Bulldogs, Crimson Renew Rivalry in Cambridge: Yale at Harvard

Yale Bulldogs at Harvard Crimson, Lavietes Pavilion, Cambridge, MA
Friday, February 11, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, No Television
Opening Line: Harvard -12
Current Line: Harvard -11 1/2
Opening Total: 127
Current Total: 132 1/2
Money Line: Harvard -800 / Yale +600

Harvard and Yale renew their long standing rivalry in Cambridge Friday night. Harvard is an 11 1/2 point favorite at home.

ESPN is promoting this week in college basketball as Rivalry Week when most teams play their traditional rivals. We already had games this week like Duke and North Carolina, Pitt-West Virginia, Kansas-Missouri, and Georgetown- Syracuse. You would think that ESPNU would show Yale-Harvard on a Friday night as part of that, but they are showing Iona-Siena and Grambling-Prairie View instead. Anyway, Harvard and Yale meet for the 181st time in history. Yale leads the overall series  111-68, but Harvard has won 3 in a row against the Bulldogs. Harvard is 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the Ivy League, a half game behind Princeton in the standings. Remarkably, Harvard is trying to win it’s first ever Ivy League title, the only school in the league to have never won or shared the conference title. Harvard has losses to George Mason, Michigan, Connecticut and Princeton on the season. They have wins over Colorado, Boston College, Dartmouth twice, George Washington, Columbia, Cornell, and Penn. The Crimson escaped with an 83-82 double overtime win at Penn last Saturday. Harvard hosts Yale Friday night. The Bulldogs are 11-9 overall and 4-2 in conference. Yale has losses to Quinnipiac, Providence, Illinois, Vermont, Sacred Heart, Stanford, Lehigh, Penn and Princeton this season. The Bulldogs have wins over Boston College, Brown twice, Cornell, and Columbia. Yale won at home versus Columbia 72-67 Saturday.

Yale has no significant injuries. The Bulldogs are led by forward Greg Mangano. He is averaging 15.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks a game. He leads the team in all three categories. Guard Austin Morgan averages 13 points, 2.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists to lead the team, and 1 steal a game. Guard Porter Braswell averages 11.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.1 assists a game. Guard/forward Reggie Willhite averages 8.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.2 steals a game to lead the team. Yale is being outscored by opponents 70-68 on the season. The Bulldogs are shooting 44.4% from the field and 35% from 3-point range. Yale opponents are shooting 43.7%  from the field. Yale makes 72.6% of their free throws. Yale averages 34 rebounds a game and gives up around 35 rebounds a game as well. Yale averages 13.1 assists and 14 turnovers a game. They force 14 turnovers a game on defense. Yale averages 5 steals and 4.4 blocks a game.

Harvard is coached by former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson are healthy right now with no significant injuries. Harvard is lead by forward Keith Wright. He is averaging 15.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1 steal and 1.5 blocks a game. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Guard Christian Webster averages 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and he shoots 38.9% from 3-point range. Guard Laurent  Rivard averages 11.5 points, and 2.6 rebounds a game. Oliver McNally averages 10.0 points, 4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Brandyn Curry averages 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists to lead the team, and 1.3 steals a game to lead the team also. Harvard is outscoring opponents 72-69 on the season. Harvard is shooting 46.2% from the field and 36.1% from 3-point range. Harvard opponents are shooting 43.9% from the field. The Crimson make 79.5% of their free throws. Harvard pulls down 34 rebounds a game but opponents pull down about 35 a game. Harvard averages 14.7 assists and 14.2 turnovers a game. They force 14.3 turnovers a game on defense. The Crimson average 6.2 steals and 4.7 steals a game.

These two teams are very similar statistically. They score around the same number of points and give up around the same amount of points as well. They have almost identical rebounding numbers. They even have similar strength of schedule numbers. both have wins over Boston College. I think Yale hangs with their Rivals for awhile but Harvard pulls away late.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in 2011. Don’t miss out on any more winners this season.

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