The Harvard Crimson will look to continue in the win column as they host the red-hot UMass Minutemen in a battle for the state.
TV schedule: Friday, December 2nd, 7:00 pm ET. ESPN+
Arena: Lavietes Pavilion, Massachusetts
The first massive test for the 6-2 Crimson starts on Friday against the 5-1 Minutemen. Two teams that are looking to increase their standing within the region. Massachusetts is currently on a four-game win streak with the latest being a straightforward victory over USF.
The last game for the Crimson had Chris Ledlum receive an excellent 18 points and a blowout victory over the 2-6 Holy Cross Crusaders 72-38. The one factor that was very apparent throughout the game was the 21 points off turnovers the Crimson were able to get. 21 points were all Holy Cross was able to get in the entire second half as they looked completely outmatched.
In the last meeting between the two schools, the Minutemen were able to edge out the Crimson 87-77 with an excellent showing by Noah Fernandes (24 points, 9 assists).
One way to beat this Minutemen team it’s to cut down on wasted possessions. During the game against Fordham (11/27), Harvard started the first half going 8-26 from field goal range (30.77%) and 2-9 from three (22.2%).
A team is simply not going to win by just chucking the ball toward the hoop. Possibly slowing down and developing a play before going straight for the shot could be a route to victory in this game.
One great thing is that even though it’s quite early in the season, the Harvard Crimson are undefeated at home after wins against Siena (69-59) and Loyola-Chicago (61-55).
It’s going to be a sold-out game, the first one of the season in the Lavietes Pavilion. Of course with the two schools only around 30 minutes apart it would be interesting to see what the ratio of fans looks like between them.
Massachusetts is quite well known for having a pretty rowdy student section. Hence, I’m sure the Crimson are prepared for the possibility of The Militia showing up and trying to make it a home game for the Minutemen.
Game Prediction: Harvard 65, UMass 61