The Harvard Crimson (15-11, 10-1 Ivy) will travel to Palestra to meet the Penn Quakers (20-7, 10-1 Ivy) in their home finale. Action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Harvard Crimson at Penn Quakers Free Preview
In the Crimson’s last outing, they were victorious over the Princeton Tigers, 72-66. Justin Bassey led Harvard in scoring with 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting. The Crimson held the Tigers to an offensive rebounding percentage of 9.4 (below their season average of 23.9). The Tigers had a free throw rate of 0.173 (below the 0.261 mark opponents have averaged against Harvard this season).
The Quakers come in on a high note after blowing out the Dartmouth Big Green in their last matchup, 74-46. Penn rallied around Caleb Wood, who was the teams leading scorer with 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting. The Quakers held the Big Green to an offensive rebounding percentage of 10.0 (below their season average of 25.2) and an effective field goal percentage of 0.339 (below their season average of 0.523).
Points could be at a premium in this showdown between a pair of the NCAA’s top defenses. Penn currently ranks 11th in defensive efficiency (94.0) and Harvard is 47th (98.0). Additionally, the Crimson, who rank 281st in offensive rebounding percentage (25.9 percent), could struggle to get second chance points against the Quakers, who rank ninth in defensive rebounding percentage (77.6 percent).
In terms of the O/U total, these teams are complete opposites. Harvard games have finished under 66.7 percent of the time, while games involving Penn have finished over 61.9 percent of the time. The Quakers hold the sizable advantage straight up (SU) (20-7 vs. 15-11), but the Crimson have been superior against the spread (ATS) (11-9-1 vs. 9-12).
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined for 143 points in that game, which was well over the projected point total of 127.5. The Crimson won 76-67, covering as 2-point favorites. The Crimson dominated every facet of the game. They had a solid free throw rate of 0.293 and an extraordinarily low turnover percentage of 8.2. The Quakers had marks of 0.119 and 14.9, respectively, for those same stats. Chris Lewis scored a game-high 25 points.
Harvard Crimson at Penn Quakers ATS Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – Harvard, ATS Winner – Harvard, O/U – Under
- The Quakers rank 41st in three pointers attempted per game (25.9) while the Crimson rank 119th (22.8).
- Harvard ranks 19th in blocks allowed per game (2.4) while Penn ranks 54th (2.9).
- Harvard is 8-7 ATS on the road, while Penn is 3-6 ATS at home.
- The total has gone over in 4 of the Quakers’ 9 home games, while 9 of the Crimson’s 15 road games have gone under.
- Penn ranks 50th in assists per game (15.6) while Harvard ranks 208th (12.5).
- The Quakers rank 43rd in rebounds per game (38.6) while the Crimson rank 190th (34.5).
- Penn ranks 35th in steals allowed per game (5.2) while Harvard ranks 160th (6.8).
- Penn is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Harvard is 3-2 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs.
- The Quakers average margin of victory in their last five games has been 8.4, up from 7.9 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Crimson have scored an average of 68.6 points per game (2.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 58.2 points per game (7.3 below their season average).