As it turns out "Madness" is quite the apt way to describe the 2014 NCAA tournament as Day 1 of Round 2 provided epic contests and last-minute upsets that sent the collegiate landscape into a frenzy.
Whether it was Ohio State's Aaron Craft missing a last-second layup to prevent an upset at the hands of Dayton or Pittsburgh putting on an offensive clinic to set up a fateful potential showdown with Florida, the first day of the round of 64 certainly lived up to its billing.
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Here is a full look at how things unfolded, followed by a recap of some of Thursday's most notable action.
Round 2 Day 1 Results
|No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Dayton||Dayton 60, Ohio State 59|
|No. 8 Colorado vs. No. 9 Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh 77, Colorado 48|
|No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Western Michigan||Syracuse 77, WMU 53|
|No. 1 Florida vs. No. 16 Albany||Florida 67, Albany 55|
|No. 5 Cincinnati vs. No. 12 Harvard||Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57|
|No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 14 Delaware||Michigan State 93, Delaware 78|
|No. 7 Connecticut vs. No. 10 Saint Joseph's||UCONN 89, St Joe's 81|
|No. 2 Villanova vs. No. 15 Milwaukee||Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53|
|No. 2 Wisconsin vs. No. 15 American||Wisconsin 75, American 35|
|No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 BYU||Oregon 87, BYU 68|
|No. 5 Oklahoma vs. No. 12 N. Dakota St.||NDSU 80, Oklahoma 75|
|No. 4 San Diego St. vs. No. 13 New Mexico St.||SDSU 73, NMSU 69|
|No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 15 Wofford||Michigan 57, Wofford 40|
|No. 5 Saint Louis vs. No. 12 NC State||Saint Louis 83, NCST 80|
|No. 7 Texas vs. No. 10 Arizona State||Texas 87, ASU 85|
|No. 4 Louisville vs. No. 13 Manhattan||Louisville 71, Manhattan 64|
No. 11 Dayton 60, No. 6 Ohio State 59
This one had the look of an upset from the opening gun, and sometimes it is the destination rather than the journey.
As far as in-state rivalries go in Ohio, Dayton-Ohio State is rather far down the list. That said, former Buckeye Jordan Sibert scored some semblance of revenge on Thursday thanks to his nine points.
That sounds like a poor output, but given the circumstances in what was an overall very sloppy affair, Sibert played just fine. Both teams combined for 27 turnovers and hit just six shots from long range.
In a showdown like that, sometimes simple willpower is the difference. As Grant Freking of the Greenfield Daily Reporter noted, the Buckeyes were seemingly lethargic for a large part of the game:
Common theme for Ohio State has been weird lack of energy in certain games. Some OSU players look like they'd rather be in Panama City.— Grant Freking (@GrantFreking) March 20, 2014
Things got closer when the Buckeyes woke up to hit on a 10-0 run thanks to four Dayton turnovers with 10:23 remaining, but it was the Flyers that came through in the clutch.
With 3.8 seconds to go, Vee Sanford hit a tough layup to win the contest, as Craft's 10-foot layup attempt on the next possession rattled out.
Sibert was ecstatic after the win, as captured by the Associated Press, via ESPN:
I guess they called us the little brother, or whatever. We can't be called that anymore. To be able to go out there and play with this group of guys, to be able to come up with this win, it's unbelievable.
Surely a disappointing loss for the Buckeyes, but the attention must remain on the Flyers. Sibert and Co. advance to the round of 32 and will battle either Syracuse or Western Michigan. If their first game was any indication, the Flyers will put on a show.
No. 9 Pittsburgh 77, No. 8 Colorado 48
The Panthers have arrived.
Oft-overlooked Pittsburgh, which has not been given a chance by most considering the team went 26-9 overall and will likely have to face the No. 1 Gators next, put on a clinic to start its title bid.
As most surely guessed, star forward Talib Zanna went off once again, this time on 6-of-7 shooting from the field for 18 points, five rebounds, one steal and two blocks.
It helps that the Panthers connected on 50.8 percent of their shots overall, but a 46-18 advantage at halftime made it official, as the Buffaloes couldn't score more points than the number of assists Pittsburgh dished out in the early goings:
Right now, Pittsburgh has more assists (10) than Colorado has points (9). Pitt leads it, 33-9. http://t.co/dC1FtIwRzY— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 20, 2014
Overall, the only concern at this point for the Panthers was a 4-of-14 mark from long distance, but with the way Zanna continues to play under rim, three-pointers may not be a requirement for the team to stay hot.
Fans will find out soon enough, as what is suddenly a heavyweight bout between Pittsburgh and Florida is in the cards and has the looks of one of the best matchups the Madness has to offer in 2014.