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Pregaming – Harvard




Teams: Oklahoma State (19-13, 6-10) vs. Harvard (23-6, 12-2)

For entertainment purposes
The Cowboys face the Crimson for the first time in either school’s history in the opening round of the NIT. Tip is at 6:30 CST as this will be the “premiere” game for ESPN’s first day of NIT coverage, it will also be on ESPN3. OSU is currently ranked #63 in the RPI (how?) while Nebraska sits at #78. The Cowboys are favored by 5.5.

Behind enemy lines
There isn’t a Harvard basketball blog, although there are some on business management, law, and authors. Different worlds and such…

Harvard is very efficient (imagine that?!) as they rank #1 in the country in true shooting percentage and #2 in the country in FT percentage. In fact, there were only 10 other teams in Division 1 basketball that had fewer possessions and yet Harvard came within a sick shot-fake fadeaway of playing Kentucky in the first round of the dance. They’re basically a more disciplined less athletic version of Texas A&M.

This could be an issue if OSU reverts to its bored, uninterested ways. If, on the other hand, they come out flying around the court like they did against KU then they should have no issues with the Ivy League’s (second) finest. I think the latter is more likely. I think this team still gives a crap, still wants to win in its final game this year in GIA, and is genuinely interested in getting to New York. When Pilgrim hoists five 3s in the first 4 minutes remind me I said this.

OSU will win if…
As you can imagine I haven’t watched a ton of Ivy League hoops this year but considering Harvard is 321st in the nation in total rebounding I’d say if Moses doesn’t foul his brains out in the first ten minutes and OSU doesn’t get lulled to sleep by Harvard’s methodical ways then they should take care of business.

What I’m worried about
Everyone’s been saying all the right things about “wanting to keep playing” and “loving to play basketball for Travis Ford” but we won’t know for sure how serious they are until the first 5-10 minutes of the game. Of course, I can promise you that no matter how seriously any of them take this game it will be 5x as seriously as the poor excuse for a crowd we field. Tickets are $4 and $8, if you’re in Payne County and physically able to attend, you better be there.

Two random stats that (probably) only interest me:

  • OSU has never won two NIT games in the same year.
  • The Cowboys barely won the fouls/game title over KState 22.1 to 21.2.
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