In a day of upsets and near epic upsets, Harvard’s was the best as the #14 Crimson knocked off #3 New Mexico, 68-62.
What a day for Tommy Amaker’s bunch. Harvard has had three visits to the NCAAs, all-time, and this is their first win.
Davidson nearly matched the feat, as the SoCon champs took Marquette to the absolute wire. Marquette made a tremendous rally but Davidson coughed the ball up late with a one-point lead and Vander Blue nabbed a layup at the buzzer. Talk about a heartbreaker.
St. Mary’s nearly took out an amazingly athletic Memphis squad but missed a buzzer beating three.
The biggest eye opener though was that Gonzaga nearly became the first #1 to lose to a #16 as Southern gave them all they wanted and then some.
Butler waivered against Bucknell but came back and laid that potential upset to rest.
Arizona and Oregon, both out of the Pac-12, finished off Belmont and Oklahoma State respectively. Travis Ford is now something like 1-5 in NCAA games as the Cowboys coach.
Other games were not nearly as impressive.
Syracuse completely crushed Montana, 81-34, Michigan had minimal trouble with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, winning 71-56, and VCU, facing an Akron team missing three key players (one to a Thursday injury, two to severe cases of the flu), just zapped the Zips, winning by 46.
All of which sets up the next round, and nothing in the next round, so far anyway, is more intriguing than a fast and powerful Shockers perimeter which might just follow up on Southern’s lead and, well, shock Gonzaga.
Incidentally, we know that this was technically not the first day, but the play-in games don’t really count in that regard.
By the way, Frank Haith’s Mizzou team went out in the first round again. He’s had real success in his first two seasons at Missouri but has yet to win a post-season game there., http://juicedsportsblog.com/sports-news/news/a-fun-opening-day