NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Siyani Chambers scored 17 points and Harvard became the first team to clinch a berth in this years NCAA tournament with a 70-58 win over arch-rival Yale on Friday night to capture the Ivy League title. Steve Moundou-Missi added 16 points and Brandyn Curry chipped in with 14 for Harvard (25-4, 12-1), which won its seventh straight. Justin Sears had 28 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulldogs (15-12, 9-4). Harvard, which had already secured at least a share of the Ivy title for the fourth straight year, will make its third straight trip to the NCAA tournament, after a drought that dated back to 1946. The Crimson never trailed. They opened the game on a 16-2 run and led by as many as 18 in the second half. Yale cut that to 59-51 on Brandon Sharrods free throw with 3 1/2 minutes left after drawing Moundou-Missis fifth foul. But Chambers answered with a 3-pointer on the other end. Another 3 by Laurent Rivard pushed the lead back to 12 at 65-53 and Yale was forced to foul. Harvard shot 57 per cent from the floor, while holding Yale to 36 per cent. The Bulldogs missed all 14 of their attempts from 3-point range. Harvard scored the games first nine points and held Yale without a field goal for better than four minutes. A layup from Sears broke the drought, but only interrupted the early Harvard run. Sears, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds in Yales upset of Harvard last month, kept the Bulldogs within striking distance, scoring 13 first-half points. His dunk on a wrap-around feed from Brandon Sherrod cut the deficit to 27-19. But back-to-back 3s from Brandyn Curry gave the Crimson a 36-23 lead at the half. The Crimson stretched the lead to 48-31 early in the second half on a dunk by Wesley Saunders, who finished with nine points. It was 53-35 after a free throw by Moundou-Missi with just over nine minutes left. The Crimsons 12 conference wins tie the program record it set in 2011 and 2012. Harvard had outscored Ivy League opponents by more than 16 points a game. Their only conference loss came to Yale, 74-67, in Cambridge on Feb. 8. They are hoping to at least match last years NCAA tournament performance, where they upset third-seeded New Mexico in the first round. Yale came into the game still clinging to its own title hopes. The Bulldogs would have had to sweep Harvard and Dartmouth this weekend, and also needed Harvard to lose Saturday at Brown. Even that would only have forced a one-game playoff. Yale still leads the all-time series 116-74, but hasnt had even a share of the conference title since 2002. The loss leaves Yale coach James Jones one win shy of the school record. He is 205-220 in his 15 seasons in New Haven. Curry and Kyle Casey missed last season after withdrawing from school amid a cheating scandal that involved more than 100 students. Casey greeted chants of "cheater" directed at him by saluting the Yale student section. The smaller Harvard student section got the final laugh, chanting "This is our House" as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Jimmy Howard Jersey
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. Leave it to Matt Niskanen, the newly proclaimed Eddie Haskell of the Washington Capitals.PHOENIX - Go ahead, pile on the Patriots.Declare the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era over after they split their first four games this season. Call them cheaters when their footballs lose too much air. Predict the Legion of Boom will bring the hammer down on Rob Gronkowski.Then jump on the New England bandwagon.Watch one of the greatest quarterbacks ever lower the pressure on himself with handoffs to big LeGarrette Blount and quick passes to small receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. See the second-best defence in the Super Bowl silence Marshawn Lynchs running and put the burden on Russell Wilson to move the Seattle Seahawks with his arm and legs.Finally, concede that the Lombardi Trophy raised by New England owner Robert Kraft on Sunday night is well deserved, no matter how much fans of 31 other teams dislike the leader with the hoodie and the scowl — and his fourth Super Bowl championship as coach of the Patriots.No matter what goes on around this game or outside this locker room, whatever it may be, you have to be ready to play, defensive tackle Vince Wifork said. We cant let any distraction alter our course of what we want to be and how we want to do it.They want to be champions. How can they do it against the NFLs best defence?Start with Brady getting rid of the ball fast to a runner or receiver. Or let Gronkowski occupy two defenders after lining up wide, in the slot or beside a tackle. Or toss in some trickery — maybe a double reverse or even a flea-flicker.Theres no end to Belichicks football imagination.What would he like to establish early?What Id like to establish is the lead, he said Friday, flashing a rare grin he breaks out in the Super Bowl spotlight as if trying to show theres more to him than an obsession with Xs and Os and victories.The Patriots have scored first in just four of their last eight games. But theyve won six of them, with one of the losses coming in a meaningless regular-season finale.Never was their comeback ability more critical than when they overcame two 14-point deficits to beat the Baltimore Ravens 35-31 in the divisional playoffs.Doing that against Seattle will be a tougher challenge.The Seahawks are the first team to lead the NFL in points and yards allowed for two straight years since Chicago in 1985, when the Bears pummeled the Patriots 46-10 in the Super Bowl, and 1986. And in their last eight games, the Seahawks have allowed just seven points in the fourth quarter.Of course, the brainy Belichick probably saved some never-before-seen wrinkles — some might call them deceptions — to catch Richard Sherman and company off guard.ddddddddddddHe knows the game in and out. Hes very detailed and he wants perfection, said cornerback Darrelle Revis, a major reason for the Patriots improved defence in his first season with them. Hes a winner.Belichick has the perfect partner in Brady — a two-time Super Bowl MVP who holds numerous post-season passing records and brings great intensity and intelligence.He has the fight, the will and the determination to go out there and destroy anybody whos in his way, Revis said.Sounds a bit like Lynch. But the Patriots defence has been successful in neutralizing an opponents most dangerous player.They did it this season with A.J. Green of Cincinnati, Peyton Manning of Denver, Andrew Luck of Indianapolis (twice), Calvin Johnson of Detroit and Philip Rivers of San Diego.None, however, is a running back. And Lynch rushed for the fourth-most yards in the NFL and 13 touchdowns.But New England had the ninth-best run defence and allowed only six rushing touchdowns. So they have the players and the strategy to control Lynch.Green Bay did a really good job of that in the NFC Championship in the first quarter or two, Patriots linebacker Donta Hightower said. They really slowed him down. They forced Seattle to throw the ball a lot earlier, more than they wanted to.The Packers led 19-7 with just over two minutes left after Wilson had thrown four interceptions. But touchdown runs by Wilson and Lynch gave the Seahawks the lead before Wilson capped the incredible comeback with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse for a 28-22 overtime win.The Seahawks primary goal is to put the ball in their playmakers hands, Wilfork said. When you have Russell Wilson and Marshawn in the backfield together, you have to make sure you account for both of them.The Patriots will. Theyre disciplined, quick and physical on defence. Theyll chase Wilson down, gang tackle Lynch and use a secondary led by cornerbacks Revis and Brandon Browner, a Seahawk last season, to blanket mediocre receivers.New England was the NFLs fourth highest scoring team, averaging 29 points per game. It wont need that many to deny Seattle a second straight title and win the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years.PREDICTION: Patriots 24, Seahawks 21.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
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