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Local News

March 23, 2013

Pride for Harvard's 1st NCAA hoop win

CAMBRIDGE (AP) — Michael Lesley crisscrossed Harvard Yard, looking up from his copy of David Hume’s “The Natural History of Religion” only to avoid the tourists that shuffled through the snow-covered quadrangle.

Did he bother to watch Harvard’s victory over No. 10 New Mexico Thursday night, the first NCAA tournament win in school history?

No.

Will Lesley, a fourth-year doctoral student in religion, tune in when the Crimson play Arizona for a spot in the Sweet 16 today?

“Absolutely. Are you kidding me?” he said yesterday afternoon, a day after the Ivy League champions upset the third-seeded and heavily favored Lobos 68-62 in Salt Lake City.

“I think the attitude was, ‘We’ll see what happens,’” said Lesley, who followed the reaction to the game on Facebook. “To see everyone light up, it is exciting.”

Harvard undergraduates are on spring break this week, so the dorm windows ringing the Yard were absent of the banners that usually herald, say, a big football game against Yale or a particularly avant-garde student production of a Samuel Beckett play.

A day after the Crimson’s unprecedented NCAA win, the centuries-old quad was bustling with guided tours in English, Japanese and Spanish but largely absent of students on their way to class.

That didn’t stop the Harvard community from celebrating the victory.

“They did a good job, man, I’m happy for them,” Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, the biggest basketball star to come out of Harvard, said after the NBA team’s shootaround yesterday morning. “It’s a great win. They made history.”

Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust was in Seoul giving a speech during the game, but a spokesman said she followed the second half closely and called coach Tommy Amaker to congratulate the team and wish them luck in the next round.

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