Harvard hoops schedule in focus

Though the dust hasn’t completely settled yet -- as of last week, a few final nails still needed to be hammered home -- Harvard hoops’ home nonconference slate for the 2014-15 season has a distinctly local design that should excite fans of Massachusetts college basketball.

Tommy Amaker and the Crimson will take on five of the state’s other six Division I teams, with three of those games coming at home and one each at a neutral site and on the road. Though the team has yet to release its schedule for next season, Harvard will put tickets on sale on Tuesday for all 13 of its 2014-15 games at Lavietes Pavilion.

The Crimson will tip off the season with their traditional matchup versus Cambridge rival MIT, one of the best teams in Division III, on Friday, Nov. 14.

Just two days later, Harvard will take on Holy Cross as part of the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer tripleheader at the TD Garden.

And after visits from Florida Atlantic and Houston, the in-state rivalries resume with visits from UMass (Nov. 29, two days after Thanksgiving), Northeastern (Dec. 3) and BU (Dec. 8). The Crimson will look for a seventh straight win over BC when they visit Conte Forum on Jan. 14, 2015.

That means the only Massachusetts Division I team the Crimson won’t face in 2014-15 is UMass Lowell.

Under Amaker, Harvard is 23-6 against in-state foes and hasn’t lost to a Massachusetts-based team since Nov. 13, 2012 (a 67-64 loss at UMass) -- a string of eight straight wins.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.