2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

B/R Expert Predictions and Full Results from NCAA Tournament Round of 64

Bleacher Report College Basketball StaffFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2014

B/R Expert Predictions and Full Results from NCAA Tournament Round of 64

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    We saw four overtimes, three big upsets and a buzzer-beater on Thursday.

    Now we're well into Friday where the madness has continued in what so far has been the Year of the Upset.

    Unheralded Mercer shocked No. 3 seeded Duke in the first of two of the day's big upsets. No. 10 Stanford beating No. 7 New Mexico was the other.

    Keep it tuned here all day as we post all the results from each second-round game.

    In advance of each game, we've got the tip time and channel, some statistical analysis and the predictions from your three favorite B/R experts: C.J. Moore, Jason King and Kerry Miller. Give them all a follow on Twitter for good nuggets and insights during the tournament.

    Throughout the day and into the night, these predictions will be replaced by results and recaps as games go final.

    The following slides are listed in chronological order according to tip time. Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of ESPN.com or KenPom.com (subscription required).

     

    All preview analysis made by Kerry Miller. 

Mercer 78, Duke 71

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    Just call it the Atlantic Sun magic.

    Last year it belonged to Florida Gulf Coast, and this year, it's in the hands of the Mercer Bears. The 14th-seeded team outplayed Duke throughout the game and saved its best basketball in the final minutes to eliminate the heavily favored Blue Devils from the tournament.

    Duke led 63-58 with slightly less than five minutes to go because the Devils hit their three-point shots and dominated second-chance points. But Mercer played with poise and went on an 11-0 run to seize control of the game.

    The Blue Devils had no answers for Mercer’s Daniel Coursey, who made 7-of-12 shots from the field and scored 17 points.

     

    Top Performers

    In addition to Coursey, Jakob Gollon was a consistent force throughout the game and led the Bears with 20 points. He made 5-of-9 shots from the floor and all nine of his free throw attempts.

     

    X-Factor

    Guard Langston Hall faced significant pressure from the bigger and more athletic Blue Devils throughout the game, but he more than held his own. Hall dished out five assists and also added 13 points.

     

    Next Round

    Mercer advances to the round of 32 to play Tennessee.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Baylor 74, Nebraska 60

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Baylor was expecting a strong challenge from Nebraska in their Round of 64 game, but the Big Ten representative never appeared comfortable and the Bears ran away for an easy victory.

    The sixth-seeded Bears used a stifling defense to keep the Cornhuskers from finding their rhythm in the first half, and Baylor pulled away in the second half.

    The combination of forward Cory Jefferson and center Isaiah Austin were simply too much for the Cornhuskers, as they were able to establish their presence and come up with key shots and rebounds whenever it looked like Nebraska might be inclined to make it a game.

     

    Top Performers

    Jefferson had 16 points and six rebounds while Austin had 13 points and seven rebounds. Rico Gathers came off the bench and also had a big game with 11 points and six rebounds.

     

    X-Factor

    Forward Royce O’Neale is not much of a scorer, but he is strong and tough. He scored just three points, but he pulled down nine rebounds and was physical throughout the game.

     

    Next Round

    Baylor advances to the round of 32 to play third-seeded Creighton.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Stanford 58, New Mexico 53

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    It wasn’t necessarily a pretty win for Stanford, but head coach Johnny Dawkins will take it. The Cardinal played staunch defense down the stretch and picked up a 58-53 victory over a game but poor-shooting New Mexico team (19-of-52 from the field).

    Unheralded Robbie Lemons helped clinch the game for the Cardinal. With his team leading 54-52 with 23.2 seconds left in the game, Lemons went to the free-throw line in a one-and-one situation. Lemons had taken just 12 free throws during the season, but he made both of his attempts to extend the lead to four points.

    Chasson Randle had a monster game for Stanford, leading the way with 23 points and five rebounds.

     

    Top Performers

    In addition to Randle, Stanford got a solid contribution from guard-forward Anthony Brown, who scored 10 points and led the Cardinal with seven rebounds. Center Stefan Nastic also asserted himself with 10 points and five rebounds.

     

    X-Factor

    In addition to Lemons’ clutch performance from the free-throw line, John Gage was the only other Stanford player to come off the bench and score. He made a three-point shot, but more importantly, he brought down six rebounds to help the Cardinal advance in the tournament.

