BOSTON (CBS) – The Harvard Crimson have a tough matchup in their first NCAA tournament appearance, but they enjoyed every second of seeing their name come up on Selection Sunday.
“It was surreal. It was just hard work paying off,” senior captain Keith Wright said of seeing “Harvard” up on the big screen. “To be able to celebrate with this group of guys, we’re been through so many things, ups and downs, this season. To be able to see our name up on that screen is priceless. You can’t really explain it, there aren’t really words to it.”
“Obviously a big day for us. An incredibly exciting day, an incredibly exciting moment,” head coach Tommy Amaker said. “It was so neat to see these guys jump for joy.”
“Their reaction was priceless,” said Amaker.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Rod Fritz reports
Harvard was given a 12-seed in the East region and will face SEC Champion Vanderbilt in the first round Thursday afternoon in Albuquerque, NM. They’ve gotten to where they are by capturing the school’s first outright Ivy League Championship after going 26-4.
Vanderbilt went 24-10 and is coming off a victory over top-seeded Kentucky in the SEC Championship. The Crimson know they have their hands full early on, but they are going to do their best to make some noise.
“It’s important that we enjoy the process and enjoy the journey, but obviously we’re going to do the best we can and give it our all,” said Amaker.
“I want to win. My career is over when we lose, so I want it to last as long as it can,” said senior guard Oliver McNally. “We’re going to go down there, it’s going to be awesome. We’ll have our open practice and people will love that, but when it boils down to it, it’s going to be heartbreak if you don’t win.”
“I just think we need to take business as usual in a lot of ways — our preparation, our identity,” Amaker said. “But also remember to have some fun with it, which is always a part of everything we try to do here.”