Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Harvard Crimson proved their intelligence again by showing they had learned from what they did the last time they were there: winning an NCAA tournament game in an upset.
The No. 12 seed Crimson took their second-ever tournament game 61-57 over No. 5 Cincinnati at Spokane Arena in Tacoma, Washington.
Several of last year's knights rode in again on their white horses with Crimson blankets to carry the day.
Laurent Rivard, the senior from Saint-Bruno, Quebec, Canada, scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep. He had splashed home five of nine three-pointers for 17 points in last year's 68-62 upset of No. 3 seed New Mexico.
Teammate Siyani Chambers, a sophomore, put away six of eight critical free throws for 11 points. In last year's game against the Los Lobos, he contributed only five points but played the entire 40 minutes.
Junior Wesley Saunders again led the Crimson on their road to victory. He had 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting, while last year he led the team with 18 points.
It was a typical day for the Bearcats, which encapsulated their season. A ferocious defensive team with an often crippled offense, Cincinnati shot 38 percent from the floor and 68 percent from the free-throw line. The Bearcats were reminiscent at times of a lamprey trying to suck the life out of a salmon—an ugly thing that was attempting to survive on the powerful beauty of a superior creation.
Cincinnati's marvelous senior guard Sean Kilpatrick went out as he had defined himself over five years in the program—with heart, pride and a champion's belief in his power to overcome anything. Over 38 minutes, he scored 18 points and had one assist and two steals to go with an unfortunate five turnovers. He finished his career at the university as the second-leading scorer behind only the legendary Oscar Robertson.
Harvard will play Michigan State on Saturday.
Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57