They've gone head-to-head on national TV, and now they're competing for the honor of being named the nation's top college point guard.
Harvard's Siyani Chambers and UMass' Chaz Williams battled back and forth during their team's meeting in the ESPN Tipoff marathon on Nov. 13, with the Minutemen winning on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and now both have been named to the watch list for the 2013 Bob Cousy Award on Thursday, according to a release by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, which sponsors the award.
Players are nominated for the award, which is then selected by a panel of media members, head coaches, sports information directors and Hall of Fame members.
Chambers, a freshman, is second on the Crimson is scoring (12.1 points per game) and leads the team and the Ivy League in assists at 5.1 per game. He's twice been named Ivy League Rookie of the Week (Dec. 3 and Dec. 17).
Williams, a junior, is also second on his team in scoring at 15.4 points per game, and first in assists at 7.0 per game.
Williams' assist average ranks him in a tie for 10th in the country, while Chambers checks in at 56th overall.
The two point guards are among more than 80 players on the initial watch list, which will be cut down to 20 around Jan. 1, to 10 around Feb. 1 and to a final five by approximately March 1. The winner of the award will be announced during the Final Four, during the Hall of Fame's announcement of the 2013 class.
“The Hall of Fame is proud to continue its mission with Mr. Cousy to celebrate and honor the top collegiate point guards in the country,” John L. Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame, said in a release. “This list represents a large range of college basketball's top student athletes from across the country. We are excited to recognize these players for their continuous hard work and dedication.”
Previous winners of the Cousy Award include Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton, D.J. Augustin, Ty Lawson and UConn's Kemba Walker.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.