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Amaker's Star Turn

When you think about it, what Tommy Amaker has done at Harvard is really extraordinary. The school has played basketball for a long time and had one bid prior to Amaker's arrival, and that was in 1946.

Keep in mind that the war ended on August 15 of 1945 and that any players who were in the service and healthy wouldn't be back in school for a while yet and certainly not in time for the 1945-46 season.

Harvard still lost both games they participated in.

Beating New Mexico this year was a huge accomplishment for Amaker's program. It's a sea change for the program.

Moreover, they've been in post-season play for the past four years: the CIT in 2010, the NIT in 2011 and the NCAA in 2012 and 2013.

No small wonder then that Coach K said Amaker should have been named national coach of the year.

His success is particularly striking given that he sort of flamed out at Seton Hall and was fired at Michigan. Not many people thought he could succeed at Harvard. Even Krzyzewski, as we remember, expressed reservations, not about Amaker, but about the magnitude of the challenge.

Amaker's time at Harvard coincides with a truly remarkable achievement for Duke: Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame and Northwestern, all elite schools academically, are each coached by either a Duke grad or, in the case of the Irish, a former long-time Duke assistant in Mike Brey. It's a nice way of saying Duke basketball is deeply respected.