NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Ivy League
Past Conferences: Ivy and Ind
City: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Stadium: Lavietes Pavilion
NCAA Tournaments:1946, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
National Championships: 0
Conference Titles: 0
Harvard University came to fruition in 1636, which makes it the oldest institution of higher learning in the nation. Furthermore, the Harvard Crimson Tide men’s basketball team was not established until much later, when the school played its first game in 1900-01 under head coach John Clark.
While the program had some solid regular season records in the early years, the groundwork was challenging. It wasn’t until over 40 years later, with head coach Floyd Stahl at the helm, that the program finally made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the 1945-46 season.
During that year, the team had the highest odds of winning due to their impressive regular season record of 20-3. Due to how the brackets were constructed at the time, this would be the highest finish in the program’s history.
In those days, there were fewer teams with established programs participating in the NCAA Tournament than there are today. They would take care of business against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the opening round but lose to NYU Violets (No longer a member of Division I) in the Regional 3rd Place game.
After this year, the school experienced a drought of making it to the NCAA Tournament, as other Ivy League programs were able to take advantage of the opportunities given to them. Before the program received national attention once again, the team made a crucial hire, as Tommy Amaker was named the head coach of the team in 2007.
Against then-ranked Boston College Eagles on January 7, 2009, Amaker’s Harvard squad won, which was the school’s first win against a ranked team in its men’s basketball history. Future NBA player Jeremy Lin would lead the squad to the CIT but was no match for the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Before receiving an opportunity to play for the Crimson Tide, Lin was supposedly set on attending Stanford University but was derailed due to one deciding factor. Former head coach Trent Johnson, wanted Lin to join the team as a walk-on with the hope of earning a scholarship the following year.
Under Amaker’s leadership, the 2010-11 team won a share of the Ivy League Championship, the school’s first such win in men’s basketball since the inception of the league in 1956-57. They also set a school record by going 14-0 at home and by winning 12 conference games.
Unfortunately, they finished as the runner-ups as the Princeton Tigers won 63-62. Because of that, Harvard received an automatic bid to participate in the NIT. The next four years would be the program’s peak as they made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.
The Harvard team stats showcased their best in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The Crimson Tide advanced past the opening rounds by defeating the New Mexico Lobos (Would lose in the third round against the Arizona Wildcats), and Cincinnati Bearcats during the two years. In one way, their last dance appearance was significant for the Ivy League.
Harvard made it to the NCAA tournament for the fourth consecutive year, extending Yale’s drought to 53 years. Despite leading in the last minute of the game, UNC Tar Heels eliminated them from the 2015 tournament 67-65.
Their most recent post-season appearance was in 2019 when they won against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first round before narrowly losing to the NC State Wolfpack in the second round with four-star recruit Bryce Aiken leading the point.
Head coach Tommy Amaker will be leading the program for his 16th year. During the preseason, the Harvard Crimson Tide had the top four NCAAB odds to win the Ivy League Conference.
- Points Scored
- Joe Carrabino 1,880
- Don Fleming 1,797
- Tyler Rullman 1,577
- Kyle Snowden 908
- Ron Mitchell 803
- Barry Williams 761
- Elliott Prasse-Freeman 705
- Siyani Chambers 601
- Tim Hill 590
- Andrew Gellert 242
- Jeremy Lin 225
- Mike Gielen 213
What Is the Winningest Season in Program History?
The Harvard Crimson Tide registered 27 wins to accompany the impressive accomplishment, with just five losses in the 2013-14 season. A conference record of 13-1 played a significant role in the squad’s NCAA Tournament run to the third round.
Who Is the Winningest Coach in Program History?
Tommy Amaker is currently the head coach of the Harvard Crimson Tide men’s basketball team and has the most wins in program history. He has achieved over 200 wins during his tenure, making him the only coach in the program’s history to reach this milestone. In addition, he has four trips to the dance on his resume.
Who Is the Greatest Player in Program History?
Jeremy Lin holds multiple records in the program’s record books. He holds the record for becoming the fastest player to reach 1,450 points, 450 rebounds, 400 assists, and 225 steals. After going undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft, Lin rose to fame during the 2012 season, a time known as “Linsanity.”
Since then, he had a forgettable second half in his NBA career, but he won a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 before joining the Beijing Ducks in China in the offseason. He tried to make an NBA comeback with the G-League affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State Warriors) but returned to the CBA to sign with the Guanzhou Lions.