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Harvard Crimson vs. Princeton Tigers - 1/31/14

Princeton Tigers (12-3) at Harvard Crimson (15-3)

College Basketball: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Lavietes Pavilion)

The Line: Harvard Crimson -10 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The best Ivy League matchup on Friday night will be between Princeton and Harvard. The meeting that is played twice a year is usually competitive and has provided college basketball fans with great drama over the years.

The Tigers have held their own this season and are holding their own on both sides of the court. They’re shooting a solid 45.4 percent from the field, are a great free throw shooting team at 72 percent and also play solid defense, holding opponents under 70 points on the year.  However, their last five games have been shaky to say the least, allowing teams to score 74 points and shoot above 47 percent from the field. That would explain the two losses in their last five matchups.

Harvard Crimson vs. Princeton Tigers - 1/31/14

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Harvard is still the best the Ivy League has to offer, but two losses in four games also raises a bit of concern. The loss to Connecticut is understandable but shooting only 23 percent in a loss to Florida Atlantic is not. Chalk it up as an once-in-a-lifetime situation, but it is worth keeping in the back of your mind when handicapping this game.

Overall, both teams are playing above-average basketball, which makes the spread surprising. Yes, Harvard is solid at both ends of the floor, but Princeton is no pushover and has won games in Penn State, Rutgers and barely lost to Butler on the road. The Tigers can play ball and have covered the spread in five of their seven road games this season.

The underdog is also 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings between these two teams.

Getting 10 points is a gift from the betting gods. Be smart and go with Princeton. 

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