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The Harvard Crimson return home on Friday night to host the Cornell Big Red in an Ivy League battle. The Crimson lost a close game to Brown on Saturday by a score of 72-71. The Big Red lost to Penn on Sunday, 79-73. This is the first of two matchups between these two teams. They play each other again on Leap Day, February 29.
Big Red lose to QuakersThe Cornell Big Red were outscored by three-point in both halves by the Penn Quakers in their six-point loss. Neither team led by more than eight points in the game. The Big Red had four players score in double digits, led by Josh Warren, who was 5-6 from three-point range, with a career-high 23 points. Terrance McBride had 15 points, while Jimmy Boeheim and Bryan Knapp added 13 and 12 points, respectively. Cornell shot 45.9% from the floor and 39.1% from three-point range.
It has been a rough season for the Big Red, who suffered through a 10-game losing streak after winning their first game of the season. They have gone 4-4 since, which includes a win over Ivy League co-leader Princeton, Princeton's only conference loss of the season. Cornell, who is in sixth place in the Ivy League, is 0-11 on the road this season, losing by an average of 12.5 points per game.
The Big Red are averaging 67.5 points per game, and are shooting 43.2% from the floor and 30.5% from three-point range. Boeheim, who is the oldest son of long-time Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, leads Cornell in scoring and rebounding, averaging 18.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. McBride scores 10.8 points per game, while Warren adds 10.3 points per game this season.
Crimson lose buzzer-beater to BearsHarvard Crimson guard Justin Bassey broke a 69-69 tie with a basket with three seconds remaining in the game, however Tamenang Choh scored on the other end and drew a foul with less than one second to play to give the Brown Bears the unlikely victory, after Choh sank his foul shot. Neither team led by more than eight points in the game, as Robert Baker led the way for Harvard with 18 points in the loss. Christian Juzang and Noah Kirkwood added 10 points apiece. The Crimson shot 45.6% from the floor and 30.4% from three-point range.
Harvard enters the midway point of the Ivy League schedule in fifth place, just one game behind Penn and Brown for third and fourth place. The top four teams compete in the Ivy League tournament at the end of the season, so the Crimson have a little bit of work to do in the second half of the conference schedule. They have lost in the Ivy League Championship Game in each of the last two season, and haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. After being 13-4 overall at one point, Harvard has lost three of their last four games. Among their three losses in that span is two one-point losses and an overtime loss. The Crimson has made a habit of playing close games, with each of their last eight games being decided by five points or less. Their game versus Cornell is Harvard's first home game in nearly a month, having played their last five games on the road. The Crimson are 6-0 at home this season.
Harvard has played the last two months without leading scorer Bryce Aiken, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury. He was averaging 16.7 points per game before his injury. Kirkwood is averaging 11.9 points per game this season, while Chris Lewis scores 11.5 points per game. The Crimson are third in the Ivy League, averaging 73.3 points per game. They are shooting 46.0 % from the floor and 34.1% from three-point range.
Trends found on oddsshark.com:
- The Crimson are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games overall
- The Big Red are 5-3-2 ATS in their last 10 games versus Harvard
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Cornell has been playing much better recently, losing by six points to third place Penn and defeating first-place Princeton in their last two games. They have won four of their last eight games. Harvard has played a ton of close games this season, with their last eight games being decided by five points or less. They have had 14 of their 21 games this season decided by single digits. Cornell has played a lot of close games as well, with nine of their 14 losses coming by 11 points or less. Both teams are fighting to get into the top four to make the Ivy League tournament, so expect a close hard-fought game.
Prediction: Cornell +13.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Cornell has scored over 70 points in each of their last three games, while Harvard has scored at least 69 points in 10 of their last 12 games, including their last five games. Neither team has a particularly good defense, especially defending the three, where Cornell is ranked 241st and Harvard ranked 299th in opponents three-point shooting. The over has hit in six of the last nine games between these two teams. The Crimson are 67th in the country in field goal percentage at 46%, they are averaging over 73 points per game this season. Harvard is playing at home for the first time in almost a month, so they will be fired up to put on a good show for the home crowd.
Prediction: Over 138.5