The 2013 NCAA Tournament is off and running, and there were some surprising scores from the early action on Thursday.
The second round is always crazy. Before this year's tourney, a No. 13 seed had beaten a fourth-seeded team five years in a row.
Will we see the trend continue in 2013? Time will tell.
Here are the results for the early games on Thursday.
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Valparaiso
The Spartans began this contest by pulling out to a seemingly insurmountable halftime lead of 35-18, thanks to a 26-5 run at one point.
Senior forward Derrick Nix dominated the action, scoring 23 points and hauling in 15 rebounds to lead the Spartans. Guard Keith Appling pitched in with 15 points of his own, including nine points off of a trio of three-pointers.
The Crusaders stormed back in the second half, outscoring the Spartans 38-30, but Michigan State's early lead proved too much to overcome.
Final Score: Michigan State won 65-54
No. 6 Butler vs. No. 11 Bucknell
Butler controlled the action throughout this game—one that featured two distinctly different halves.
The first half was all about defense, as both teams combined to score 35 points. Then in the second half, the two teams opened up an offensive barrage that totaled 89 total points.
Bucknell's Joe Williams did his part, scoring 20 points, but Butler's balanced offensive attack was too much for the Bison to overcome.
Four Bulldogs scored in double digits, led by senior guard Rotnei Clarke, who scored 17 points.
Final Score: Butler won 68-56
NO. 8 Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Wichita State
The Shockers pulled off a shocker of a victory against Pittsburgh on Thursday, blowing the Panthers out in the second half with an offensive outpouring of 47 points.
Making matters worse for the Panthers, Wichita State was relentless on defense, forcing Pittsburgh into 15 turnovers and just 35 percent shooting.
Senior guard Malcolm Armstead led the Shockers with 22 points, and junior guard Cleanthony Early added another 21.
Final Score: Wichita State won 73-55
No. 4 Saint Louis vs. No. 13 New Mexico State
The outcome of this contest was never in doubt. The Billikens jumped out to a 29-16 lead at the half, and the Aggies were unable to spark a comeback after halftime.
Senior forward Bandja Sy was the only player from New Mexico State who found his shooting touch, and he scored 17 points to lead the Aggies in defeat.
Junior forward Dwayne Evans was dominant in the paint for Saint Louis, scoring 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting.
Final Score: Saint Louis won 64-44
No. 6 Memphis vs. No. 11 St. Mary's
The Tigers jumped out to a 32-22 halftime lead, but the Gaels put up a tremendous fight in the second half and turned this contest into a nail-biter.
If not for a last-second air ball by Matthew Dellavedova, Memphis would have faced an early-round exit. Dellavedova ended up scoring 10 points and dishing out seven assists, but his six turnovers were ultimately too damning to overcome.
Three Tigers scored in double figures, led by junior guard Joe Jackson, who scored 14 points, hauled in six boards and dished out seven assists.
Final Score: Memphis won 54-52
No. 3 Marquette vs. No. 14 Davidson
Davidson had the nation's longest winning streak heading into the tournament, and the Wildcats almost pulled off victory No. 18 against Marquette.
Davidson led by a two-point margin at halftime and pulled away by as much as nine points in the second half, thanks to a 20-point effort by senior forward Jake Cohen.
Unfortunately, the lead would not hold.
Vander Blue got off the game-winning shot with one second left on the clock to give his team a one-point lead, and the Golden Eagles escaped with a victory.
Final Score: Marquette won 59-58
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