The very first wave of NCAA tournament games in the round of 64 produced a host of upsets Thursday, and fans around the nation saw millions of brackets mercilessly busted practically before they had begun. Even if you picked Harvard in your pool, Ohio State probably bit you. If you were betting the spread in the Pittsburgh Panthers game, don't worry—they covered it.
Here is a full rundown of the first games that took place on the second round's initial day.
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Dayton 60, Ohio State 59
Dayton upended Ohio State in a big upset for the Flyers. The term "little brother concept" does not even begin to describe the relationship between Dayton and OSU. Vee Sanford scored 10 points off then bench, including the game-winning bucket with six seconds remaining to cap the stirring victory.
Not only did the Flyers hang 60 points on the vaunted Buckeyes defense, but they forced ballyhooed guard Aaron Craft into five turnovers and hounded him in the final seconds to preserve the one-point win. Craft was also called for an intentional foul late in the game which gifted free throws to the Flyers.
Dayton knocked off Saint Louis on March 5, proving it has the mettle to pester top teams. Syracuse (28-5) will be the opponent in the round of 32.
Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57
Harvard might have been the most widely chosen 12 seed ever, and the 61-57 upset of Cincinnati was a popular bracket pick.
Looking for a 12-seed upset pick? Harvard has a 41% chance to beat Cincy according to BPI, best of any 12-seed.— Numbers Never Lie (@ESPN_Numbers) March 17, 2014
Laurent Rivard canned three of Harvard's six three-pointers for 11 points, and Wesley Saunders led the way with a dozen.
Harvard's win vs. Cincinnati makes it 13 of the last 14 years that a 12 seed has upset a 5. pic.twitter.com/CCwgZCYK60— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 20, 2014
Sean Kilpatrick scored 18 points for the Bearcats. Justin Jackson notched a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks, but it wasn't enough. Jackson also missed 10 of his team-high 15 shots, and Cincinnati shot just 36.8 percent against the Crimson's stout defense.
The upset track gets much harder for Harvard with a Michigan State matchup on the cards.
Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48
Pittsburgh: 29-point win is school's largest margin of victory in NCAA Tournament (previously 26 vs Wagner in 2003)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 20, 2014
Though a nine over an eight is not that shocking, the margin of victory certainly was. Pittsburgh destroyed eighth-seeded Colorado by 29 points in an all-out domination that saw a 28-point lead at the half. Pitt's Talib Zanna got 18 points to lead all scorers and made six of his seven field-goal attempts while also blocking two shots.
Zanna, who is from Nigeria, broke down his success against Colorado with a simple explanation, telling reporters after the game (via AP on ESPN): "I was just trying to be patient. I know if I'm open, the ball is going to come to me. I was wide open just trying to run the floor, and I was just having wide-open layups."
The Panthers have Florida in their path, so Zanna won't have many wide-open layups there, but it was a stellar start for them.
Syracuse 77, Western Michigan 53
Syracuse had stumbled in recent weeks and came into the tournament with five losses in the previous seven games. Nevertheless, the Orange mopped the floor with Western Michigan in a 40-point rout.
Four Syracuse starters scored at least 14 points, and they were led by Trevor Cooney with 18. The Broncos shot below 35 percent and got smoked on the glass, 41-25.
Trevor Cooney scores a game-high 18 Pts in Syracuse's win vs Western Michigan. He hit 4-of-8 from three; was 10-for-51 in previous 7 games.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 20, 2014
The Orange were up by 19 at the half, and Western Michigan never made it close. They now tangle with upstart Dayton.
Wisconsin 75, American 35
Wisconsin devastated American by 40 points. Incredibly, after a middling first half the Badgers outscored American 43-13 in the second half as they cruised to the next round.
Traevon Jackson put down 18 points, and Ben Brust added 17 to aide Wisconsin's blowout. The Eagles shot below 30 percent for the game, while the Badgers shot 50 percent and 43.5 percent from three-point range.
They face a plucky seventh-seeded Oregon team in the next round.