Crimson staff writer
Alexander K. Bell
Few people know Mufi Hannemann ‘76 for his exploits as a basketball player. As an alum of the Harvard men’s basketball team, Hannemann has become a distinguished leader in both business and politics, working in three presidential administrations (Carter, Clinton, and Bush), serving as the Mayor of Honolulu for six years, and most recently leading the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, Hawaii’s largest private tourism organization, as President and CEO, his second stint holding that post.
The wounds are still fresh for Harvard Men’s Basketball, who were barred from playing in the Ivy Madness tournament on home court last season after back-to-back losses against Princeton one year ago today. The second of those two games was a one-point 74-73 victory for the Tigers, who went on to lose to Yale in the Ivy Madness final.
Harvard men’s basketball kept its Ivy Madness tournament hopes alive this weekend. After suffering four consecutive losses, the Crimson (14-12, 5-7 Ivy) needed a pair of wins against already playoff-eliminated Columbia (7-20, 2-10 Ivy) and fourth-place Cornell (16-9, 6-6 Ivy) to remain in contention for the postseason.
Crimson fans in Lavietes Pavilion likely couldn’t help but feel a familiar sense of deja vu on Saturday as Harvard men’s basketball once again slipped into an early deficit, this time in a faceoff against Penn. In a pattern that has been typical of its past three games, the Crimson fell behind early. A reinvigorated second-half-rally cut led to a single three-point possession, but Harvard was unable to complete the comeback and fell behind again late to seal a fourth-consecutive loss.
A few short weeks ago, Harvard men’s basketball was 3-3 in the Ivy League and fresh off of scoring a season-high 95 points in a scintillating 95-89 home victory over Cornell. After Saturday’s 68-65 loss to Brown, Harvard now sits seventh in the Ivy League and has lost three games in a row. Despite nearly completing several miraculous comebacks, the Crimson has nothing to show for its efforts and is left searching for answers.
Harvard men’s basketball (12-8, 3-3 Ivy) knows the difference a single possession can make. The start of the 2022-23 Ivy League season has demonstrated that the margins are as fine as ever — four of the six games the Crimson has played against teams in the Ivy have been decided in the dying moments of the second half.
The victory over Tufts lets Harvard enter a 10-day finals period break on a high after dropping a close game by just one possession to UMass, 68-71.
After fighting back from a 13-point second half deficit, Harvard entered the final two minutes of Sunday night’s game against Fordham trailing by just two points. The Crimson, hoping to complete an impressive comeback and take the lead for the first time since midway through the first-half, was ultimately disappointed as the Rams made two quick two-point jump shots and 6 consecutive free throws to secure a 68-60 victory.
On Sunday afternoon, Harvard (4-1) finally had the opportunity to take the court at Lavietes Pavilion again. The Crimson took full advantage of that chance, dominating inside the paint by making 70.7% (29-of-41) of its two-point field goals and opening the 2022-23 home campaign with a convincing 69-59 win against Siena College (2-2).
As the clock hit zero and the buzzer lit up, Coleman’s shot came off the backboard, hit the rim and fell harmlessly wide, sending fans in the Matthews Arena into silence and settling a tight contest in favor of the Crimson.