     

    Next Round

    Stanford moves on to the round of 32 to play second-seeded Kansas.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Arizona 68, Weber State 59

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    Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

    The Arizona Wildcats used their depth and athleticism to put away a game Weber State team and advance with a 68-59 victory.

    Arizona was simply too balanced and powerful for Weber State, as the Pac-12 representatives had four players reach double figures and Weber State simply could not match that kind of firepower. Davion Perry tried to keep his team in the game and scored 24 points, but he was just 5-of-20 from the field, and that lack of accuracy hurt Weber State.

    Arizona was dominant defensively, blocking 12 Weber State shots.

     

    Top Performers

    Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon led the way for Arizona with 18 and 16 points respectively. Gordon added a team-high eight rebounds and three assists. Center Kaleb Tarczewski had a huge game with 10 points, five blocked shots and four rebounds for Arizona.

     

    X-Factor

    Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was huge off the bench for Arizona. He scored 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field, and he also had four rebounds in 23 minutes of action.

     

    Next Round

    Arizona advances to the round of 32 and will play eighth-seeded Gonzaga.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Tennessee 86, Massachusetts 67

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    After Tennessee survived its first-round game against Iowa with an overtime victory, it seemed the Volunteers would not have much left for the rest of the tournament.

    As it turned out, Tennessee was just getting warmed up. The Vols dominated the UMass Minutemen, and put them away with an 86-67 victory.

    The blowout was keyed by a superb start, as the Vols led 41-22 at halftime. Nobody was better than Jarnell Stokes, as the forward had 26 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added 14 rebounds.

     

    Top Performers

    Jordan McRae had an explosive scoring day, and he put 21 points on the board. Jeronne Maymon was too much for the Minutemen to handle. He contributing 11 points while pulling down 11 rebounds.

     

    X-Factor

    The Minutemen barely seemed to show up for this game. Their calling card throughout the season has been their athleticism and their ability to put big offensive numbers on the board. That athleticism was not on display and it allowed Tennessee to run out to a big lead that was never challenged.

     

    Next Round

    Tennessee advances on to the round of 32 and will play No. 14 seed Mercer, after the Bears dispatched No. 3 seed Duke earlier in the day.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Creighton 76, Louisiana-Lafayette 66

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Creighton found itself in a street fight with Louisiana-Lafayette in its round of 64 game, but the Bluejays proved too powerful and outlasted the Ragin’ Cajuns 76-66.

    Louisiana-Lafayette had a 50-46 lead with 12:17 remaining, but Creighton went on a 10-0 run to take the lead. The game remained close until the final four minutes, when the Bluejays went on an 11-5 spurt to stretch the final margin to double digits.

    Creighton is very tough to beat in all circumstances because of the presence of leading scorer Doug McDermott, and he was once again on top of his game. McDermott scored 30 points on 13-of-23 shooting, and he also had a team-high 12 rebounds. Louisiana-Lafayette did a nice job defending McDermott despite his point total, as they contested nearly every shot he took.

     

    Top Performers

    In addition to McDermott’s strong game, Creighton received a big performance from guard Austin Chatman. He had 16 points and five rebounds. Louisiana-Lafayette guard Elfrid Payton tried to keep his team in the game with a 24-point effort.

     

    X-Factor

    Creighton’s Ethan Wragge gave the Bluejays solid supplemental scoring, contributing 12 points. He also snagged three rebounds.

     

    Next Round

    Creighton moves on to the round of 32 and will play Baylor. The Bears hammered Nebraska in their first game of the tournament, 74-60.

     

    Update by Steve Silverman

Kansas 80, Eastern Kentucky 69

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Eastern Kentucky gave Kansas all it wanted in its opening game of the tournament, but the second-seeded Jayhawks simply had too much size and strength down low for its worthy opponent.

    The 15th-seeded Colonels got off to a sensational start and it looked like they had a decent chance to complete the rare upset. Eastern Kentucky was razor sharp in the first half and raced off to a 23-14 lead. Kansas managed to draw even by halftime, but Eastern Kentucky was not about to succumb.

    The Colonels pushed the Jayhawks hard and took a 56-53 lead with 9:18 remaining, but that’s when powerful Jamari Traylor took over. He scored 14 points in the final 10:42 as the Jayhawks played their best basketball down the stretch.

     

    Top Performers

    Traylor had a huge effort for the Jayhawks as he came off the bench to score 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor, and he also had a team-high 14 rebounds. Freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins scored 19 points in his first NCAA tournament game. He made 7-of-13 shots from the field.

