one-dimensional nearly the entire game up to that point, with that dimension being senior guard Wesley Saunders.

But a true team comeback propelled Harvard to its first lead of the game with 1:17 remaining, and Saunders had a chance to win the game with a three-pointer as time expired. The shot hit the glass and rim before popping out, ending Harvard’s season and giving No. 4 North Carolina the 67-65 victory in Jacksonville.

Read moreNorth Carolina ekes past Harvard, 67-65

NCAA: Harvard Shocks New Mexico 68-62

Wesley Saunders could not be contained on Thursday night as the Ivy Champs knocked out New Mexico in the tournament
Wesley Saunders could not be contained on Thursday night as the Ivy Champs knocked out New Mexico in the tournament”s biggest upset of the opening day. (Photo credit: AP/Rick Bowmer)

The Crimson rolled right past the Lobos on Thursday night, clogging the paint and contesting every shot, en route to holding New Mexico to just 37.5% shooting. Coach Tommy Amaker”s game plan was executed to perfection, as Siyani Chambers” quickness inside forced New Mexico to collapse, opening up space for Laurent Rivard (5-9) and

Christian Webster (3-5 from 3PT) to blast off from deep.

Rivard hit a 3 with 6:21 to play to put Harvard ahead and the Crimson never relinquished the lead. Saunders followed with a jumper from above the elbow, and Kenyatta Smith made a great move on the block to push the lead to 59-53 with 4:42 left. From there, the Crimson went

7-10 from the free throw line to seal the deal.

Read moreNCAA: Harvard Shocks New Mexico 68-62