When Harvard athletic director Bob Scalise was announcing Tommy Amaker's hire five springs ago, he called it a "rebirth" for the school's long-dormant basketball program. Given the university's world academic standing, it was the perfect word choice for the situation. Most programs rebuild or reload or recover, but not Harvard, which essentially was starting from scratch, never having had accomplished much of anything in the modern basketball arena. This was to be germination fueled by determination. Harvard needed to become a seedling before worrying about seeding.
An Occupy Wall Street group at Harvard University staged a walk-out Wednesday afternoon of the introductory economics class of Greg Mankiw, a former Bush administration economic advisor now working with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
It might amuse you to know that there were folks in Cambridge and greater Boston who actually watched CBS' Selection Show thinking that Harvard had a chance to receive an at-large big to the NCAA tournament.
Saturday's most intriguing NCAA game may be one that relatively few fans care about -- and even fewer will be able to see. But the playoff between upstart Harvard and postseason regular Princeton for the Ivy League title and an automatic NCAA berth, to tip off at Yale (4 p.m.) and shown via webcast only on ESPN3.com, has plot elements befitting a sometimes bitter athletic rivalry that dates to their first football game, back in '77 -- 1877, that is.
HARTFORD, Conn. -- The postgame press conference was brief, befitting a blowout loss. Harvard coach Tommy Amaker generously praised then-unbeaten Connecticut for its size and talent, noted that his Crimson players may have been a bit intimidated early, and then quickly headed back down the wide, echoing corridor of the antiquated XL Center after UConn's 81-52 victory last week. There really wasn't much more to say.
Harvard has never won an Ivy League title and hasn't made the NCAA tournament since 1946 for a simple reason: a lack of talent. Asked to name the last elite high school prospect to choose the Crimson, an athletic department spokesperson had to go back to Jim Fitzsimmons, Harvard class of '74.
After 124 editions, the most unsavory thing about The Game's current seat in the shadow of block-letter acronyms -- BCS! FBS! FCS! -- is not even the shadow itself. The self-inflicted lack of playoffs? The ban on scholarships? The harshest academic restrictions in the athletic universe? These realities are simply the known price of scholastic integrity, which has long numbed Harvardians and Yalies to the gradual lowercasing of the nation's oldest rivalry.
A new study of Spanish flu, which killed millions of people in the aftermath of World War One, has provided fresh hope that the spread of a similarly deadly virus could be stopped if it occurred today.