     

    X-Factor

    Traylor’s performance off the bench obviously tilted the game in the Jayhawks’ favor, but he got plenty of help on the boards from forward Perry Ellis, who contributed 13 rebounds to go with 14 points.

     

    Next Round

    Kansas moves on to the round of 32 and will play Stanford.

Gonzaga 85, Oklahoma State 77

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    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Gonzaga took advantage of a poor shooting game by high-scoring Oklahoma State and came away with an 85-77 victory to advance to the round of 32.

    Head coach Mark Few’s Bulldogs did not play their best basketball in an uneven second half, but they did more things right than their opponents.

    Oklahoma State really hurt itself with its inability to find the basket. Not only were the Cowboys a dreadful 25-of-64 from the field, they made just 22-of-37 free throws. 

    Oklahoma State tried to rally in the final minutes, but it had put itself in too deep of a hole to make a serious run at pulling off a comeback.

     

    Top Performers

    Guard Kevin Pangos did not have his best shooting day as he made 6-of-14 from the floor. However, he made 12-of-14 free throws and scored a game-high 26 points. He also had three steals and three assists to help Gonzaga move on. Teammate Gary Bell Jr. connected on 6-of-8 shots from the field as he had 17 points. In the loss, Marcus Smart had 23 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and six steals. He became the first player in NCAA tournament history to record at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five steals in a game, per ESPN's Jason McCallum.

     

    X-Factor

    The Bulldogs got excellent production from big man Przemek Karnowski, who had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

     

    Next Round

    Gonzaga advances on to the round of 32 and will play top-seeded Arizona.

Memphis 71, George Washington 66

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    Lance Murphey/Associated Press

    Memphis stumbled into the tournament but the No. 8 seeded Tigers regained their footing just in time to defeat No. 9 George Washington 71-66 in an East Regional opener for both teams.

    The Tigers dropped four of their last eight games going into the tournament including an embarrassing 72-53 loss to Connecticut in the ACC tournament.

    The Colonials missed Kethan Savage, a sophomore guard who's seen the floor just one minute since suffering a foot injury in January.

     

    Top Performers

    Reserve guard Michael Dixon led the Tigers with 19 points and was 5-of-5 from the free throw line, hitting four shots from the charity stripe in the last 10 seconds. Forward Isaiah Armwood scored 21 points to lead the Colonials.

     

    X-Factor

    Memphis' perimeter defense was the difference in the game. The Tigers held a Colonials team that shot 37 percent from beyond the arc during the regular season to 16.7 percent (2-of-12). Maurice Creek, George Washington's best 3-point shooter, missed a potential game-tying shot from beyond the arc in the closing seconds.

     

    Next Round

    Memphis advances to the round of 32 to play top-seeded Virginia or No. 16 Coastal Carolina.

     

Wichita State 64, Cal Poly 37

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    BILL BOYCE/Associated Press

    Last year's Cinderella is one of this year's prohibitive favorites, and Wichita State appears to be relishing that role.

    The top-seeded Shockers trounced No. 16 Cal Poly in their Midwest Regional opener that wasn't even as close as the score suggests.

    Wichita State went on a 21-2 run early on to take a 21-5 lead—and take any joy out of the Mustangs' first trip to the round of 64.

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Cleanthony Early led the Shockers with a game-high 23 points, and also pulled down seven rebounds. Guard Maliik Love led the Mustangs with nine points.

     

    X-Factor

    Wichita State reserve forwards Chadrack Lufile and Darius Carter combined for a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards.

     

    Next Round

    Wichita State advances to the round of 32 to play No. 8 seeded Kentucky or No. 9 seeded Kansas State.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

North Carolina 79, Providence 77

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    Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    The lack of a viable perimeter game may come back to haunt North Carolina later in the tournament, but the No. 6 seeded Tar Heels got by with their powerful inside game in a 79-77 white-knuckle victory over No. 11 Providence in an East Region opener for both teams.

    North Carolina's low-post threesome of James Michael McAdoo, Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks combined for 44 points and 23 rebounds. Overall, the Tar Heels out-boarded Providence 40-26.

    Providence led by 58-49 midway through the second half when it went on a 14-2 run, but couldn't close the door on UNC.

    North Carolina head coach Roy Williams has never lost in the round of 64.

     

    Top Performers

    Guard Bryce Cotton scored a game-high 36 points for Providence in a losing effort. Cotton also chipped in eight assists, five rebounds and two steals. Guard Marcus Paige scored 19 points to lead the Tar Heels. 

