Prior to 2012, it had been 66 years since Harvard last went to the NCAA Tournament. Since then, the Crimson have gone to three consecutive big dances -- and now have won games in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments.
The 12th-seeded Crimson took down Cincinnati on Thursday, 61-57. They were basically in control from start to finish, holding their own on the glass and taking care of the ball when it counted. Moreover, they found ways to score on the stout Cincinnati defense, as Laurent Rivard spread the Bearcats out with three early 3-pointers and Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders made clutch baskets in the second half.
The 12-over-5 talk is always one of the biggest discussion points leading up to the NCAA Tournament, and for good reason. Only three times in the past 29 years was there a tournament without a 12 seed beating a five-seed -- and that streak will continue this season. Harvard was the most popular 12-seed at CBSSports.com, and for good reason. The Crimson took down New Mexico as a 14-seed in last year's tournament and are a much better team this season. Moreover, Cincinnati's lack of scoring pop concerned many.
And considering I thought Harvard beating Cincinnati was the least likely of the 12-over-5 upsets, there could be a few more on the way this season.
By the way, Thursday's game highlights why Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker will think a long time before leaving for a more high-profile job like Boston College. Amaker is at the best job in the league, he's winning consistently, he's recruiting very well, and he's making good money. If he left for Boston College, he would be getting himself into a very difficult situation -- one that could require a few years before things get better.