Quick Slant: Harvard and Its Quest to Prove Smart Kids Can Ball

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/George Frey)

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/George Frey)

By Ryan Lack

Quick Slant: 14-seed Harvard pulls upset over 3-seed New Mexico


That’s actually a terrible headline by ESPN. The story that #14 Harvard upended #3 New Mexico is surely an important fact produced by this game, but perhaps what is just as important a fact, if not more important, is it signified the very first NCAA Tournament victory for the prestigious Ivy League school.

On a day where two #5 seeds went down to #12s and #3 Marquette barely escaped #14 Davidson with six points in the final 60 seconds, Harvard’s victory was the moment of the day. It also solidified the believe that teams from New Mexico suck; Saint Louis rolled over New Mexico State by 20 earlier in the day.

All of that said, I think the one thing to focus on here is the respect factor. What we saw in each of the upsets yesterday was less than stellar effort. We watched as teams that should have had no problem disposing of their lower-seeded opponents struggle mightily. Maybe it was because of the beauty that is the NCAA Tournament – the pitting against each other two teams that know nothing about one another. So, I guess it’s a two-fold issue when it comes to the upsets, but what it really came down to was the “better” teams simply overlooking their opponents. Remember, you don’t have to be the better team in general, you just have to be the better team on that day.

What Harvard proved out yesterday is you don’t have to sacrifice intelligence for athletic achievement; Stanford is another great example of smart kids proving they can ball. So we chalk one up for the smart kids; the kids that, short of NBA careers, will likely go on to do bigger and better things.

All I can say is, it warms my heart to see this type of thing happen. It’s what makes the tournament one of the best events in all of sports. And even if Harvard goes down in the next round to Arizona those kids will go down in their school’s history books as the first squad to put a victory on the board, ending 67 years of struggle.

Well done, smart kids. Your band is clearly very happy in their own Harvard band way. And what did Jeremy Lin think of all of this?

Photo Credit: (SB Nation Facebook)

Photo Credit: (SB Nation Facebook)

I don’t even know what’s going on here, but I think he’s … happy? Or drunk? Both?

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You can contact Ryan at ryan@thecouchletes.com