It’s Selection Sunday, which means I’m late and need to go with a 2 for 1. The two teams I’m going with today are Harvard and Boise State. Both were ranked in the Top 25 at some point this season and had respectable showings all year. Harvard is in the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight season after winning the Ivy League once again. Boise State received an At-Large bid and is slated to play in one of the “First Four” games.
Tommy Amaker leads Harvard to their 4th straight NCAA Tournament appearance and hopes to build on the success of last year’s tournament. Harvard was able to defeat Cincinnati in the first round and lost by 7 to Michigan State in the 2nd. The Crimson started the season at number 25 in the AP Preseason Poll. They had a decent start but fell from the polls after defeats to Virginia, Arizona St., and Boston College. After a conference loss to Dartmouth in January, they were able to regroup and win 8 in a row. Harvard played well enough to finish 11-3 in Ivy League play and met up with Yale in the League’s playin game. The winner would earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It was ahard fought game just like the other two regular season matchups between the schools. With the score knotted at 51 and under 10 seconds left to play, Wesley Saunders hit Steve Moundou-Missi just inside the 3 point line for a wide open shot. Yale rushed up the court with 7.2 seconds left to play but was unable to score before time expired.
Harvard doesn’t wow you with offense as usual but they bring the 12th best scoring defense with them into the tourney. Wesley Saunders leads the team in points per game, steals per game and 3 point FG%. He’s second in rebounding to Moundou-Missi and second in assists to Siyani Chambers.
Boise State is the second team in my Selection Sunday 2 for 1. The Broncos are most none for their theatrics on the gridiron but they’re looking to make an impact on the hardwood. Boise State’s last trip to the NCAA Tournament was in 2013. LaSalle defeated them in a “First Four” matchup that year. This season the Broncos bring a 25-8 record and a few quality wins to the table. In Mountain West Conference play, the Broncos defeated NCAA Tournament bound San Diego St twice and split with Colorado St the 3rd best MWC team. They beat St. Mary’s and Houston during their nonconference run. Leon Rice’s team fell to eventual Conference Tournament Champion Wyoming twice during conference play. One of those times being in the semifinals of the Conference Tournament. They also had tough but respectable nonconference losses at Wisconsin and at North Carolina State.
Boise State had a major setback in December when they lost Senior Guard Anthony Drmic to a season ending ankle injury. At the time, Drmic was averaging 15 ppg and 5 rpg. The team rallied and Derrick Marks the 2015 MWC Player of the Year led them with a 19.3 ppg average (conference best 20.3 ppg in league play) and 44% from 3 point range. Sophomore, James Webb III was the second leading scorer on the team and led them in rebounding and FG%. He was able to earn MWC Newcomer of the Year and All Mountain West Conference 2nd Team honors.