Yale Bulldogs vs Harvard Crimson: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

Where: John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, CT, USA.

When: Sunday, March 17th at 12pm EST.

How (TV/Radio): ESPN2

Yale Bulldogs (Away)

Head Coach: James Jones {Overall: 21-7 .750 W-L% | Conference: 10-4, T-1st in Ivy League}

The Bulldogs enter this game looking to earn just their second NCAA tournament berth since 1962, with the other coming recently in 2016. Reaching that goal will be a tough challenge, as Yale must avenge a regular-season sweep by Harvard.

The Ivy League rivals last met at the Lee Amphitheater on February 23rd, when the Bulldogs fell just short in an 88-86 loss. Junior guards Miye Oni and Alex Copeland each scored 21 points in a heartbreaking loss where Yale managed to shoot 57% from the field.

Yale managed to reach the league championship by defeating Princeton on Saturday, 83-77. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Oni who had 23 points, while Copeland and senior forward, Blake Reynolds, each dropped 16 points. Yale’s performance from the free throw line played a key role in the victory, as the Bulldogs sank all 16 of their shots from the charity stripe.

Harvard Crimson (Home)

Head Coach: Tommy Amaker {Overall: 18-10, .643 W-L% | Conference: 10-4, T-1st in Ivy League}

With a win in this game, Harvard will return to the Big Dance for the sixth time in school history since qualifying four straight seasons from 2012-1015. Although they are listed as the home team for this game, the Crimson will have to win on a hostile court, where they have lost just once since 2011.

In addition to the close February 23rd victory, the Crimson tamed Yale at home on February 1st. Harvard handled the Bulldogs 65-49 at Lavietes Pavilion with juniors Robert Baker and Justin Bassey scoring 13 points apiece. The Crimson won despite leading scorer, Bryce Aiken playing just 16 minutes and scoring five points.

Harvard’s road to the final made its last stop yesterday against Penn when the Crimson beat the Quakers 66-58. Aiken led the scoring effort with 19 points, while freshman guard Noah Kirkwood chipped in with 12 points. The Crimson took a simplified approach on defense by allowing Penn’s A.J. Brodeur to score 25 points while shutting down the other scoring options for the Quakers.

Yale Roster Notes

There are no injuries or roster changes to report for Yale.

Harvard Roster Notes

Junior forward Seth Towns is out for the season with a knee injury and has not played a single game this year.

Head-to-Head: Alex Copeland vs Chris Lewis

Alex Copeland

Shooting Guard | 6-3, 175lb (190cm, 79kg) | Harvard-Westlake School | Los Angeles, CA | Senior

13.3 PPG | 3.2 APG | 2.3 RPG | 1.3 SPG | 0.0 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .509 FG% | .371 3P%

Chris Lewis

Power Forward | 6-9, 235lb (206cm, 106 kg) | Milton HS | Alpharetta, GA | Junior

10.7 PPG | 1.0 APG | 4.8 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 1.8 BPG | 2.2 TOV | .591 FG% | .000 3P%

Two players to focus on in this heated match-up of Ivy League schools will be between the secondary scoring options for each team. Both of these players are known for their scoring efficiency, as they rank first and second in the conference in field goal percentage.

After playing sparingly as a freshman in 2016, Alex Copeland has blossomed into a dependable scoring option behind Miye Oni for Yale. His high field goal percentage for a 6-3 guard is attributed to his calculated shot selection, as he has not attempted more than five threes in a single game this season. This has led to only two games where he has failed to reach double digits in league play.

It’s not often that a school like Harvard lands a top 100 recruit, so having an athlete like Chris Lewis has been a luxury for the Crimson. The bouncy power forward has made a noticeable impact around the rim on both ends of the floor. He leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage as well as blocks per game, making him a key piece for games where long-range shots are not falling.

Yale vs Harvard Predictions and Odds

Most sports books have Yale as 4.5 point favorites on their home floor, while the over/under consensus is currently at 144 points.