After four thrilling first-round showdowns in Dayton, Ohio, the 2014 NCAA tournament and the madness will reach fever pitch on Thursday as second-round play tips off with 16 matchups.
Overall No. 1 seed Florida, defending national champion Louisville and 2013 runner-up Michigan highlight the 32 teams in action on Day 1 of the second round. But by the end of the day, some lesser-known teams are sure to be the talk of the tournament.
Let's get you caught up on the latest scores and results from the opening day of second-round action in the 2014 NCAA tournament.
All Your Bracket Essentials:
West Region: No. 4 San Diego State 73, No. 13 New Mexico State 69 (OT)
It was only fitting that the day's final game went to overtime. That made it four on Thursday.
San Diego State raced out to an early lead and never trailed in this game, but still found a way to get into overtime.
Xavier Thames led the way for the Aztecs with 23 points, and Dwayne Polee II came off the bench to score 15. Thames came up big in the extra session as well. He hit 3-of-4 free throws late to help seal the win.
The Aggies used a balanced attack to almost pull off the upset with five players scoring in double digits.
The Aztecs move on to the third-round against North Dakota State, which beat Oklahoma 80-75 on Thursday.
Midwest Region: No. 4 Louisville 71, No. 13 Manhattan 64
This was an intense and close game, as Rick Pitino led the defending champion Cardinals against his former assistant Steve Masiello and Manhattan.
Louisville got a bit of distance late off of two three pointers from Luke Hancock, but this game was close throughout.
Hancock had a wonderful game. He finished with 16 points, four assists, four rebounds and four steals. Guard Russ Smith led the Cardinals with 18 points largely because he went 11-of-15 from the free throw line.
Forward Ashton Pankey led the Jaspers with 16 points.
This was an intense game. Louisville must now try to quickly regroup, as it takes on fifth-seeded Saint Louis on Saturday.
West Region: No. 12 North Dakota State 80, No. 5 Oklahoma 75 (OT)
The matchup between the 12 and five seed provided yet another upset, two for three on Thursday, as North Dakota State took down Oklahoma in overtime.
Bison guard Lawrence Alexander led all scorers with 28 points. He was a solid 10-of-15 from the floor. He also came up huge when it mattered most. He drilled a three pointer with 11 seconds left to force overtime.
The overtime was close until the final moments. Then reserve Carlin Dupree helped the Bison pull away with four late points.
This was North Dakota State's first tournament win. They will now move on to face the winner of the New Mexico State-San Diego State matchup.
Midwest Region: (7) Texas 87, (10) Arizona State 85
Despite Texas opening up a 14-point lead in the second half, this game, as ESPN tweets, became the first true buzzer beater in the NCAA tournament since 2011:
Sophomore center Cameron Ridley nailed the game winner. He grabbed a put back and made a clever and quick hook shot to avoid defenders, beat the clock and send Texas to victory.
This game was sloppy at times and filled with fouls, but it was exciting.
Small guard Jahii Carson put on some exciting offensive moves and his penetration was creating opportunities for his teammates. The Sun Devils hit 8-of-15 shots from beyond the arc.
It was all for naught, however, as Texas' physical play prevailed. Ridley was the main cog. He led the Longhorns with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
The Longhorns now advance to take on No. 2 Michigan. The Wolverines advanced with ease over Wofford on Thursday.
East Region: No. 2 Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53
The lopsided final score of this contest is not indicative of the game. Milwaukee led a considerable portion of the first half and kept it a game until Villanova pulled away late.
The Wildcats got off to a terrible start, but scored the final nine points of the first half to take a 27-23 lead into halftime.
Darrun Hilliard and JayVaughn Pinkston led the way for Villanova with 16 added 13 points respectively. The Wildcats had a solid day on the boards as well and had a nine-rebound edge on their opponents.
Forward Austin Arians led the Panthers with 17 points.
Villanova will play seventh-seeded Connecticut in the third round Saturday.
