SALT LAKE CITY — This time, there was no history to be made.
The Harvard men’s basketball team, which recorded the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history Thursday by upsetting third-seeded New Mexico, fell woefully short of a repeat performance Saturday in a 74-51 loss to sixth-seeded Arizona in the third round of the West Regional before an EnergySolutions Arena crowd of 16,050.
The 14th-seeded Crimson (20-10) were reduced to a March Madness footnote after running into a Pac-12 Conference opponent that was bigger, stronger, and more athletic than the Mountain West Conference champion Harvard sent home in the second round.
“Disappointing for us that we didn’t play better,’’ said coach Tommy Amaker, whose team earned its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament (and third in school history) after capturing the Ivy League title in the final weekend of the regular season. “I think we’ve showed that we have been a better team than we displayed this afternoon. But nonetheless, we have had a wonderful season, very proud of our team and our program.’’
Harvard shot lights out in its 68-62 victory over the Lobos — 52 percent from the field, 44 percent from 3-point range, and 80 percent from the foul line. But the Crimson were unable to match those numbers against Arizona, which never looked back after Harvard missed its first 13 shots.
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