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Harvard draws New Mexico in NCAA opener

03.17.13 at 6:52 pm ET
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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.

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