A Crimson Valentine's Day

In case you were unaware, the Light Blue men's basketball team hosts Harvard tonight. You may not think of Harvard and Columbia as sporting an athletic rivalry (unlike, say, Harvard and Yale or Penn and Princeton). But the two Ivies collide on the court/field/ice many times a year, and several recent meetings have been noteworthy.

Men's basketball, March 2, 2012: Linsanity

Two years ago, today, New York Knicks rookie Jeremy Lin—inappropriately, for Feb. 14—broke thousands of Canadian hearts with a game-winning three in Toronto. And a couple of weeks later, the Harvard alumnus (along with a certain famous director) decided to swing by Levien Gymnasium as Columbia hosted his alma mater, ranked in the top 25 nationally. It was a packed crowd and the atmosphere was electric—especially after then-Light Blue junior point guard Brian Barbour made a tough layup to tie the game at 62 with 35 seconds left.

The Crimson went on to win the game in overtime, 77-70. But it was an unexpectedly great game from the Lions, who were heavy underdogs.

Football, Nov. 3, 2012: 69-0

Harvard obliterated Columbia in the nadir of Pete Mangurian's first season. (Aside: Kudos to Spencer, former sports editor Myles, and current sports editor Eli for managing to talk about the game for over two minutes.)

Men's basketball, Feb. 10, 2013: The Frankoski Show

Columbia was battling illnesses and injury to its top players. Harvard, a top 25 team the year before, was battling academic issues for two of its top players, only to have freshman Siyani Chambers and sophomore Wesley Saunders emerge as two of the five best players in the Ivy League.

Well, magical things can happen when you have players who can shoot threes. Then-sophomore guard Steve Frankoski scored 27 points on 9-for-13 shooting (5-for-7 from three) to lead Columbia to a Sunday afternoon win, 78-63.

Women's swimming and diving, Nov. 9, 2013: First time

Columbia beat Harvard for the first time in program history last fall. (Still awaiting word on whether the Lions broke a sweat.)

The Light Blue just wrapped up a 7-0 regular season and is the favorite to take the Ancient Eight title at the Ivy Championships next week in Providence, R.I.

Men's fencing, Feb. 9, 2014: Two is better than one

Columbia, Harvard, and Princeton are the annual top three in fencing, so the CU-Crimson match-up at last weekend's Ivy Championships was, unsurprisingly, a pivotal one—both were undefeated at that point.

(Quick fencing primer: Two individuals square off at a time. That's called a bout. First to five touches wins the bout. Win 14 bouts, win the match.)

The Crimson jumped out to a 7-5 lead. Columbia knotted the score at 10. Then Harvard led 13-12 with only two bouts remaining.

Dead silence as Ro and Bergman fight alongside each other against Harvard. Crimson lead 13-12.

— Spec Sports (@CUSpecSports) February 9, 2014

Sophomore épéeist Brian Ro and sophomore foilist Harry Bergman were each tied at 4 in their bouts. They simultaneously took their respective fifth points, securing a dramatic win for Columbia.

The loss was Harvard's only one of the round robin. The Lions and Crimson each finished 4-1 to earn a share of the Ivy title.

Men's basketball, Feb. 14, 2014: ???

Columbia is a long shot to win the Ivy title, but the Lions can still put Harvard's title chances in serious jeopardy with a win.

Let's see what happens at 7 p.m. tonight.


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