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Harvard Crimson vs. Georgetown Hoyas
Where and when: National Invitational Tournament, Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, 7 pm EST
The Harvard Crimson will travel to Capital One Arena in Washington DC for a first-round National Invitational Tournament showdown versus the Georgetown Hoyas beginning at 7 pm EST. The Harvard Crimson marched to the championship game of the Ivy League, however were taken out by a solid Yale Bulldogs team in their last outing. Alex Copeland along with Miyi Oni led Yale with 25 and 17 points in the victory as the Bulldogs shot over 60% from the floor as a team.
The Georgetown Hoyas finished their Big East conference schedule ranked fourth, just behind the Seton Hall Pirates. Nonetheless, the Hoyas faltered versus the Pirates in the first round of the tournament as their offense was dismal in shooting just 42% from the floor. And while the Pirates shot a miserable 41%, their ability to connect on 8 three-pointers ( compared to two for the Hoyas) allowed them to pull away early as they went up by 25 points at the break.
Akinjo leads with 15 points in loss to Pirates
James Akinjo (13 ppg, 5 ass) was the only double-digit scorer for Georgetown versus the Seton Hall Pirates as he ended the game with 15 points on a 6-10 shooting night. He has remained consistent down the stretch for the Hoyas while also being able to stretch the defense in shooting 39% from the floor on the year.
On the other hand, Jesse Govan (17 ppg, 7 rebs) along with Mac McClung (13 ppg) struggled in finding quality looks versus the Pirates as they ended with 8 and 9 points, respectively. In fact, Govan has only averaged eight points in the last three games for the Hoyas while McClung’s shooting average has dipped to a tad under 40% on the year. Nonetheless, coach Patrick Ewing stressed that the underclassmen have performed very well for Georgetown throughout the season, despite some setbacks here and there.
Ewing also stressed the need to take care of the ball wow citing that the Pirates had 22 points off of 13 turnovers in their defeat in the quarterfinals (video). Ewing also showed his frustration by the Hoyas inability to guard Myles Powell, who ended with 31 points on the night for the Pirates. In all, a much better defensive effort must be had by the Hoyas in this contest if they are to advance.
Crimson led by Aiken with 38, yet suffered defeat to Yale
While Noah Kirkwood went 7-12 from the floor along with 3-4 from three-point range versus the Yale Bulldogs for 19 points, Bryce Aiken was indeed the show as he posted 38 points on the night while also going 12-12 from the free throw line, in defeat. And while Harvard shot a respectable 45% from the floor as a team while connecting on 10 three-pointers on the night, this game was decided at the free throw line where Yale made good on 28 of 30 during the contest, compared to 19-28 for Harvard.
The win was Harvard’s second straight over their conference foe as they now move on to face a Georgetown team that will be looking to shake off their loss to the Pirates in what was a very physical, high-scoring matchup. However, these teams have not met since December of 2009 when the Hoyas picked up a 16-point win.
— Harvard Basketball (@HarvardMBB) March 17, 2019
Kirkwood continues to remain a dangerous player for Harvard at six feet seven inches tall. The guard is averaging 11 points along with five rebounds a game while shooting a respectable 46% from the floor along with 42% for long-range on the year. Aiken, on the other hand, is averaging 23 points per game as his 38 points was his second 30 + point outing in the last three games for the Crimson.
On the other hand, the Crimson are allowing teams to score just under 70 points per game on 44% shooting and can certainly be a dangerous team within the NIT. “I mentioned that to our kids,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “There’s still basketball for our program to participate in a national tournament. We’re proud of that.”
- Over is 9-2 in GTWN last 11 Wed. games.
- Over is 7-2 in GTWN last 9 non-conference games.
- GTWN is 18-39-1 ATS in their last 58 home games.
- HARV is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 Wed. games.
- Over is 17-5 in HARV last 22 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Crimson will certainly make this game interesting with their ability to limit quality looks at the basket for the Hoyas while also pushing the pace in which to catch Georgetown on its heels. On the other hand, the Hoyas will be looking to play much better after not qualifying for the most prestigious prize in college basketball that is the field of 64. With that being said, look for the Hoyas to begin to pull away from the Crimson late in this ball game while also getting much better performances from Govan along with McClung en route to a victory.
Prediction: Pick: Georgetown Hoyas -260
Full-Game Total Pick
As stated, both teams have been a bit shaky on both ends of the floor entering this contest. In fact, teams have scored 80 or more on each team in two of their last three outings. On the other hand, the offense has also improved for both squads, as well. It is for this reason that the over will be the strong play amongst these two teams as I really did not see much defense being played throughout.
Prediction: Pick: Over 152
Full-Game Prop Bet
While it would seem that the Hoyas will have a leg up in this contest over the Crimson, look for Harvard to keep this game close as Georgetown has struggled on the defensive end of the floor throughout the season. It is for this reason that six points will be a bit much for a Hoyas team that has also fizzled down the stretch.
Prediction: Pick: Harvard Crimson +6
Half-Time Side Pick
While Georgetown has its share of playmakers in McClung along with Govan, both have struggled down the stretch, recently. With that being said, the Crimson will certainly be looking to slow down the pace of this game in which to play their style of game which relies on efficient offense along with tough, solid defense.
Prediction: Pick: Harvard Crimson +3
Half-Time Total Bet
I expect for both teams to come out gunning in this contest as neither has been known to play much defense lately. In all, look for the over to be the strong play at the break as both squads will find success on the offensive end throughout the first twenty minutes of this contest.
Prediction: Pick: Over 72
Half-Time Prop Prediction
While the Crimson will keep this game tight due to their efficiency on the offensive end, look for the Hoyas to come up with some critical baskets late in the first half in which to cash in on the money line in this matchup. As stated, both teams have struggled on the defensive end recently. And with the athletes that the Hoyas have at their disposal, expect them to go into the half with a slim lead advantage.
Prediction: Pick: Georgetown Hoyas -185