NCAA Basketball Picks: Harvard vs. Princton

Joe Catalano

Friday, March 1, 2013 2:42 PM GMT

The class of the Ivy League meet tonight as the top ranked Harvard Crimson (17-7, 9-1) travel to Central Jersey to meet the 2nd ranked Princeton Tigers (14-9, 7-2) for our NCAAB Picks.

These teams have been feeding off of the rest of the Ivy League which stands below.500. It’s the Clash of the Cerebral Titans”.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET on Friday at the L. Stockwell Jadwin Gymnasium in Princeton, New Jersey. This game can also be seen on ESPN U.TV.

Home Court Rules!

NCAAB Odds Makers list the Tigers as a 6 point betting favorite and the total for the game is 124.

I know that home court carries a lot of weight in games of teams with lesser talent or conferences like the Ivy League, but this is ridiculous. Harvard has lost one conference game all season long and for them to be that much of a betting underdog is extreme and seems like a gift if they play their usual style of play.

Where’s the Respect?

Harvard has won 8 out of their last 9 games and if you go back to the end of 2012, they lost by 1 point to a very respectable St. Mary’s team. Upsets do happen in the Ivy League, but the Crimson have done a good job of making sure that this hasn’t happened to them.

Harvard-Yale

There’s always an added incentive when teams like Army-Navy or Harvard-Yale play and the Crimson are feeling good about themselves after a 72-66 victory over Yale in New Haven. Both teams shot over 50% from the field, but bench player, Steve Moundou-Missi, came up with 17 points and 6 rebounds on 6 of 7 shooting from the field to be the difference in this game.

Wesley Saunders

Harvard needs their leading scorer, Wesley Saunders, to be at his best. Saunders hasn’t let the Crimson down all season long. Princeton was the only opponent  that gave him a tough time. If you take that game away, in his last 4 games, Saunders is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals on an eye popping 28 of 42 from the field.

Harvard still defeated Princeton handily on February 16th (69-57), but Wesley Saunders must break “The Princeton Curse”.

Princeton has won 3 out of their last 4 games. Their only defeat at the hands of the Crimson and they would like to reverse their fortunes. This is a team that shoots well and would like to keep this a high scoring game. The only way that they can accomplish this is with the play of forward, Ian Hummer.

Get’em Tiger!

Hummer has been a beast all season. He’s coming off of a 23 point, 7 rebound, and 2 block  performance in which he shot a near perfect 10 of 12 from the field. Hummer is the way to beat Harvard. He’s shot over 60% from the field in 5 out of his last 6 games.  He scored 18 against Harvard on the road 2 games ago. I don’t see him buckling under pressure at home in one of the biggest games of the season thus far.

[gameodds]14/222503/43/us[/gameodds]

Head to Head Trends

I think the head to head trends are more relevant than general trends. Let’s take a look.

Home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings

Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings at Princeton

Crimson are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings (0-4 in Princeton)

Outcome

I’m going to ignore the trends for this game. Harvard has been the class of the Ivy League. They’re not just a 2 or 3 point underdog, they’re a 6 point underdog, and that’s way too much to give to the Ivy League leaders who have proven to beat every opponent that’s been put in front of them. This should be a close game and the 6 points will be the difference for this college basketball pick.

Basketball Pick: Harvard +6 at 5 Dimes

Check out Loyola and more info on this game in our College Basketball Picks of the Day~