Courtesy of Harvard Athletic Communications
INDIANAPOLIS -- Harvard received a No. 13 seed in the upcoming NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and will face fourth-seeded North Carolina in the second round Thursday, March 19. Tipoff is set for 7:20 p.m. on TNT from Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
Harvard punched its ticket to the Big Dance on Saturday when it defeated Yale, 53-51, in a one-game playoff. The Crimson and Bulldogs shared the Ivy League championship with identical 11-3 conference records, the fifth straight Ivy title for Harvard, and played in just the ninth playoff game in Ancient Eight history for the right to represent the League in March Madness.
Harvard will be making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, becoming just the third program to represent the Ivy League in the Big Dance in four successive years. Princeton was the last to do so in 1989-92, with Penn making six straight trips from 1970-75. Dartmouth also went to the NCAA Tournament for four-straight years from 1941-44 before the formation of the Ivy League.
The Crimson boasts a 22-7 overall record, marking the sixth straight year that Harvard has reached 20 wins. Much of the team's success this season has stemmed from the defensive end of the floor, where it ranks 12th in the nation in points allowed (57.2). Eighteen of Harvard's 29 opponents have failed to score 60 points, with eight opponents scoring 50 points or fewer.
The Crimson has also found success in close games, posting a 5-1 record in contests decided by three points of fewer, including five straight wins.
Harvard is led by a trio of All-Ivy performers, including the conference's defensive player of the year in Steve Moundou-Missi. Wesley Saunders was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League first team, joining Don Flemming '82 as only the second student-athlete in program history to be named to the All-Ivy League first team in three straight years. In addition, Moundou-Missi and Siyani Chambers were tabbed to the second team, marking the third straight All-Ivy honor for the pair.
The Crimson's opponent in the second round, North Carolina, earned its trip to the NCAA Tournament as an at large team from the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels finished the 2014-15 campaign with a 24-11 overall record, including an 11-7 mark in ACC play, and are led by All-American point guard Marcus Paige.
Harvard will be competing in the West Region, with third-round action taking place on Saturday, March 21. The winner of the Harvard/North Carolina showdown will meet either fifth-seeded Arkansas (26-8) or No. 12 seed Wofford (28-6).