Midwest Region: No. 5 St. Louis 83, No. 12 NC State, 80 (OT)
This looked like another upset in the making as North Carolina State held a late 14-point lead over St. Louis.
T.J. Warren, who finished the game with 28 points, was leading his team to a dominant performance. Then, St. Louis caught fire in the final five minutes and erased the gap.
Senior forward Rob Loe was big down the stretch and all game. He finished the game with 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Actor Rob Lowe was not surprised with his strong performance:
Both of these teams were terrible from the free throw line, and the Wolfpack will be kicking themselves over the poor showing from the charity stripe. They made just 12-of-26 from the line.
The Billikens will now turn their gaze to No. 4 Louisville taking on No. 13 Manhattan and will play the winner of that contest.
Midwest Region: No. 2 Michigan 57, No. 15 Wofford 40
The Wolverines used their superior size and athleticism to jump out to a big lead. They led their over-matched opponents 34-20 at halftime. Size and athleticism are of little consequence, however, if that team isn't hitting shots.
Michigan wasn't hitting anything to start the second. The Wolverines missed 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half to open the door for Wofford. Still, the Terriers were not able to cut the deficit any smaller than eight points.
The Wolverines got the offense back on track and cruised to an easy win. Guard Nik Stauskas led the Wolverines with 15 points, but it was in the frontcourt where Michigan found its biggest advantage.
Glenn Robinson III poured in 14 points and Jordan Morgan went for a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Up next for Michigan is the winner of the Texas-Arizona State game.
East Region: Connecticut 89, St. Joseph's 81 (OT)
After missing a 20-foot jumper at the end of regulation, Connecticut's Shabazz Napier dominated in overtime.
Napier, who led all scorers with 24 points, went for nine in the extra period to help Kevin Ollie avoid an upset loss in his first tournament game as coach.
Langston Galloway went 8-of-13 from the floor to net 25 points and get his team in position for the upset. The Hawks would have pulled off that upset had Amida Brimah not been able to grab an offensive rebound for UConn with less than a minute left and then convert a three-point play to tie the game.
UConn now must forget about this thriller and focus on the possibility of upsetting a No. 2 seed. The Huskies will face the winner of matchup featuring No. 2 seed Villanova and No. 15 Milwaukee.
East Region: No. 4 Michigan State 93, No. 13 Delaware 78
Nothing came easy for Tom Izzo's fourth-seeded Michigan State Spartans on Thursday against No. 13 Delaware, but the Blue Hens had no answer for Adreian Payne, who scored a career-high 41 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor and 17-of-17 shooting from the foul line to power the Big Ten tournament champions to the round of 32.
Payne also set a Spartan record in the win, per SportsCenter on Twitter:
Delaware was led by Devon Saddler and Davon Usher, who combined to score 41 points on 13-of-27 shooting from the field. Unfortunately, the Blue Hens got no production inside, where Payne overwhelmed Carl Baptiste, per CBS Sports insider Jon Rothstein:
Baptiste, who fouled out, finished with just six point and five rebounds.
Up next, the Spartans will battle 12th-seeded Harvard on Saturday for a berth in the Sweet 16. Michigan State will be favored in that matchup, but will need to do a better job at closing out on Harvard's outside shooters and forcing turnovers.
Izzo's squad was dominant on the boards vs. Delaware and hit 10 three-pointers, but also received a huge lift from Payne
South Region: No. 1 Florida 67, No. 16 Albany 55
Overall top seed Florida started slow against 16th-seeded Albany but eventually found their footing, closing the game on a 28-16 run to secure a win and advance to the third round, per SportsCenter:
The win extends Florida's winning streak to 27 games, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Despite fading down the stretch, the Great Danes kept things interesting through the first 30 minutes, drawing even with the Gators at 39-39 with 14 minutes to play. But led by Casey Prather's 16 points and Patric Young's double-double, Florida had all the answers for its over-matched opponent.
