Katz: High expectations for Harvard hoops

ESPN.com college basketball writer Andy Katz caught up with Harvard coach Tommy Amaker recently to talk about expectations this season for the Crimson:

BOSTON -- Harvard will hang its Ivy League championship banner at Lavietes Pavilion.

According to the Ivy League, this is completely legitimate. The Crimson did share the Ivy League regular-season championship with Princeton, which matched Harvard with a 12-2 conference mark last season. The Crimson get rings if they want -- just like Princeton. The league doesn't issue co-champs on the banner, so both programs are Ivy League champions.

But Princeton won a one-game playoff between the teams, earning the NCAA tournament automatic bid on a shot at the buzzer by Douglas Davis that denied the Crimson their first NCAA tournament berth since 1946.

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker celebrated the title. He's making sure that everyone knows the Ivy League championship is a big deal in Cambridge. But the problem is that the rest of the world and even his own players know the NCAA tournament berth is what matters most.

"For our school, winning the Ivy is, in some ways, maybe as big as going to the tournament,'' said Amaker, who has transformed the Crimson into legit Ivy title contenders the past four seasons with players like former standout Jeremy Lin to current preseason Wooden All-America candidate, senior forward Keith Wright. "We have been to the tournament in 1946 but never had a chance to put up an Ivy League banner. There was a hollow feeling at Harvard, and they don't have to feel that way anymore.''

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Also, check out Blue Ribbon's Harvard preview (insider) and previews for the rest of the Ivy League.