NCAA First Round Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Harvard Crimson Pick-Odds-Prediction - 3/20/14
Harvard Crimson (26-4) at Cincinnati Bearcats (27-6)
College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm (Spokane Arena)
The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The #12 Harvard Crimson shoot for an opening day upset of the #5 seed Cincinnati Bearcats Thursday.
Harvard is back in the Field of 64 as the top dog in the Ivy League with a 13-1 record to finish four games ahead of second place Yale. The Crimson are not your typical Ivy squad as they have gone against some bigger names and either beat them or give them a run for their money. The bottom line is the Crimson can score and defend but some of that can be attributed to their #218 strength of schedule. The good news is they have put up good numbers against the best which makes Harvard dangerous come tournament time. Wesley Saunders leads four other double figure scores with 14 points so the team has numerous scoring options.
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Cincinnati and Louisville battled the entire 2013-14 campaign for supremacy in the AAC but Connecticut knocked off the Bearcats in the conference semifinals which lkely cost Cincy a few spots in the seedings. Few teams could defend as well as the Bearcats with 58 points allowed but at times the offense had some issues even though 69 points per game was plenty to produce a spectacular 27-6 record. Whatever the offense does it will likely be the defensive end of the floor that carries this team deep in to the tournament. Having said that, senior Sean Kilpatrick will head the offense with his 21 point average so the question is where will his help come from.
Cincinnati is going to be tough to handle with their shutdown defense but Harvard has a way of competing against good teams so I won't discount them...