Sometimes, it's rough being the smartest guy in the room. Harvard freshman point guard Siyani Chambers knows. He'll be heading back to Harvard...
SALT LAKE CITY — Sometimes, it’s rough being the smartest guy in the room.
Harvard freshman point guard Siyani Chambers knows.
He’ll be heading back to Harvard missing part of his front tooth — all part of a wicked basketball lesson provided by Arizona in a 74-51 crushing of the Crimson on Saturday in the NCAA tournament.
Mark Lyons matched a career high with 27 points to lead the sixth-seeded Wildcats (27-7).
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“The history of Arizona speaks for itself,” coach Sean Miller said. “This time of year, we not only represent ourselves, but all the great players and teams of the past.”
This will be Arizona’s 15th appearance in the Sweet 16. The Wildcats are heading to Los Angeles for a West Regional matchup against Sunday’s winner between Ohio State and Iowa State.
And Harvard — well, it’s back to class, though Chambers may want to stop by the dentist’s office first.
“We got the rebound, we were on a fast break, I went in the air, came down, and before I knew it, my tooth was out,” he said, in describing the inadvertent elbow he took early in the second half from Arizona guard Kevin Parrom.
Luckily, teammate Christian Webster was on the ball. He walked over to retrieve the tooth fragment and hand it back to its owner.
But there wasn’t much to salvage by that point.
Harvard (20-10) missed its first 13 shots and 20 of its first 22 while falling behind 30-9. The Ivy League champs, who shot 52 percent in their upset win over New Mexico on Thursday, made only 27 percent in this one.
“We had some open opportunities early, and once we missed some, we kind of got our heads down and they took advantage of it,” coach Tommy Amaker said.
Laurent Rivard, the Canadian guard who made five three-pointers in the upset Thursday, shot 1 for 6 this time. He missed two early, then shot two air balls in the second half and finished with three points.
“They played me different than New Mexico did,” Rivard said. “Stayed on me, forced us to finish inside. That changed the game.”
Indeed, this was nothing like Thursday, when the upset over a physically imposing New Mexico team riled up the Harvard twitterrati and sparked dreams of nets somehow being cut down with a slide rule.
Yes, Amaker’s program could be redefining what’s possible in the Ivy League.
But Arizona, a team that hasn’t lost to an opponent outside of the Pac-12 this season, had too much height, too much speed, too much talent to be slowed by Harvard.
“They pounced on us from the beginning,” Webster said. “I think it took us by surprise how hard they played, how physical they were, their length and size and speed. From there, it was just an uphill battle.”