Arizona has reached the NCAA Tournament 30 times, won 45 games on college basketball’s biggest stage and captured the national championship in 1997.
Harvard has one tournament victory in school history, after Thursday night’s 68-62 upset of New Mexico.
When the Wildcats and Crimson collide Saturday for a berth in the Sweet 16, few give Harvard a chance.
Referring to the Crimson’s shocker over New Mexico, senior guard Mark Lyons said, "The better team won, so we’re not looking at it like that. ...
"Harvard has a bunch of good players. That’s probably why New Mexico lost. They overlooked them. We aren’t going to do the same thing. We respect those guys."
Harvard will almost certainly try to control the tempo, spread Arizona’s defense and — it hopes — make more than 52 percent of its shots like the Crimson did against the Lobos. Freshman point guard Siyana Chambers handed out seven assists, only one less than New Mexico had as a team.
"They have a point guard that can really break down the defense, using ball screens," Miller said. "... In our league, they remind me a little of Arizona State — just in terms of how they play. Arizona State has a lot of Harvard in them."
Arizona swept its season series with the Sun Devils, winning by scores of 71-54 and 73-58. Still, Harvard’s best win before it stunned New Mexico was a 67-62 victory against another Pac-12 opponent, California.
"They have a number of players on their team who could do very well in our conference," Miller said. "We know we are in for a fight."
Said Lyons: "They shoot open 3s, and they have a lot of guys who penetrate. They are not one-dimensional. A lot of people don’t understand they’re not a one-dimensional team. They have a lot of guys who make plays."
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