Albany was led by D.J. Evans, who scored 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor. Unfortunately for the America East champions, Peter Hooley struggled, finishing with just six points on 1-of-10 shooting.
The Great Danes also didn't take advantage of their three-point opportunities, shooting 4-of-13 from distance.
Unsurprisingly, Albany's tournament run is over. However, the Gators are moving on and will need to improve across the board in order to advance past No. 9 Pittsburgh on Saturday and reach the Sweet 16. Billy Donovan's squad struggled from beyond the arc on Thursday and was lacking effort at times.
Both of those things will need to change this weekend if the Gators are to remain alive.
West Region: No. 7 Oregon 87, No. 10 BYU 68
The seventh-seeded Oregon Ducks struggled from deep on Thursday, but got to the free throw line 38 times and found an early rhythm from the inside arc in their blowout win over 10th-seeded BYU.
Oregon shot 50 percent from the field as a team and connected on 31-of-38 shots from the foul line while Tyler Haws and the Cougars failed to keep up. Haws would finish with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting to lead BYU.
Elgin Cook was the high man for Oregon, scoring 23 points off the bench. The sophomore forward shot 8-of-9 from the field and 7-of-10 from the foul line.
Joseph Young added 19 points for the explosive Ducks.
Oregon will take on No. 2 Wisconsin in third-round action on Saturday. In that game, the Ducks can expect points to be much harder to come by. After all, the Badgers held No. 15 American to just 35 points in their second-round win.
South Region: No. 3 Syracuse 77, No. 14 Western Michigan 53
Despite having lost five of their last seven games coming into the Big Dance, the third-seeded Syracuse Orange crushed No. 14 Western Michigan on Thursday in Buffalo, N.Y.
Trevor Cooney led the way for Jim Boeheim's squad with 18 points, per ESPN Stats & Info, but received plenty of help as Tyler Ennis, Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair combined to score 46 points.
Determined not to fall victim to an upset, the Orange started fast on Thursday, taking a 19-point halftime lead and continuing their hot-shooting in the second half. Syracuse would finish the game hitting 49 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep.
The Broncos went 15-of-20 from the foul line as a team but only connected on four three-pointers and were out-rebounded 41-25.
Syracuse will take on No. 11 Dayton on Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16 and will be favored to advance based on their overall body of work in 2013-14 and lights-out performance against Western Michigan.
The key against the upset-minded Flyers will be avoiding turnovers and continuing to work hard on the boards.
East Region: No. 12 Harvard 61, No. 5 Cincinnati 57
In Thursday's second upset, the 12th-seeded Harvard Crimson defeated the fifth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats in Spokane, Wash.
Tommy Amaker's side, which stunned New Mexico as a No. 14 seed in the second round a year ago, hit six three-pointers and held Cincinnati to 36.8 percent shooting from the floor en route to victory. The effort was good enough to earn a shootout from NBA legend David Robinson:
Cincinnati senior guard Sean Kilpatrick, who was called for a costly offensive foul late, scored 18 points in the loss.
The Crimson will play the winner of No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 13 Delaware in the round of 32 but will need to improve on their free-throw shooting in order to have a chance. Harvard missed 11 shots from the foul line on Thursday and can't afford to squander those opportunities against good teams.
South Region: No. 9 Pittsburgh 77, No. 8 Colorado 48
Pittsburgh trounced Colorado in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup in the South Region on Thursday, jumping out to a 13-0 lead early and never looking back, per CBS Sports analyst Seth Davis:
Jamie Dixon's squad made history in the lopsided win, per ESPN Stats & Info:
The potent Panthers were led by Talib Zanna, who scored 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting. Lamar Patterson added 10 points on 2-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
Pittsburgh only shot 4-of-14 from downtown as a team, but hit 51 percent of their field goals and shot nearly 92 percent from the foul line.
Josh Scott and Xavier Johnson led Colorado with 14 and 11 points, respectively, but received little help, especially from the bench, which combined to score five points (all free throws). It also didn't help that the Buffaloes turned the ball over 17 times.
