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Coach K on Arizona-Harvard game: Crimson ‘has a chance’


Harvard guard Siyani Chanbers (1) celebrates with guard Christian Webster (15) after beating New Mexico State. Photo by Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The last thing Arizona Wildcats fans want to hear is the opinion of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski about their team’s chances in the NCAA Tournament.

But Coach K has a tangential connection to Arizona’s game against Harvard, so he was asked Friday after his team’s 73-61 win over Albany about his former point guard Tommy Amaker, the head coach at Harvard.

The 14th-seeded Crimson play the sixth-seeded Wildcats on Saturday in Salt Lake City (3:10 p.m. PT, TNT) in a Round of 32 game in the West region.

Arizona fans love to hate Duke, so this will just add fuel.

“I mean, they’ve got a chance,” Krzyzewski said of Harvard.

“If they beat New Mexico, they’ve got a chance to beat anybody. New Mexico had a chance to beat anybody. In this tournament really anybody, especially this year, can win as long as you are not satisfied with the position that you got to. And it seems like a lot of teams are not satisfied with it.”

Three No. 12 seeds have advanced. Harvard pulled off the biggest upset of Thursday’s games, beating New Mexico 68-62. Coach K said he fell asleep at halftime.

“When I woke up they had the lead, and then I stayed up,” he said. “I thought it was an unbelievably well played game by both teams.”

Harvard lost its co-captains last summer when Kyle Case and Brandyn Curry withdrew from the university amid a larger academic cheating scandal.

“Tommy is like a son to me and I’m ecstatic for him, really. He’s done that with losing his two best players this year,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m not going to want to schedule them next year. They’ve got everybody back and those two guys.”

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