     

    X-Factor

    The Tar Heels' depth. The Friars went just six deep, getting two points off their bench from forward Carson Desrosiers. Johnson was the only reserve who scored for UNC, pouring in 16 points, but he was among six Tar Heels who came off the bench.

     

    Next Round

    North Carolina advances to the round of 32 to play No. 3 seeded Iowa State or No. 14 seeded N.C. Central.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Stephen F. Austin 77, VCU 75 (OT)

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    Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

    rStephen F. Austin took the easy road on its way to the NCAA tournament, but the No. 12 seed got to the Round of 32 the hard way. The Lumberjacks upset No. 5 VCU 77-75 in overtime in a game where they trailed by four points in the closing seconds.

    Desmond Haymon completed a four-point play after getting fouled by JeQuan Lewis on a made 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation.

    The Lumberjacks had the nation's 297th-ranked schedule. VCU played the 27th toughest.

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Jacob Parker led the Lumberjacks with 22 points and guard Desmond Haymon had 17 points and seven boards. Guard Treveon Graham led VCU with 19 points and seven rebounds.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard JeQuan Lewis made a big impact in defeat for VCU with 13 points and two assists, but also fouled Haymon on his last-second three. 

     

    Next Round

    The Lumberjacks advance to the round of 32 to play No. 4 seeded UCLA or No. 13 seeded Tulsa.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Virginia 70, Coastal Carolina 59

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    John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

    Add Coastal Carolina to the long list of plucky underdogs that almost every year has one team threaten to topple a No. 1 seedonly to come up short.

    This time it was Virginia that survived the scare with a 70-59 victory over the No. 16 Chanticleers in an East regional.

    Coastal Carolina led 31-21 late in the first half and took a 35-30 lead into the intermission.

    The Cavaliers trailed 38-32 when a Malcolm Brogdon jump shot started a 28-12 run.

    Virginia collected no offensive rebounds.

    The Cavaliers were a No. 1 seed for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era in 1983.

     

    Top Performers

    Reserve forward Anthony Gill led the Cavaliers with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Coastal Carolina forward Badou Diagne scored 14 points and had six rebounds to lead the Chanticleers.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve forward Even Nolte scored eight points for Virginia. The sophomore role player averages 2.5 points.

     

    Next Round

    Virginia advances to the round of 32 to play No. 8 seed Memphis. The Tigers are coming off a 71-66 victory over George Washington.

      

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Kentucky 56, Kansas State 49

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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Kentucky had a bad shooting night but lived to tell about it.

    The No. 8 seeded Wildcats advanced to the round of 32 after stout defense and dominant rebounding helped them defeat Kansas State 56-49 in a Midwest Regional.

    The Wildcats shot at a 38 percent clip from the field (19-of-50) and 67 percent from the free throw line (14-of-21), both below their season averages of 45.4 and 67.9 percent, respectively.

    They out-rebounded Kansas State 40-28 and held their opponent to 35.8 percent shooting (19-of-53).

    Kansas State made just six free throws on 12 attempts.

     

    Top Performers

    Forward Julius Randle led Kentucky with 19 points and 15 rebounds (both game-highs). Wildcats guard Aaron Harrison added 18 points. Kansas State guard Marcus Foster scored 15 points and had five assists.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve forward Willie Cauley-Stein provided a spark with two points, eight rebounds, four steals and four blocks.

     

    Next Round

    Kentucky advances to the round of 32 to play top-seeded Wichita State. The unbeaten Shockers trounced Cal Poly 64-37 in their tournament opener.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

Iowa State 93, NC Central 75

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    Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

    Iowa State gets to advance to the round of 32 but will be without one of their key players the rest of the way.

    Forward Georges Niang fractured a bone in his foot during the No. 3 seeded Cyclones' 93-75 victory over No. 14 N.C. Central in an East Regional. Niang is among the Cyclones' leading scorers and rebounders, averaging 16.5 points and 4.4 boards. 

    N.C. Central had a 20-game winning streak going into the tournament that was dismissed to some extent because the Eagles played a pedestrian schedule.

     

    Top Performers

    Niang led Iowa State with 24 points and added six rebounds and four assists. Guard Jeremy Ingram led N.C. Central with 28 points and five rebounds.

     

    X-Factor

    Eagles guard Jordan Parks made an impact off the bench with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals.

