Harvard did not back down against New Mexico, and pulled off the huge upset by winning 68-62.
SALT LAKE CITY – The No. 14 seeded Harvard Crimson were not afraid of the No. 3 seeded, and Final Four dark horse, New Mexico Lobos. Harvard held a lead for the majority of the game, and did so by shooting very well from three-point range to stay just ahead of New Mexico.
The end result was a massive upset as Harvard defeated New Mexico 68-62, and many people, including myself rips up their bracket. The win for Harvard was their first win ever in the NCAA tournament, and became one of the rare 14 seeds to get a win over a No. 3 seeded team.
New Mexico struggled this entire game on the offensive end of the court and allowed Harvard to shoot extremely well from beyond the arc. That is how this game was able to be in Harvard's favor for the first half and beyond. New Mexico had difficulties cutting into Harvard's lead despite shooting the ball better. Not to go back to it all the time, but Harvard was making three's while New Mexico was making two-point shots, if that.
New Mexico did not earn their first lead of the game until Jamal Fenton hit a three-pointer with 7:55 left, that put the Lobos up 49-47. Harvard of course responded to take a lead, and held onto that lead to the very end of the game.
Harvard was able to get the win by shooting over 50 percent from the field, over 90 percent from the line and above 40 percent from the field. New Mexico had one of their poor shooting nights which is not that different from what they normally do all year. This game was won by Harvard who played a near perfect game, and New Mexico's defense could not slow down Harvard.
It also does not help that Mountain West player of the year Kendall Williams was no existent all night with just eight points. Alex Kirk did show up by scoring 22 points and Cameron Bairstow had 15, but that was it.
Up next for Harvard is No. 6 seeded Arizona who they will play on Saturday.