Harvard University pulled off a historic upset Thursday night beating the No.3 ranked New Mexico 68-62 in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore guard Wesley Saunders led the way for Harvard scoring 18 points, and Laurent Rivard netted 17 — hitting 5-of-9 3-pointers — as the 14th-seeded Crimson held their own down low against the bigger Lobos to secure the school’s first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament.
“This is the type of thing you dream about when you’re in your backyard playing around,” guard Wesley Saunders said in a post game conference. “For it to actually happen now is incredible.”
As for New Mexico, the team struggled shooting the ball and finished just 37.5 percent from the field for the night.
While the Lobos big men held their own in the paint (Alex Kirk and Cameron Bairstow combined for 37 points and 21 rebounds), the perimeter players failed to step up when the team needed them the most.
New Mexico’s three starting guards (Kendall Williams, Hugh Greenwood and Tony Snell) went 5-for-21 from the field on the night, and combined for just 17 points.
“We’ve dodged this bullet a lot this year by having bad shooting nights and (were) still able to get wins,” New Mexico coach Steve Alford said after his team’s loss. “We weren’t able to dodge that bullet tonight.”
After the game, NBA guard Jeremy Lin, a Harvard alumn, took to Twitter to rejoice over his alma mater’s stunning upset.
— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) March 22, 2013
According to ESPN, only 5.6 percent (just over 450,000) of the 8.15 million Tournament Challenge brackets picked 14-seed Harvard to beat 3-seed New Mexico.
The Harvard basketball team (20-9) will attempt to keep the momentum going when they face sixth-seeded Arizona on Saturday.
Check out highlights from Harvard’s stunning upset over New Mexico below: