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He was inserted into the starting lineup and the Knicks won their next six games as well, giving rise to the Linsanity phenomenon that was fueled by the odd mix of Harvard credentials, Taiwanese-American heritage, an unheralded pedigree and a downtrodden team in the biggest media market in the country.

“This is an amazing situation that we have, and it’s just a wonderful story, and he personifies in many ways what we look for when we’re looking for applicants,” said Bill Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid. “Sometimes Harvard and institutions like it can be stereotyped a bit as perhaps looking at only academic credentials. I think there’s a new Harvard that’s emerged over the past five or 10 years, one many people in the United States and many people around the world don’t know about.

Jeremy Lin, maybe, has enabled us to make a big jump in something that might have taken us five or 10 years in recruiting (talking) about how this place has changed.”

Applications for the class of 2016 were already in by the time of Lin’s emergence, and when Harvard clinched its first outright Ivy League title Fitzsimmons and the rest of the admissions committee were huddling to winnow the 34,285 applicants down to about 2,000 acceptance letters for their goal of 1,662 incoming freshmen.

But even if it’s too late to see a Lin Effect in applications this year, Fitzsimmons hopes that in the future it will help Harvard spread the word that it is interested in more than just SAT scores and grades.

“This story has just broken down a whole set of stereotypes because he has been able to personify so much of what we try to do,” Fitzsimmons said, noting that Lin is also a talented musician. “It isn’t really about the number of applications we get next year or the year after; it’s about the quality. He has helped us make the case that we are looking for many different kinds of talents.”

Speaking on the telephone between meetings to decide who gets into the class of 2016, Fitzsimmons said he hoped Lin’s prominence would help Harvard attract students who might not otherwise have applied: those who thought they couldn’t afford it, singers whose grades might not match their musical skills and, yes, athletes. The school has also spent most of the last decade loosening financial aid, so that families with less than $65,000 in earnings pay nothing in tuition.

Harvard is changing. It’s much more socioeconomically diverse than it was even 10 years ago. It’s open to people all over the country and all over the world,” he said. “Right now, across the United States, high school juniors are reading about this and might be more likely to consider Harvard. So the effect that he could have over the next generation or two could be quite profound.”

The excitement over Lin’s emergence has cooled in New York. The Knicks lost six games in a row and coach Mike D’Antoni stepped down on Wednesday amid reports that star Carmelo Anthony wanted to be traded.

But Linsanity is still thriving back at Harvard. And when the Crimson open the NCAA tournament against Vanderbilt in Albuquerque, N.M., they’ll be watching back in Cambridge in the sports bars, the dorm rooms and the university offices.

“What we like to think about Harvard is it’s a pathway to greatness, a pathway to anything that your heart desires. And when you show passion and commitment and courage _ and this kid has shown that and then some _ why not?” Amaker said. “Jeremy Lin has done that in so many ways, and now he’s showing that in that he can be a professional basketball player from Harvard.”