Keep in mind the Buffaloes were without their best player, Spencer Dinwiddie, and, as basketball writer Bill Koch points out, would have had to turn in a near flawless performance to advance:
Pittsburgh will likely face No. 1 Florida in the third round on Saturday barring a massive upset by No. 16 Albany. Therefore, the Panthers are sure to be massive underdogs in the next round despite their 29-point triumph.
Still, Pittsburgh shouldn't be counted out against the Gators. With the Panthers' bench coming to life against Colorado and the entire team riding a wave of momentum, they'll be a tough out moving forward.
West Region: No. 2 Wisconsin 75, No. 15 American 35
The second-seeded Wisconsin Badgers started slow on Thursday in Milwaukee, but turned up the heat on both ends of the floor in the second half as they rolled to a 40-point win over 15th-seeded American.
ESPN Stats & Info adds some historical perspective:
Wisconsin's back court was tremendous in the blowout win as Traevon Jackson and Ben Brust combined to score 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting. Bo Ryan's squad also got 15 points from its bench while American's reserves failed to score a single point, shooting a combined 0-of-5 from the floor.
As a team, the Badgers forced 17 turnovers, out-rebounded the Eagles 31-24 and hit 13-of-14 shots at the foul line. Wisconsin also connected on 10-of-23 three-pointers.
Surprisingly, American actually led 19-13 midway through the first half and trailed by just one point heading into the final three minutes of the opening stanza. Wisconsin was able to close the first half on a 9-0 run to create doubt in the minds of the American players.
The one-sided action continued in the second half as Wisconsin outscored American 43-13 down the stretch. ESPN's Numbers Never Lie breaks it down:
Next up, Wisconsin will take on No. 7 Oregon. And if the Badgers can continue to play disciplined defense possession after possession and get scoring from their talented guards, they'll be a heavy favorite to reach the Sweet 16.
A third-round showdown with the Ducks will be a much tougher test, but with a dominant defense and plenty of crowd support, Wisconsin has everything it needs to reach the tournament's second week.
South Region: No. 11 Dayton 60, No. 6 Ohio State 59
In an all-Ohio matchup, the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers stunned the sixth-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes to kick off play in the South Region on Thursday afternoon. Vee Sanford's go-ahead layup with 3.8 seconds to play put the Flyers ahead for good and sealed the upset win.
Buckeyes senior guard Aaron Craft finished with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals but missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer, per CBS Sports analyst Seth Davis:
Craft talked about Ohio State's experience coming into the Big Dance, but admitted that the key to success would be staying hungry, per the Associated Press' John Wawrow via Yahoo! Sports:
We've gone through it enough that we know and can help our team, lead and be ready to play. But the experience isn't going to put the ball in the basket for us this year. So it's a balance of understanding that it's a new year and a new team.
But Ohio State was unable to match Dayton's intensity early on as the Flyers matched the Buckeyes on the boards and forced several turnovers on defense.
At the start of the second half, with Dayton leading 33-30, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas highlighted the key for Ohio State to avoid the upset:
Trailing 43-35 midway through the second half, the Buckeyes seemingly took Bilas' advice, locking down defensively during a 10-0 run that put them ahead.
Unfazed, the Flyers would stay the course, drawing fouls and getting key stops to stay within striking distance. Dayton would shoot 13-of-17 as a team from the foul line. Meanwhile, three-pointers weren't falling for either side, as the two teams combined to shoot 6-of-25 from deep.
Dayton's Dyshawn Pierre led all Flyers scorers with 12 points, but Sanford's 10 points off the bench were huge as well.
For the Buckeyes, forward Sam Thompson led the way with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor.
Next up, Dayton will take on No. 3 Syracuse on Saturday. Meanwhile, the loss means that Ohio State will bow out before the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009.
The Flyers fared well against the Buckeyes. If they face the Orange in the round of 32, they'll have to keep the momentum going and perform even better offensively to keep pace.
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