Harvard Basketball Is the New No. 1!

Andrew KahnCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2009

Move over, Pittsburgh. Harvard is the new No. 1 team in the country.

The Crimson were a unanimous choice, receiving all 72 first-place votes in the most recent Associated Press Poll. Pittsburgh, despite its perfect 14-0 record, fell to second.

Harvard's 82-70 victory over Boston College was likely the deciding factor for most voters. The Eagles had just come off a victory over then-No. 1 North Carolina, a win that essentially earned BC the "Best Team in the Country" label.

Simple logic dictates that with Harvard's win over BC, it would become the new best team. Why? Because Harvard beat Boston College which beat North Carolina, the team that was universally recognized as the best team in the country.

So the question isn't whether Harvard is better than UNC, it's how much better they are.

BC beat UNC by seven, 85-78, and Harvard beat BC by 12. Therefore, it's reasonable to assume the Crimson would beat the Heels by somewhere between 15-20 points. If the game were played in Boston, a 25-point Harvard victory would not be out of the question.

While the outcome of a Harvard-UNC game is clear, what's not is why voters overlooked the Crimson's 8-6 record, which includes losses to Boston University and William & Mary.

But as we often hear in the sports world, it's not always who you lose to, but who you beat. And Harvard beat the team that beat the best.

Then again, maybe William & Mary should be No. 1.