DAY 1: A Shocking Upset & a Few Close Calls
Day 1 had it all, some close calls, blow out losses and a stunning upset that no one expected.
UPSET OF THE DAY
The West Region's No. 14 seed Harvard came up with a genius plan pulling off the upset over No. 3 New Mexico, the Mountain West Conference champions, and a team that most had pegged to make a deep run in the tournament.
Quebec's Laurent Rivard scored five 3-pointers in the Crimson's 68-62 win over the Lobos who were known for their stingy defence all season.
It was New Mexico's first loss to an Ivy League team in 15 games. The Lobos had never played the Crimson before. Harvard will play Arizona on Saturday.
What should have been a fairly easy match turned out to be one that was too close for comfort. No. 1 seed Gonzaga was pushed to the limit by No. 16 Southern, but the Bulldogs managed to pull out the win in the dying minutes of the game to get the 64-58 victory.
Canadians Kelly Olynyk and Kevin Pangos lead the Zags with 21 points and 16 points respectively.
Gonzaga now faces No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday.
Another game that went down to the wire and was shaping up to be the first upset of the day was the match up between the East Region's No. 3 Marquette and No. 14 Davidson.
Davidson had the victory in the palm of their hands with a minute left but consecutive threes from the Golden Eagles' Vander Blue and Jamil Wilson and a costly mistake sent them packing.
The Wildcats were up by one with 6 seconds left when De'Mon Brooks opted for the long inbounds pass that went out of bounds causing the turnover, which resulted in Blue making the game-winning layup.
Marquette will now have to be on point when they face No. 6 Butler in Saturday's game.
Fourth seed Syracuse was in no mood to play around on Thursday night handing No. 13 seed Montana a 81-34 thrashing - the biggest blowout by a team seeded third or lower in the tournament's history.
The Orange raced to an early lead and was up by 23 points at the half and never allowed the Grizzlies back in the game with their stifling defence.
Overall top seed Louisville was also in a business like mood in their easy win over the Midwest Region's No. 16 North Carolina A&T. The Cardinals set a tournament record 20 steals in the 79-48 victory.
It was the 11th straight win for the Big East champions who will now play Colorado State on Saturday.
The South Region's No. 5 see Virginia Commonwealth trounced 12th seed Akron, posting the most lopsided win by a fifth seed in the tournament's history. With Akron left short-handed due to injuries and suspension, the Rams were able to force 22 turnovers. Up next for the Rams will be No. 4 Michigan.
HARVARD 68 - NEW MEXICO 62
ARIZONA 81 - BELMONT 64
GONZAGA 64 - SOUTHERN 58
WICHITA STATE 73 - PITTSBURGH 55
MARQUETTE 59 - DAVIDSON 58
BUTLER 68 - BUCKNELL 56
SYRACUSE 81 - MONTANA 34
CALIFORNIA 64 - UNLV 61
LOUISVILLE 79 - NORTH CAROLINA A&T 48
COLORADO STATE 84 - MISSOURI 72
MICHIGAN STATE 65 - VALPARAISO 54
MEMPHIS 54 - SAINT MARY'S 52
SAINT LOUIS 64 - NEW MEXICO STATE 44
OREGON 68 - OKLAHOMA STATE 55
MICHIGAN 71 - SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 56
VCU 88 - AKRON 42