     

    Next Round

    Iowa State advances to the round of 32 to play No. 6 seeded North Carolina. The Tar Heels are coming off a 79-77 victory over Providence.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

UCLA 76, Tulsa 59

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    Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

    UCLA is known for its high-powered offense, but the Bruins might be better defensively than they get credit for.

    The No. 4 seeded Pac-12 power did some nice work on the defensive end of the floor in a 76-59 victory over No. 13 Tulsa in a South Regional.

    UCLA held the Golden Hurricanes to 36.8 percent shooting night (21-of-57)—well below their 44.2 percent shooting on the season. The Bruins also forced 16 turnovers.

     

    Top Performers

    Guard Jordan Adams scored 21 points and had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals to lead UCLA. D'Andre White scored 18 points in defeat for Tulsa.

     

    X-Factor

    The Bruins' bench combined for 20 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Forward Tony Parker led UCLA's reserves with 11 points, six boards and one block.

     

    Next Round

    UCLA advances to the round of 32 to play No. 13 seeded Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks are riding a 29-game winning streak and are coming off a wild 77-75 overtime victory over VCU.  

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

     

     

Dayton 60, Ohio State 59

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    On a day when spotty perimeter shooting continued to dog No. 6 seed Ohio State, No. 11 Dayton took advantage, upsetting its in-state rival 60-59 on Vee Sanford's game-winning layup with 3.8 seconds left on the clock in a South Region opener.

    Dayton took a 33-30 halftime lead that the Flyers stretched to 43-35 on a Kendall Pollard layup 6:18 into the second half. Ohio State answered with a 10-0 run.

    Dayton is among three upset winners in Thursday's first four games. No. 12 Harvard (a 61-57 winner over Cincinnati in the East Region) and No. 9 Pittsburgh (77-48 over No. 8 Colorado in the South Region) are the others.

     

    Top Performers

    Dyshawn Pierre scored 12 points and had eight rebounds to lead Dayton, and Devin Oliver added 11 points. Sam Thompson scored a game-high 18 points in defeat for Ohio State, and Aaron Craft had 16 points, including a layup with 17 seconds left that gave the Buckeyes a 59-58 lead.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Sanford stole the show for Dayton, scoring 10 points off the bench and punching the Flyers' ticket to the next round with the game-winning shot.

     

    Next Round

    Dayton advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 3 Syracuse. The Orange are coming off a 77-53 victory over Michigan State in their tournament opener.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Wisconsin 75, American 35

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    Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press

    Whatever No. 2 seed Wisconsin lacked in speed, it more than made up for with efficiency in a methodical 75-35 thrashing of No. 15 American in a West Region game. The Eagles came out strong and actually led 17-10 midway through the first half, but the Badgers went on a 50-9 run to put the game out of reach midway through the second half.

     

    Top Performers

    Traevon Jackson led the Badgers with 18 points, and Ben Brust added 17. Tony Wroblicky and Darius Gardner each scored 11 points in defeat for the Eagles.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes contributed six points, four rebounds and two steals.

     

    Next Round

    Wisconsin advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 7 Oregon. The Ducks are coming off an 87-68 victory over BYU in their tournament opener.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    No. 9 seed Pittsburgh set the tone early with a 13-0 run on its way to a 77-48 shellacking of No. 8 Colorado in a South Region opener for both teams. This one was pretty much over at intermission, by which time the Panthers opened up a 46-18 lead.

    Colorado held its own on the boards, with Pittsburgh out-rebounding its opponent by just a 33-29 margin that's narrower than the final score would suggest. But the Buffaloes shot just 35.7 percent from the field (15-of-42), while the Panthers shot at a 50.8 percent clip (31-of-61).

    Pittsburgh beat a higher-seeded team in the tournament for the first time since 1981, per ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

     

    Top Performers

    Talib Zanna scored a game-high 18 points to lead the Panthers, and Cameron Wright added 11. Josh Scott scored 14 points and had six rebounds in defeat for Colorado.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Chris Jones scored eight points for the Panthers.

     

    Next Round

    Pittsburgh advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 1 Florida. The Gators are coming off a 67-55 victory over Albany in their tournament opener.

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Harvard has pulled off another shocker.

    The 12th-seeded Crimson for a second straight year advanced to the Round of 32, notching a 61-57 upset victory over No. 4 Cincinnati in an East Region opener (Harvard upset New Mexico last year).

