|03.22.13 at 12:35 am ET|
A year after making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1946, Harvard won its first NCAA tournament game ever, a shocking 68-62 upset of third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday night in Salt Lake City.
Wesley Saunders scored 18 points, Laurent Rivard netted 17 — hitting 5-of-9 3-pointers — and the 14th-seeded Crimson held their own down low against the bigger Lobos.
Harvard (20-9) advances to play Saturday against sixth-seeded Arizona, which knocked off Belmont in an earlier game.
“I’m exceptionally proud of our guys,” coach Tommy Amaker said in a televised on-court interview right after the monumental win. “They had to believe. We talked about preparation, we talked about passion, we talked about belief. We battled a really good basketball team in a tough environment. I’m very proud of our guys.”
The Crimson led most of the game. New Mexico (29-6), which scored just two points over the game’s first seven-plus minutes, fought back and led by two points with just under eight minutes left after a 3-pointer by Jamal Fenton.
But Harvard had the answer, pushing out to an eight-point lead, 63-55, after a jumper from freshman point guard Siyani Chambers with just over two minutes left. New Mexico never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
Alex Kirk, a 7-foot sophomore, scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the way for New Mexico.
|03.20.13 at 9:52 pm ET|
Anthony Jackson and Dave Coley scored 20 points apiece to lead Stony Brook to a 71-58 victory over UMass in the opening round of the NIT on Wednesday night in Amherst.
Freddie Riley scored 16 points for second-seeded UMass (21-12), which reached the NIT semifinals last year.
Seventh-seeded Stony Brook (25-7) advances to play at Iowa on Friday night.
In an NIT game in Providence, Bryce Cotton scored 25 points to lead the Friars past Charlotte, 75-66.
Vincent Council had 16 points, six assists and five rebounds for fourth-seeded Providence (18-14), and he scored eight straight points in the second half to turn a two-point deficit into a six-point lead. Kris Dunn contributed 14 points, nine rebounds, six assists and four steals.
E. Victor Nickerson scored 14 points for fifth-seeded Charlotte (21-12).
Providence advances to host eighth-seeded Robert Morris, which knocked off top-seeded Kentucky on Tuesday night. That second-round game will be either Sunday or Monday.
|03.20.13 at 12:33 pm ET|
BC senior forward Steven Whitney has won the 61st Walter Brown Award, given annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.
Whitney beat out Eric Hartzell of Quinnipiac and his BC teammate, Johnny Gaudreau, for the honor. He is the 19th BC player to earn the award, the most recent Eagle to win it being goalie John Muse in 2011. BC head coach Jerry York and associate head coach Greg Brown also received the award, in 1967 and 1990.
Whitney leads Hockey East with 25 goals this year and ranks second, after Gaudreau, with a career-high 43 points. His six game-winning goals and 0.69 goals per game rate both rank second in the country.
A native of Reading and a graduate of Lawrence Academy, Whitney has 126 points over 158 career games at BC.
|03.20.13 at 6:36 am ET|
Levi Randolph scored nine of his 13 points during a 22-0 second-half run as Alabama pulled away from Northeastern en route to a 62-43 victory in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The eighth-seeded Huskies, as they did in their two CAA tournament games, got off to a slow start, trailing 17-3, but fought back, closing to within a point at 28-27 early in the second half. That’s when top-seeded Alabama responded, holding NU scoreless for over nine minutes while running off 22 straight. Northeastern finished with its season low in points.
Jonathan Lee led NU (20-13) with 13 points. The Huskies played without leading scorer Joel Smith, who was injured in the league tournament.
In other postseason action Tuesday, Boston University’s Dom Morris scored a game-high 17 points, but the Terriers fell at Loyola (Md.), 70-63, in the CollegeInsider.com tournament.
|03.19.13 at 8:43 pm ET|
One week after being named ACC Freshman of the Year by the league’s media, Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan was named Rookie of the Year by the league’s coaches.
