Crimson and Tigers Clash in Ivy League Battle: Harvard at Princeton

Harvard Crimson at Princeton Tigers, L. Stockwell Jadwin Gymnasium, Princeton, NJ
Friday, February 4, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening League: Princeton -1 1/2
Current Line: Princeton -1 1/2
Opening Total: 129
Current Total: 130
Money Line: Princeton -130 / Harvard +110

Harvard and Princeton renew their rivalry Friday night in a crucial Ivy League Clash. Princeton is a slight favorite at home.

Finally, there is something Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins can agree on. All three Harvard alumni want the Crimson to beat Princeton tonight in a critical Ivy League match-up. Harvard is 15-3 overall and 4-0 in the Ivy league. Surprisingly, Harvard has never even won a share of the Ivy League Men’s basketball championship. The Crimson are the only Ivy league team to have never won the title. They travel to Princeton to take on the rival Tigers in a match-up of teams undefeated in conference play. Princeton is 14-4 overall and 2-0 in conference. Harvard has wins over Colorado, Fordham, Boston College, Dartmouth twice, George Washington, Columbia, and Cornell. The Crimson beat Cornell at home 78-57 on Saturday in their last game. Harvard has losses to George Mason, Michigan, and Connecticut on the season. The Crimson have won 8 games in a row.   Princeton has wins over Rutgers, Bucknell, Siena, St. Joseph’s, Tulsa, Brown and Yale. The Tigers won at home against Yale Saturday 67-63. Princeton has losses to Duke, James Madison, Presbyterian, and Central Florida. The Tigers are on a 4 game winning streak of their own. Princeton has dominated the series against Harvard 123-38. The Tigers have won 4 straight in the series and are 3-1 ATS in those games. Three of those match-ups went under the total as well. Princeton is 26-13 ATS in all games the last 2 seasons, including 12-4 ATS versus conference foes.

Harvard is coached by former Michigan coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson haven’t had much success on the basketball court. However, Amaker is changing the culture of Harvard basketball. Last year they won a school record 21 games, and unless something drastic happens they will exceed that this year. The Crimson have bigger goals in mind, including winning their first ever Ivy League title. This weekend will go a long way towards that goal, as they play at Princeton and Penn, the two teams considered to be Harvard’s top threats in the conference. The Crimson are healthy right now with no significant injuries. Harvard is lead by forward Keith Wright. He is averaging 14.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.6 blocks a game. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and blocks. Guard Christian Webster averages 13.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and he shoots 40.5% from 3-point range. Guard Laurent  Rivard averages 11.8 points, and 2.5 rebounds a game. Oliver McNally averages 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Brandyn Curry averages 9.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists to lead the team, and 1.4 steals a game to lead the team also. Harvard is outscoring opponents 71-63 on the season. Harvard is shooting 46% from the field and 36.8% from 3-point range. Harvard opponents are shooting 42.8% from the field. The Crimson make 79.7% of their free throws. Harvard pulls down about 34 rebounds a game but opponents pull down about 35 a game. Harvard averages 14.8 assists and 14.1 turnovers a game. They force 14.3 turnovers a game on defense. The Crimson average 6.4 steals and 4.6 steals a game.

Princeton has won or shared the Ivy League Title 25 times but hasn’t won it since 2004. The Tigers are pretty healthy as well right now. Four Tigers are averaging double digit figure scoring. Princeton is led by forward Ian Hummer who is averaging 13.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks a game.  Forward Kareem Maddox is averaging 13.6 points, 6.9 points, 2.3 assists, and 1.7 blocks a game. He leads the team in rebounds and blocks. Guard Douglas Davis averages 13.4 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists,  and 1.1 steals a game. Dan Mavraides averages 13.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. He leads the team in assists and steals. Princeton is outscoring opponents 71-65 on the season. The Tigers are shooting 47.5% from the field and 37.1% from 3-point range. Tiger opponents are shooting 42.4% from the field. Princeton is shooting 70.7% from the free throw line. Princeton is averaging 34.6 rebounds and has a rebounding margin of +3.2. Princeton is averaging 13.6 assists and 13.2 turnovers a game. The Tigers force 12.7 turnovers a game on defense. They average 5.7 steals and 4 blocks a game.

After a two year championship run by Cornell, these two teams along with Penn are the class of the Ivy League this year. It won’t be easy to win at Penn and Princeton this weekend, but if Harvard can complete the sweep they will go a long way toward their goal of an Ivy League Championship.

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

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