Harvard in the 2013 NCAA Basketball Tournament
Harvard is going to the tournament for the second time in two years! General information and a link to watch events is here.
Harvard has won the 2013 Ivy League basketball title. This gives it an automatic entry to the NCAA's "March Madness" tournament. Since the Ivy League does not have post-season playoff events, we are among the the first teams in the country to qualify. Now comes the hard part ...
Update as of March 22, 3:30 PM:
Harvard upset third-seeded New Mexico 68-62 and will thus play Arizona on Saturday, March 23 at 4:10 pm MDT. See https://rmhuc.clubs.harvard.edu/article.html?aid=422 for details about watching this game in the company of Harvard (and perhaps some Arizona) alums. The winner of this game will play the winner of tomorrow's game between Ohio State and Iowa State on March 28.
Update as of March 18, 3:45 PM:
Harvard's first game is with the University of New Mexico on Thursday, March 21, at 7:50 pm. See https://rmhuc.clubs.harvard.edu/article.html?aid=419 for details about watching this game in the company of Harvard alums.
The winner of the Harvard / UNM game will play the winner of Arizona / Belmont on Saturday at a time not yet announced.
The NCAA tournament began in 1939. The 1945-46 Harvard team was the first Crimson squad to get to the tournament. At that time, Harvard was not a member of an intercollegiate league.
The Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Basketball Association (EIBL), the progenitor of the modern Ivy League men's basketball conference, was founded in 1902. In 1946, it contained only some of the Ivy League schools, not including Harvard. For a variety of reasons, Harvard dropped out and rejoined the conference multiple times. During World War II, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton withdrew from the conference and didn't rejoin it for a couple of years afterwards.
Dartmouth, the 1945-1946 EIBL champion, did not go to the 1946 NCAA tourmanment because that league's champion was not automatically included in the tournament. Harvard went as an independent with a 19-1 record. At that time, only eight teams went to the NCAA tournament. Harvard lost in the first round at Madison Square Garden to Ohio State.
Subsequently, Harvard did not win even a share of an Ivy League title until 2011 when we lost in a special playoff game after tying Princeton for the regular season title. In 2012 and 2013, Harvard won the League title outright.
In summary, it's amazing that it took 109 years for Harvard to win a league championship, and, now for 3 consecutive years, we been either the co-champion or sole champion of the conference. And after a 66-year gap between NCAA tournaments, we're now going twice in a row!