Hanlan averaged 15.4 points per game, ranking him fifth in the ACC. He scored an ACC freshman record 41 points in BC’s ACC tournament victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday.
Miami won the league’s other three awards announced Tuesday: Player of the Year for Shane Larkin, Defensive Player of the Year for Durand Scott and Coach of the Year for Jim Larranaga.
Hanlan was a unanimous choice on the coaches’ All-ACC Freshman team, while teammate Ryan Anderson was named All-ACC third team.
|03.17.13 at 9:40 pm ET|
Harvard is the only New England team in the NCAA tournament, but the region is well-represented in the NIT, as Northeastern, UMass and Providence accepted bids to the 32-team tournament Sunday night.
Northeastern (20-12) was an automatic qualifier as the regular-season winner of the Colonial Athletic Association. NU is an 8 seed and will play at No. 1 seed Alabama on Tuesday at 9 p.m. Alabama (21-12) tied for the third-best record in the Southeastern Conference. The winner moves on to meet the survivor of a game between Stanford and Stephen F. Austin.
UMass (21-11) finished fifth in the Atlantic 10, a conference that had four teams receive NCAA tournament invitations. The Minutemen, who reached the NIT final four last season, are a 2 seed and will open play Wednesday night (7:15) in Amherst against Stony Brook. The Seawolves (24-7) were the regular-season champions of the America East. The winner gets Iowa or Indiana State.
Providence (17-14), which tied for ninth in the Big East, is a 4 seed and will host fifth-seeded Charlotte on Wednesday night (7:15). Charlotte (21-11) was eighth in the Atlantic 10. The winner advances to play No. 1 seed Kentucky or Robert Morris.
The NIT’s other top seeds are Virginia and Southern Mississippi.
Boston University (17-12) accepted a bid to the CollegeInsider.com tournament last week. The Terriers will visit Loyola (Md.) in the opening round on Tuesday night (7:30).
Hartford and Fairfield also are playing in the 32-team CollegeInsider.com tournament. Hartford hosts Rider while Fairfield visits Kent State in opening-round games Tuesday.
The 16-team College Basketball Invitational has two New England teams. Vermont plays at Santa Clara on Tuesday while Bryant hosts Richmond on Wednesday.
|03.17.13 at 6:52 pm ET|
Ivy League champion Harvard, making its second straight NCAA tournament appearance, was awarded a 14 seed and will play third-seeded New Mexico on Thursday in a West Regional game in Salt Lake City.
Harvard enters the tournament with a 19-9 record (11-3 Ivy). The Crimson are led by All-Ivy first team players Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders. Chambers, a freshman point guard, also was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
The Lobos (29-5), coached by Indiana legend Steve Alford, are ranked 15th nationally and are coming off a 63-56 victory over UNLV in the Mountain West Conference tournament championship game Saturday. New Mexico also won the conference’s regular season title with a 13-3 record.
The Lobos are led by junior guards Kendall Williams (13.5 ppg, 5.0 apg), Tony Snell (12.6 ppg, 2.9 apg) and 7-foot sophomore center Alex Kirk (7.9 rpg). They have a decided height advantage over the Crimson, whose tallest regular is 6-foot-8 center Kenyatta Smith.
“I’ll put our starting five against anybody,” Alford said after Saturday’s win.
The winner of Harvard-New Mexico will play the winner of Belmont-Arizona in the next round.
Big East tournament champion Louisville was awarded the tournament’s overall top seed, with the other No. 1 seeds going to Kansas, Gonzaga and Indiana.
|03.16.13 at 7:09 pm ET|
Troy Daniels scored 20 points to lead VCU past UMass, 71-62, in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Chaz Williams scored 18 points for sixth-seeded UMass (21-11), which was coming off an upset of Temple in Friday night’s quarterfinals.
