CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Crimson coach Tommy Amaker tries not to get hung up on seeding and all the potential machinations of opponent and site.
“I don’t get wrapped up in that and try to figure it out,” the fifth-year Harvard coach said in his team’s news conference after the announcement of the NCAA men's basketball bracket.
He then admitted that his team, including the four players -- senior cocaptains Oliver McNally and Keith Wright, and juniors Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry -- sitting at the podium with him Sunday, might.
“These guys may. Trying to figure out information on the Bracketology and [Joe] Lunardi,” Amaker said. “Our staff does that at times.”
At the end of the day, he said, “We were just excited to have our name called.”
Harvard found out it had been awarded a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament and will face No. 5 seed Vanderbilt in the second round in Albuquerque on Thursday.
The Crimson, who finished 26-4 and won the first Ivy League championship in school history with a 12-2 conference record, will have their hands full with the Commodores, who finished 24-10 and just 10-6 in the SEC but who won their conference tourney on Sunday by upsetting overall No. 1 seed Kentucky 71-64.
But there is still one thing keeping the Crimson in suspense: What will the president do?
For the first three years of his presidency, Barack Obama has picked an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN.com.
The big question in Cambridge now is: Will the president pick his alma mater?
“We’re waiting to see,” Amaker said, drawing laughs from the players beside him at the podium. “That is one thing I’ve been waiting on with the brackets. I’ll admit that. We’ll be waiting to see.”
So, do you have a message for the commander in chief? a reporter asked.
“No messages,” the coach said, drawing more laughter. “We recognize he has his hands full with a lot of different things. We’ll just sit back and see.”
Tennessee might be more of a swing state than Massachusetts, the reporter said.
“You never know,” Amaker said with a smile.