    The Crimson did it with defense, holding the Bearcats to just 36.8 percent shooting (21-of-57). The Crimson shot just 60.7 percent from the free-throw line (17-of-28) but made all five in the last 38 seconds to seal the win.

    With Harvard's win, lower-seeded teams are 3-1 on the day. No. 11 seed Dayton beat No. 6 Ohio State 60-59, and No. 9 Pittsburgh defeated No. 8 Colorado 77-48.

     

    Top Performers

    Wesley Saunders led the Crimson with 12 points, including a pair of clutch free throws with 12 seconds left in the game. Laurent Rivard and Siyani Chambers each contributed 11 points.

    Sean Kilpatrick scored a game-high 18 points in defeat for the Bearcats.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Brandyn Curry scored nine points for Harvard.

     

    Next Round

    Harvard advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 4 Michigan State. The Spartans are coming off a 93-78 victory over Delaware in their tournament opener.

     

     

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53

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    Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

    Syracuse stumbled into the tournament, losing five of its last seven games, but the No. 3 Orange got back on track, trouncing No. 14 Western Michigan 77-53 in a South Region opener. Syracuse held the Broncos to 34.7 percent shooting (17-of-49) and out-rebounded its opponent 41-25.

     

    Top Performers

    Trevor Cooney scored 18 points to lead the Orange, and Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis each added 16 points. C.J. Fair contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds. Shayne Whittington and Tucker Haymond each scored 11 points in defeat for the Broncos.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve center Baye-Moussa Keita made an impact for Syracuse with seven rebounds and two blocks.

     

    Next Round

    The Orange advance to the Round of 32 to play No. 11 seed Dayton. The Flyers are coming off a dramatic 60-59 upset victory over in-state rival Ohio State.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Oregon 87, BYU 68

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    Chris Pietsch/Associated Press

    Oregon didn't do much to distinguish itself in the Pac-12, but the No. 7 Ducks made a statement with a 87-68 victory over No. 10 BYU in a West Region opener for both teams. The Ducks showcased their athleticism and a deep bench that combined for 49 points. They held the Cougars to 32.8 percent shooting (20-of-61).

     

    Top Performers

    Reserve forward Elgin Cook came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points and grab eight rebounds to lead the Ducks, while Joseph Young added 19 points. Tyler Haws led the Cougars with 19 points.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve guard Jason Calliste contributed 14 points and four assists for Oregon.

     

    Next Round

    Oregon advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 2 seed Wisconsin. The Badgers trounced American 75-35 in their tournament opener.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Florida 67, Albany 55

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    In what was supposed to be a cake walk, Florida had to actually break a sweat. But the No. 1 seed Gators were able to stave off plucky No. 16 Albany with a 67-55 win in their South Region opener.

    The Great Danes gave the Gators all they could handle for most of the game. The two teams were deadlocked at 39 early in the second half before Florida went on an 18-6 run that broke the game open late.

     

    Top Performers

    Casey Prather and Dorian Finney-Smith each scored 16 points to lead the Gators, and Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin added 10 points apiece. Young also had a game-high 10 rebounds. D.J. Evans scored a game-high 21 points in defeat for the Great Danes.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve Kasey Hill, who's missed most of the season with ankle and groin injuries, scored a season-high 10 points for the Gators. His performance was an encouraging sign for the Gators, who'll need the freshman point guard to give the quality minutes behind starter Scottie Wilbekin.

     

    Next Round

    The Gators advance to the Round of 32 to play No. 9 seed Pittsburgh. The Panthers are coming off a resounding 77-48 victory over No. 8 Colorado in their tournament opener.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

Michigan State 93, Delaware 78

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Michigan State seems to have shaken off its early-season injuries. Now at full strength, the fourth-seeded Spartans have caught fire. They easily defeated No. 13 Delaware, 93-78, in the South Regional opener for both teams, cruising to their 11th straight victory.

     

    Top performers

    Adreian Payne scored a season-high 41 points and had eight rebounds to lead Michigan State. Devon Saddler scored 21 points in defeat for Delaware.

     

    X-Factor

    Reserve Travis Trice packed a wallop off the bench scoring a season-high 19 points for the Spartans. Trice has missed playing time due to illness and a head injury this season. The backup point guard's performance is especially encouraging for a Spartans team that will need minutes from him going forward.

     

    Next Round

    Michigan State advances to the Round of 32 to play No. 12 seed Harvard. The Crimson are coming off a 61-57 upset victory over Cincinnati.