Second-seeded VCU, ranked 25th nationally, led by two points with 4½ minutes left. VCU’s Briante Weber then had a three-point play, and that was followed six seconds later by a Daniels 3-pointer after one of UMass’ 24 turnovers. That gave VCU a 64-56 lead, and the Minutemen were unable to mount a rally thereafter.
|03.15.13 at 2:25 pm ET|
Shane Larkin scored 20 points and sparked a game-ending 14-3 run as top-seeded Miami turned away Boston College, 69-58, in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament Friday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C.
Patrick Heckmann scored 15 points while Ryan Anderson and Olivier Hanlan had 14 each for the eighth-seeded Eagles (16-17).
Kenny Kadji had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Miami (25-6), which advances to play the winner of NC State-Virginia.
Duran Scott broke a 55-all tie with 3:01 left when he hit two free throws. Larkin’s trey from the left corner with 1:47 left gave Miami a 60-55 lead. After a BC turnover, Brown hit a runner in the lane with 57 seconds left, and the Hurricanes were in control, 62-55.
Just as they did in Thursday’s first-round win over Georgia Tech, the Eagles got off to a slow start before making a late first-half push. This time they were down 13-2 five minutes into the game and 21-8 with seven minutes left in the period. They then closed the period on a 19-4 run — capped by Anderson’s layup with six seconds remaining — to take a 27-25 lead into the locker room.
“We had a good lead and then they switched up and went zone. That kind of took us by surprise,” Larkin said in a postgame interview with ESPN. “We just had to calm down and start attacking the zone. Once we started doing that, our shots started falling and we pulled away.”
The Eagles bumped up the lead to five points at 42-37 with just over 14 minutes left after a long 3-pointer from Lonnie Jackson. Miami answered with an 8-0 run, and the game remained close until the final minute.
|03.14.13 at 2:25 pm ET|
Two days after being named ACC Freshman of the Year, Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan exploded for 41 points, setting an ACC tournament first-round scoring record in leading the Eagles to an 84-64 victory over Georgia Tech in Greensboro, N.C.
Eight-seeded BC (16-16) advances to play ACC regular-season champion Miami in Friday’s quarterfinals.
Hanlan, who shot 14-of-18, including 8-of-10 3-pointers, and hit his final 12 shots, surpassed the all-time freshman scoring record of 40 points, set by North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes in 2011, and he came within four points of the highest-scoring game in ACC tournament history (45 by UNC’s Lenny Rosenbluth in 1957). He also scored the most points by any ACC player this season.
“I felt everything was going in,” Hanlan said in an on-court interview with ESPN after the game. “I was lucky enough to have my teammates finding me on the wings. I was just hot. I was lucky today.”
Said BC coach Steve Donahue: “I think after those first two misses, I think they kind of relaxed on him, and he took that as a challenge. I know he’s worked very hard on his stand-still shooting. He’s a very good stand-still shooter, and I think he showed that today.”
Also for BC, Joe Rahon had 15 points and seven assists, Ryan Anderson scored 11 points, Patrick Heckmann netted 10 and Eddie Odio had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Marcus Georges-Hunt had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Georgia Tech (16-15), which shot just 32 percent for the game.
The way this one started out, it did not appear that BC would be sticking around long. The Eagles surrendered the first 15 points of the game, shooting 0-for-9 and turning the ball over three times until Odio followed his own miss with a dunk 5:14 into the game. That started a run of nine BC points, capped by 3-pointers from Hanlan and Rahon, to get the Eagles back in the game.
“We just started out flat and we were just not aggressive,” Hanlan said. “When we called that first timeout, coach was like, we’ve got to be aggressive, not be scared on offense and just really get stops on defense. So, we really turned it up.”
Hanlan later scored six points during an 11-0 BC run that got the Eagles with three points, 28-25. BC’s first-half comeback was complete when, in the final minute, Heckmann hit a driving layup to to the score. Hanlan followed with a steal and short bank shot and then swished a 3-pointer with two seconds left to cap a 7-0 run and give BC a 38-33 halftime lead.
Hanlan had 21 of BC’s 38 first-half points.
The Eagles built their lead up to double digits three minutes into the second half and pulled away from there.