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Harvard, and Chicago's Alex Nesbitt, Pull Off Another Shocker in NCAAs

By Justin Breen | March 21, 2014 7:53am
 Harvard University junior Alex Nesbitt and the Crimson won their second straight NCAA tournament second-round game after beating Cincinnati on Thursday.
Alex Nesbitt
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HYDE PARK — Alex Nesbitt could get used to this.

For the second straight year, Nesbitt's Harvard basketball team pulled off an upset in the second round of the NCAA tournament as the 12th-seeded Crimson beat fifth-seeded Cincinnati 61-57 in Spokane, Wash., on Thursday. Last year, Harvard, a 14-seed, shocked third-seeded New Mexico for the program's first-ever NCAA tourney triumph.

Harvard (27-4) became the first Ivy League team to win games in back-to-back NCAA tournaments since Princeton in 1983-84.

"The NCAA tournament is no longer unchartered territory for Harvard basketball," Nesbitt, of Hyde Park, said in an email. "The fact that we've been here before makes it easier to focus.

"This year we have an older, more experienced team, so I think this year the main difference is that we are focused," Nesbitt said.

Next up is fourth-seeded Michigan State (27-8), a 93-78 victor over 13th-seeded Delaware, on Saturday.

"We're all pretty excited and looking forward to Saturday," said Nesbitt, who starred at University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

The junior backup point guard has played in 15 of the Crimson's 31 games this season, with 53 total minutes. He did not see court time against the Bearcats.

One of Nesbitt's biggest backers is President Barack Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate who's best friends with Nesbitt's father, Marty.

Nesbitt occasionally will hear from the president before or after games but hadn't received a message from Obama as of Thursday night.

"I know he's been incredibly busy with everything that has been going on," Nesbitt said.