Chambers has had a good freshman year, averaging nearly 13 points and 6 assists per game. However, he also turns the ball 3.5 times each contest and while he runs the offense well, teams have shown that they can force Chambers into pushing things and making bad decisions. Chambers only had five points against New Mexico with seven assists and five turnovers. He has struggled against some of the better opponents he has seen this season, as shown by his 2-15 effort against Cal, 7 turnovers against Memphis, and a few others.
While you never know what you are going to get from Lyons, it is hard not to give him the advantage here. He is a senior playing his last game at any moment and he was extremely focused against Belmont. The biggest question here will be what Lyons can do defensively, but Arizona's size inside should help him in that regard because Chambers only takes a few three-pointers each game.
SG: Nick Johnson (6-3, 200, So.) vs. Laurent Rivard (6-5, 215, Jr.)
Rivard controlled the game against New Mexico, but a lot of that had to do with coaching and the decisions made by the Lobos. For some reason, New Mexico kept leaving Rivard and it felt like he made it pay each time en route to 17 points on 5-9 shooting from three. He's pretty easy to figure out. When he is open, he is going to take a three. If not, he is going to pass it. Out of Rivard's 210 shot attempts this season, 193 of them are from behind the arc.
The main reason for putting Johnson on Rivard is that it likely completely takes him out of the game. Harvard's chances of winning decrease dramatically when Rivard is not a factor. As for as what Rivard can do defensively, he's not going to be able to guard Johnson. Johnson is too fast and athletic for Rivard and although he was fine defensively against New Mexico, this is a different kind of animal.
SF: Kevin Parrom (6-6, 220, Sr.) vs. Christian Webster (6-5, 205, Sr.)
Webster has potential, but he is probably the weak link in the starting lineup. He only averages eight points per game on 38 percent shooting. In similar fashion to Rivard, Webster's shot attempts come from behind the arc. He has taken 205 shots this season and 147 of them are from three. In addition, he has as many assists as turnovers and really does not do a ton for Harvard offensively.
He has had some decent games, but it really is not anything that Parrom shouldn't be able to handle. Webster is pretty quick defensively, so it will not be easy for Parrom to score, but he has had success against better players this season.
PF: Solomon Hill (6-7, 220, Sr.) vs. Wesley Saunders (6-5, 210, So.)
Saunders is easily Harvard's best player and most important as well. He averages 16 points per game on 53 percent shooting and adds four rebounds, three assists, and two steals per game as well. Harvard has absolutely no chance of winning this game unless Saunders plays well, but he has done it the majority of games this season. He scored 18 against Cal, Boston College, St. Joe's, and New Mexico.
Saunders is another Harvard player that can be forced into too many turnovers, but he only averages three per game. The good news for Hill is that he is no threat whatsoever to shoot the three. Hill should be able to contain him and Saunders is good enough defensively where Hill shouldn't go nuts either. We see this as being a pretty even matchup, but if Hill outplays Saunders to a high degree, Arizona likely wins going away.
C: Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 255, Fr.) vs. Kenyatta Smith (6-8, 250, So.)
Smith is a big kid, but this is another matchup in which Tarczewski will have a major height advantage. The key here is how Harvard will handle this matchup because it makes little sense to have Smith in there getting beat up by a guy that can guard him. Smith isn't a shooter, so he is not going to make Tarczewski get out on the perimeter like Belmont did. Harvard could choose to basically go to five guards, but the bench really is not there to do that.
Arizona would be smart to get Tarczewski going early and foul trouble for Smith would be a very bad thing for Harvard. This is a complete mismatch and even though Smith is capable of getting a few baskets and grabbing a handful of rebounds, this is a dangerous position for Harvard.
Bench: Harvard really doesn't have a bench and it certainly is not going to go seven or eight deep in this game unless forced to. Steve Moundou-Missi is a 6-foot-7 sophomore that will play close to 20 minutes. He averages eight points and five boards, as a good amount of his points come around the basket. Arizona should do fine guarding him inside and he is not the type of player to stretch the UA defense.
It is possible that Jonah Travis gets more time too and the 6-foot-6 forward is decent, but not somebody that should have a major impact on the game. Jordin Mayes is better than any guard Harvard can offer off the bench and Grant Jerrett and Brandon Ashley are complete nightmares for Harvard. This is probably Arizona's biggest advantage and any kind of foul trouble for Harvard is going to severely hamper its chances of winning.
Coaching: Sean Miller vs. Tommy Amaker
I thought Amaker really out-coached Steve Alford in the opening game. Alford didn't have an answer for what Harvard was running, which was interesting because Harvard wasn't really doing anything special. Sean Miller has never lost to a lower-seeded team in the tournament and seems to get the best out of his players come March. While we think Amaker is a good coach, Miller's past success gives him the advantage here.
Prediction: Although it would be easy to compare Belmont and Harvard, it is actually a bit deeper than that. Harvard plays a much more methodical style and is smaller than Belmont. In addition, it runs an offense that has four guards and one big man, which is something that Arizona has seen this season in Arizona State.
The only way Harvard wins this game is if it is a repeat of the New Mexico contest. In that one, UNM shot 37 percent compared to 52 percent and also did not rebound the ball well. The issue in that game was that the Lobos got absolutely nothing from their guards and it is hard to believe the same will happen to Arizona.
In Harvard's win over Cal, the Golden Bears were the better team, but the Crimson went 10-27 from three and Cal didn't make any from behind the arc.
The formula for beating Harvard is similar to Belmont. Arizona must defend the three, rebound, and be disciplined on defense. Figuring those three things happen, the Wildcats should be moving on to the Sweet 16.
Arizona 76, Harvard 68