     

    Update by Gideon Rubin

UConn 89, St. Joseph's 81 (OT)

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    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    After playing a terrific game for most of regulation, the wheels fell off the bus for St. Joseph's when the game was on the line. 

    A combination of bad free-throw shooting, the disqualification of Halil Kanacevic and the offensive takeover by Shabazz Napier eventually did the Hawks in.

    Kanacevic, who did all of the little things correct for the Hawks, fouled out with 3:47 left in overtime, and that opened the door for Napier to take over. Napier scored nine points in overtime to clinch a spot in the third round of the East region. 

    The loss marked the first time that Phil Martelli lost on a Thursday in the NCAA tournament as head coach of St. Joseph's.

     

    Top Performers

    Napier led the Huskies with 24 points as he showed up during crunch time, just like he has done all season. Hawks senior Langston Galloway earned a game-high 25 in his final collegiate game. 

     

    X-Factor

    DeAndre Daniels made a crucial three-pointer with 2:12 left in regulation to hand UConn the lead by one point. Daniels also scored five points in the overtime period.

     

    Next Round 

    UConn will take on an old foe from the Big East in No. 2 Villanova at the First Niagara Center on Saturday. 

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Michigan 57, Wofford 40

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    It was an ugly win for the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines, but all that matters is that they lived to see another day in the Big Dance. 

    The Wolverines took down No. 15 Wofford in the third game in Milwaukee on Thursday. 

    John Beilein's team scored just 23 points in a second half that will be easily forgotten in the archives of Ann Arbor.

    Wofford shot just 34 percent from the field and made just four trips to the free-throw line in the loss. 

     

    Top Performers

    Wofford's Karl Cochran was the top scorer in the second-round contest with 17 points, but he was the only Terrier to reach double figures. Michigan had three players (Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Morgan) score over 10 points. 

     

    X-Factor

    Morgan stepped up big in the paint to deny Wofford of second-chance opportunities with 10 rebounds to go along with his 10 points. Eight of the 10 boards brought down by Morgan came on the defensive end.

     

    Next Round

    Michigan will square off against No. 7 Texas in a third-round game that will test the paint play of the Wolverines. 

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Saint Louis 83, NC State 80 (OT)

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    No. 5 Saint Louis took advantage of a plethora of missed opportunities by No. 12 N.C. State in its 83-80 overtime win.

    The Billikens came back from a 16-point deficit in the second half thanks in part to 15 missed free throws by the Wolfpack over the final 20 minutes of regulation. 

    Jordair Jett's layup with 18.8 seconds left in the second half leveled the game at 70, and the game went into overtime after a miss by Tyler Lewis as the clock expired.

    Both teams put on an ugly free-throw shooting display in the five-minute overtime, but it was Saint Louis that prevailed in the end. 

     

    Top Performers

    N.C. State star T.J. Warren scored a game-high 28 points in defeat, but all he could do was watch from the bench in the waning moments after he fouled out. Rob Loe led the way for the Billikens with 22 points, six of which came in overtime.

     

    X-Factor

    Jett soared through the Wolfpack defense to clinch an extra five minutes, but it is his work on Warren on defense in the extra period that needs to be commended more. Warren scored just three points in overtime before fouling out with 27.9 seconds left.

     

    Next Round

    The Billikens will not face an easy test in the third round as the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals are will line up against them on Saturday.

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey

North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75 (OT)

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Lawrence Alexander had the game of his life as the drama continued in Spokane. 

    Alexander's 28 led North Dakota State, who became the second No. 12 seed to leave the court of the Spokane Area with a victory on Thursday, in its overtime upset of No. 5 Oklahoma.

    Alexander sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer with 11 seconds left and then he scored six of his team's 14 points in the extra period. 

    The guard scored 28 points while shooting 10-of-15 from the field in the first-ever NCAA tournament victory for the Bison. 

    Three other Bison players reached double digits in the upset victory. 

     

    Top Performers

    Alexander led the way for North Dakota State with 28 points. He made all four of his foul shots and four triples, including the game-tying shot near the end of regulation. Cameron Clark scored 25 points and recorded six rebounds for the Sooners.

     

    X-Factor

    TrayVonn Wright made all four of his free throws on his way to 14 points in a night where star Taylor Braun scored just 11. Wright also contributed five rebounds, one assist, a steal and a block.

     

    Next Round

    The Cinderella story of the Bison will extend into Saturday where they will face either No. 4 San Diego State or No. 13 New Mexico State.

