The 2014 NCAA tournament has been as advertised thus far, providing college basketball fans with a handful of fantastic finishes and jaw-dropping upsets.
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No. 16 seeds are still winless since the tournament expanded to 65 teams in 1985, but a pair of No. 12 seeds and some other double-digit Cinderellas have already experienced their shining moments.
Below we'll break down the latest second-round scores from March Madness and revisit some of the most shocking results thus far.
|Day 1 Results||Score|
|(11) Dayton Over (6) Ohio State||60-59|
|(2) Wisconsin Over (15) American||75-35|
|(9) Pittsburgh Over (8) Colorado||77-48|
|(12) Harvard Over (5) Cincinnati||61-57|
|(3) Syracuse Over (14) Western Michigan||77-53|
|(7) Oregon Over (10) BYU||87-68|
|(1) Florida Over (16) Albany||67-55|
|(4) Michigan State Over (13) Delaware||93-78|
|(7) Connecticut Over (10) Saint Joseph's||89-81*|
|(2) Michigan Over (15) Wofford||57-40|
|(5) Saint Louis Over (12) NC State||83-80*|
|(12) North Dakota State Over (5) Oklahoma||80-75*|
|(7) Texas Over (10) Arizona State||87-85|
|(2) Villanova Over (15) Milwaukee||73-53|
|(4) Louisville Over (13) Manhattan||71-64|
|(4) San Diego State Over (13) New Mexico State||73-69*|
|Day 2 Results||Score|
|(14) Mercer Over (3) Duke||78-71|
|(6) Baylor Over (11) Nebraska||74-60|
|(10) Stanford Over (7) New Mexico||58-53|
|(1) Arizona Over (16) Weber State||68-59|
|(11) Tennessee Over (6) Massachusetts||86-67|
|(3) Creighton Over (14) Louisiana-Lafayette||76-66|
|(2) Kansas Over (15) Eastern Kentucky||80-69|
|(8) Gonzaga Over (9) Oklahoma State||85-77|
|(8) Memphis Over (9) George Washington||71-66|
|(6) North Carolina Over (11) Providence||79-77|
|(1) Wichita State Over (16) Cal Poly||64-37|
|(12) Stephen F. Austin Over (5) VCU||77-75*|
|(1) Virginia Over (16) Coastal Carolina||70-59|
|(8) Kentucky Over (9) Kansas State||56-49|
|(3) Iowa State Over (14) NC Central||93-75|
|(4) UCLA Over (13) Tulsa||76-59|
Midwest Region: No. 14 Mercer Stuns No. 3 Duke, 78-71
Friday's second-round action opened with a bang as the 14th-seeded Mercer Bears shocked the third-seeded Duke Blue Devils in Raleigh, N.C., per SportsCenter on Twitter:
HUGE UPSET! 3-seed Duke sent home by 14-seed Mercer, 78-71. Bears get their first NCAA tournament win in dramatic fashion.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 21, 2014
The Atlantic Sun tournament champions outscored the ACC powerhouse 20-8 over the final five minutes to bust brackets across America and secure a berth in the third round.
Led by Jakob Gollon's 20 points, the Bears overcame some poor play on the boards to beat a hot-shooting Duke squad that knocked in 15 three-pointers. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they were only 7-of-25 as a team from inside the arc. On the other hand, Mercer went 20-of-32 from inside the three-point line and only turned the ball over eight times.
Duke's freshman superstar Jabari Parker got in foul trouble early in the second half and struggled with his jump shot, going 0-of-3 from deep. Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon kept Duke in it, combining for 43 points and 12 made three-pointers.
In addition to their ability to beat Duke up inside, the Bears were aided by their experience, as KUSports.com's Tom Keegan points out:
http://t.co/ve1NKNG44v ranks all 351 Div. 1 teams in experience. Mercer is No. 5, Duke No. 279.— Tom Keegan (@TomKeeganLJW) March 21, 2014
Mercer starts five seniors and will continue to rely on its experience as it gears up for a third-round clash on Sunday.
West Region: No. 12 NDSU Topples No. 5 Oklahoma in Overtime, 80-75
The Harvard Crimson became the first No. 12 seed to advance on Thursday, but many had picked the Ivy League champions to knock off Cincinnati. Hours later, the 12th-seeded North Dakota State Bison defeated the fifth-seeded Oklahoma Sooners in an even bigger surprise.
ESPN Stats & Info highlights just how unpredictable the two results were:
11.2% of the 11 million brackets in the Tournament Challenge had both Harvard and North Dakota State winning today— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2014
Naturally, the Bison and head coach Saul Phillips were jubilant afterward, per SI.com's Lindsay Schnell: "Anyone can enjoy this. It’s the All-American 12-5 upset."
Lawrence Alexander propelled the Bison, scoring 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting in 45 minutes. The junior guard played the entire game including overtime and hurt the Sooners from almost everywhere on the court, per ESPN Stats & Info:
North Dakota State's Lawrence Alexander introduces himself to hoops fans with one of the better games of the day pic.twitter.com/LnxB0dsCGH— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 21, 2014
North Dakota State will take on fourth-seeded San Diego State on Saturday for a spot in the Sweet 16. The Aztecs avoided an upset against No. 13 New Mexico State late Thursday night, winning by four points in overtime.
But Steve Fisher's side will have to find a way to slow down Alexander if the Aztecs hope to play into the second week.
South Region: No. 11 Dayton Upsets In-State Rival No. 6 Ohio State, 60-59
The 2014 NCAA tournament second round began in dramatic fashion on Thursday afternoon when the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers scored the go-ahead basket with 3.8 seconds remaining to eliminate sixth-seeded Ohio State.
Keep in mind that the Buckeyes had made four consecutive Sweet 16 appearances coming in.
USA Today's Erik Brady breaks down how the Flyers pulled the upset:
Dayton used fast-break opportunities where they could find them and a big inside presence from center Matt Kavanaugh to get the best of the behemoth Buckeyes in the first half, and Ohio State's rugged half-court defense broke down in places as the game slipped away in the second half. The 11th-seeded Flyers from the Atlantic 10 beat their Big Ten neighbors by never backing down and their confidence grew as the crowd urged on the underdogs against the brand-name Buckeyes, who were the 6-seed.
Vee Sanford, who banked in the game-winner from in close, talked about his huge shot after the game, per The Associated Press via ESPN.com: "No, I wasn't nervous. We've drawn up a play like that, and I messed it up previously. But (coach Archie Miller) just kept his trust in me, and I'm just thankful that the shot went in."
Sanford and Dayton will look to extend their Cinderella run on Saturday against third-seeded Syracuse. And if the Flyers can defend the three-point line the way they did against the Buckeyes, they'll have an excellent shot to stay alive.
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