Harvard shocks the world

Harvard shocks the world
March 22, 2013, 11:15 am
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The NCAA/Boston Sports History bracket went 13-3 on Day One of the tournament, and I’d say that’s a strong to very strong performance.
 
That’s your average Patriots regular season.
 
Recapping quickly, the only games that went wrong were Syracuse/Montana (damn you, Tyree), Butler/Bucknell (Dan Johnson strikes again) and Colorado State/Missouri (that’ll be the last time I ever bet against Milt Palacio), so . . . you know what that means?
 
That’s right, we nailed the upset of the day. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Harvard Crimson over JR Giddens’ New Mexico Lobos. And with Harvard’s sights now set on sixth-seeded Arizona and an unlikely berth in the Sweet 16, here’s my question: Will Boston catch Crimson Fever?
 
After all, as you’re well aware, the relationship between Harvard and the city of Boston is generally about as tight as Rajon Rondo’s man-to-man defense. The school may only reside on the other side of the Charles, but the emotional disconnect runs deeper than the Atlantic. And it’s mutual, too. Harvard folks lose about as much sleep over not being accepted by blue collar Boston as Boston does over not being able to claim one of the world’s most prestigious institutions as its own.
 
And in terms of this specific situation, it doesn’t help that Boston is about as interested in college sports as it is in electing a Mayor who can speak English. Or that last night’s Harvard upset started at 10:10 pm and ended after 12 am, leaving it off the radar of a city which typically starts it’s workday around 5 am.
 
But at the same time, everyone loves a good sports story. Especially Boston. And despite all the reasons that Harvard doesn’t fit the mold of a stereotypical underdog (mostly, that Crimson grads are the perennially favorites in so many other aspects of life), this has the potential to be a really great story. Or, even greater than it already is.
 
I don’t care that there’s not much of a local feel to the team. (Harvard suits up more players from Canada than they do players from Massachusetts, and the two Mass kids appeared in a combined six games this year.) I don’t care that Tommy Amaker has re-built the program with the help of admissions turning a blind eye to Harvard’s typically insane academic standards (welcome to college basketball!).
 
All I know is that when No. 14 seed upsets a No. 3, I’m jumping on the bandwagon, and the fact that this No. 14 seed happens to be based less than five miles from my front door only sweetens the pot. Even if those five miles typically feels more like 500.
 
Whether or not I’m in the majority remains to be seen, but if Fitzpatrick and Co. can knock off Bruschi, Gronkowski and the Wildcats tomorrow in Salt Lake City, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Crimson Fever part the Charles, and bring Harvard and Boston closer than ever.
 
And if they lose? I don't imagine it will be a struggle to find reasons not to feel so bad, and revert back to the same emotional distance that both sides are already more than comfortable with.