Many fans had circled this game when the schedule came out. A matchup of two of the top academic institutions in the country, which both also boast solid basketball teams. The Hoos, ranked #5 in the country, obviously had the better profiling entering the game, but Harvard has been to 3 straight NCAA tournaments and boasts one of the top all-around players in the country in Wesley Saunders.
There was considerable hype entering the game. The Hoos were 10-0, while Harvard was 7-1 with a 1 point loss in a neutral site game against Holy Cross. Harvard was ranked #29 by KenPom. (The Hoos were ranked #3.) The game, however, did not live up the hype. The Hoos dominated from the opening tip, scoring the first 7 points of the game. Harvard's finally scored their first bucket with 16:33 remaining in the first half. They didn't score another FG until 16:38 remained in the second half. In between, they scored just 7 points, all from the stripe.
The Hoos first opened up a double-digit lead on a Justin Anderson trey just 7 minutes in. Harvard never got it back to single digits. In fact, they never got close. At halftime, the score was 39-8. The second half did not go much better for Harvard. The Hoos scored the first 6 of the half and led 48-12 at the under 16 TV timeout. The game was over well before this point, but that was the point at which Virginia pulled a majority of the starters for good.
The final score was 76-27, which pretty tells the story. This one was all Hoos. Mike Tobey and Malcolm Brogdon each scored 15 to lead the Hoos. They shot nearly 60% from the field, while Harvard shot just 16%. Harvard had just 1 assist on their 8 made FGs. Harvard also shot just 40% from the FT line. Justin Anderson continued to shoot the ball well, making 2-3 from three-point range, bringing him to a cool 60% for the season.
Holding Harvard to just 27 points means those of us who've signed up for the Pack Line Pledge had better get donating.
The Hoos are off until next Tuesday, when Davidson comes to town. Davidson is 9-1 with a loss to UNC. They are currently ranked 66th by KenPom.