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Texas 87, Arizona State 85

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    Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

    Those who stayed for the nightcap in Milwaukee were treated to a fantastic finish.

    Texas center Cameron Ridley knocked home a buzzer-beater after a wild three-point attempt by Jonathan Holmes.

    Ridley was able to keep his composure, find the ball, and deny Arizona State of a chance to win in overtime. 

    Ridley recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win that saved Texas from humiliation after it lost a 14-point lead in the second half. 

     

    Top Performers 

    Ridley shot 50 percent from the field on the way to his double-double. The sophomore big man also had four blocks and dished out two assists. Jordan Bachynski scored 25 in the loss for the Sun Devils. 

     

    X-Factor

    Martez Walker scored nine of his 16 points at the free-throw line as Texas did not let poor free-throw shooting get in its way. 

     

    Next Round

    The Longhorns' victory sets up an enticing matchup with No. 2 Michigan in the third round in front of what should be a pro-Michigan crowd at the Bradley Center. 

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    It took No. 2 Villanova a while to put away No. 15 Milwaukee, but it was able to dispose of the Panthers late in the second half.

    The Wildcats started 0-of-16 from three-point range, but they did get their act together in enough time to avoid a potential upset bid from Milwaukee.

    Despite the bad shooting performance from downtown, the Villanova defense was able to step up and force 12 turnovers. 

    Four players found double figures for the Wildcats, who will have to play much better to take down No. 7 UConn on Saturday.

     

    Top Performers

    Darrun Hilliard made his presence known in the second half on his way to a team-high 16 points for Villanova. Hilliard was outdone by one point for the game-high total as Austin Arians netted 17 of his own for the Panthers.

     

    X-Factor

    With 11:56 left in the game, freshman Kris Jenkins made the first triple of the night for the Wildcats. Jenkins went on to make two more threes on his way to an 11-point night. 

     

    Next Round

    The Wildcats will get to renew their old Big East rivalry with UConn on Saturday in what should be a game filled with passion.

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Louisville 71, Manhattan 64

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Luke Hancock brought a cool hand to the table in a clutch scenario to hand No. 4 Louisville a hard-fought victory over No. 13 Manhattan.

    Hancock scored eight consecutive points in a 90-second span to open up the lead against a pesky Jaspers side that mirrored almost everything the Cardinals did. 

    Manhattan, coached by former Louisville assistant Steve Masiello, had Louisville on the ropes for most of the game, but Hancock and Russ Smith stepped up when the Cardinals needed their efforts the most. 

    Smith scored six points in the final 3:25 to go along with Hancock's stellar effort. 

    Manhattan received a team-high 16 points from Ashton Pankey in defeat. 

     

    Top Performers

    Smith and Hancock combined for 34 points in the victory for the defending champions. Eleven of Smith's 18 points came from the free-throw line, while Hancock scored eight of his 16 late in the game.

     

    X-Factor

    Montrezl Harrell's contribution in the paint must not go unnoticed as he snagged 13 boards, four of which came on the offensive end, to partner his 12 points in the box score.

     

    Next Round

    Louisville's road back to the Final Four does not get any easier as No. 5 Saint Louis awaits in the third round on Saturday. 

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

San Diego State 73, New Mexico State 69 (OT)

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    No. 4 San Diego State narrowly avoided the upset bug that struck Cincinnati and Oklahoma in Spokane earlier on Thursday. 

    The Aztecs blew a seven-point lead in the final minute of regulation, but rebounded in overtime to put away No. 13 New Mexico State. 

    The momentum boost came in overtime from a monster block by Dwayne Polee, who then went on to score five points in the extra frame for the Aztecs.

    New Mexico State sent the game into overtime on a miraculous three by Kevin Aronis with five seconds left in regulation. 

    The Aggies weren't able to channel the same upset-minded drama in overtime, and the Aztecs finally closed the game out.

     

    Top Performers

    As expected, Xavier Thames was the leading scorer for San Diego State with 23. Thames only shot 6-of-17 from the field, but he did make 10 free throws. Daniel Mullings was one of five Aggies in double figures as he scored a team-high 18.

     

    X-Factor

    Polee's only block of the game was the game-changing moment in overtime. He also grabbed six rebounds and added 15 points.

     

    Next Round

    The Aztecs will face the Cinderella of the 2014 tournament in No. 12 North Dakota State on Saturday night at Spokane Arena.

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey.

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