STANFORD — Whether it's in a bar, a job interview, or just walking down the street, the reaction is similar for members of the 1998 Harvard women's basketball team. Just the mention of being a former Crimson basketball player inevitably leads to this question: "Were you on that team?"
As many fans filling out their tournament brackets this week know, a No. 16 seed just doesn't have much of a chance at beating a No. 1.
That matchup has happened 148 times in either the men's or women's tournament, and the 1998 Harvard team remains the only one to pull that most improbable feat, beating Stanford 71-67 at Maples Pavilion in a game that still resonates for members of both teams 10 years later.
"It's almost comical how often it comes up given that it was 10 years ago," said Suzie Miller, who hit the shot that put the Crimson up for good with less than 2 minutes left in the game. "I interviewed at Stanford for a job in emergency medicine a few years ago. Out of nowhere, in one of my interviews someone said, 'Do you really think we'll accept you after what you did to Stanford in 1998?' I thought this is crazy. This is emergency medicine. Of course he was joking and they accepted me."
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The ribbing continued whenever Miller wore a Harvard women's basketball T-shirt during pickup games during her time at Stanford.
Teammate Alison Seanor says the game comes up whenever she mentions she played at Harvard, even in a New York City bar.
Seanor and Miller both joke that some of their teammates from earlier years are prone to fibbing and saying they too were on that famous team.
The memories from that game are still vivid for the players, from the chants on the bench, the flashcards coach Kathy Delaney-Smith showed to call out plays because the gym was so loud, to the feeling they had looking up at the final score as they celebrated.
That's not quite the case on the other side.
"I don't even remember it," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I never watched it. I never thought about it. I really kind of blanked it out. Quite a defense mechanism."
The difference between the teams was much smaller than usual for a No. 1 and a 16 seed. Stanford lost two key players to injuries leading up to the game, while Harvard came in with a 22-4 record, two years of tournament experience and the nation's leading scorer in Allison Feaster.
Stanford has not been a No. 1 seed since then and haven't been back to the Final Four either, losing two other tournament games on their home floor, including last year to Florida State.
The sting from the loss can't escape former Stanford guard Milena Flores, who has spent the past few years as an assistant coach in the Ivy League at Yale and now Princeton.
"I always think about whenever we go to their home gym because it has a display case honoring the game. It's kind of hard to ignore it," she said. "With as many games as there are, the odds are it would happen again. I wish it would. Not for that No. 1 seed but for me in a selfish way."
Men's NCAA Tournament
St. MARY'S 69, COPPIN STATE 60, at Dayton, Ohio — Jeremy Goode scored 21 points and the Moutaineers (19-14) got their first NCAA Tournament victory, beating the Eagles, who were the first team to qualify for the tournament with 20 losses.
TIP-INS — University of San Diego coach Bill Grier has agreed to a contract extension after leading the Toreros to the NCAA Tournament in his first season. Terms of the extension weren't announced. Sonny Weems, Arkansas' leading scorer, hurt his knee at practice but is not expected to miss the Razorbacks' first-round game against Indiana.