Kenyatta Smith, Harvard basketball win first-ever NCAA tourney basketball game

Basketball: Former Flintridge Prep star plays vital role in Crimson's upset of New Mexico on Friday night.

March 21, 2013|By Charles Rich,
  • ARCHIVE PHOTO: Kenyatta Smith, a Flintridge Prep graduate, helped the Harvard basketball team win its first NCAA Tournament game with a huge upset win over third-seeded New Mexico, 68-62.
ARCHIVE PHOTO: Kenyatta Smith, a Flintridge Prep graduate,… (Roger Wilson/Staff…)

After helping the Flintridge Prep boys' basketball team make history, Kenyatta Smith accomplished it at the collegiate level Thursday night.

Smith, a former All-Area Boys' Basketball Player of the Year who helped lead the Rebels to a CIF Southern Section Division V-AA title in 2011, registered 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks to help 14th-seeded Harvard to a 68-62 upset victory against third-seeded New Mexico in an NCAA West Regional second-round game in Salt Lake City.

Harvard (20-9) won its first NCAA Tournament game in its history will now meet sixth-seeded Arizona in a third-round game Saturday. Harvard entered the postseason having won the Ivy League championship.

Smith made a pair of free throws to give Harvard a 61-55 lead with 3:03 remaining in the contest. He fouled out with 48 seconds left and Harvard holding on to a 64-58 advantage.

The Crimson became the first Ivy League program to win a tournament game since Cornell accomplished the feat in 2010, when it reached the regional semifinals.


New Mexico finished 29-6 after winning the Mountain West Conference crown. The Lobos were considered a favorite to win the NCAA championship this year.

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