The Cincinnati Bearcats overachieved this season and won a shared of the American Athletic Conference regular season title. They didn’t fare well in the conference tournament and lost to UConn.
Harvard made it to the Big Dance again and are looking to repeat last year’s success. They upset New Mexico and ruined many brackets. Can Harvard do it again?
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Cincinnati tied Louisville for the best regular season record in the American Athletic Conference. Senior guard Sean Kilpatrick had another stellar season and is an elite playmaker. Unforunately, the Bearcats only have one playmaker. The rest of the team is filled with role players. They do have a deep bench and often use a nine-man rotation. Depth definitely helps a team in the NCAA Tournament. If Kilpatrick struggles or finds himself in foul trouble, Cincinnati becomes vulnerable.
Head coach Tommy Amaker once again has Harvard in the NCAA Tournament. They upset New Mexico when they were a #14 seed. They return with nearly the exact roster. Past Ivy League schools haven’t done well in the NCAA Tournament because they lacked size. Harvard has size and most of their roster is in-between 6’5 and 6’9. Harvard moves the ball around well and even scores 73 points per game, much higher than other Ivy League teams that have made it to the Big Dance.
The token #12 seed upset is a staple in nearly every NCAA Tournament. Harvard is the best #12 seed in the tournament. Cincinnati is a good, deep team, but Harvard has tournament experience. I love Tommy Amaker and think he’s vastly underrated. Harvard will upset the Bearcats and move onto the next round to face the winner of the Michigan State/Delaware game.
Prediction: #12 Harvard Crimson
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.