The second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament tipped off Thursday, and already there have been upsets, nail-biters and close calls.
The biggest upset of the day occurred after midnight. The No. 14 seed Harvard Crimson knocked off the No. 3 New Mexico Lobos, 68-62, for their first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament. Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 18 points and Laurent Rivard added 17 in the victory.
The tournament's first full day of basketball got started more than 12 hours earlier with Michigan State and Valparaiso. The third-seeded Spartans were never threatened en route to a 65-54 win. Butler and Bucknell continued the afternoon slate of games, with the Bulldogs pulling away for a 68-56 victory. Just moments later, Wichita State became the first lower seed to win a game when the Shockers topped Pitt, 73-55.
The first thriller of the day came somewhat unexpectedly when Davidson gave Marquette everything it could handle. The Golden Eagles needed a flurry of three-pointers in the final minute to get close, then forced a turnover with less than ten seconds left to get the ball back and win the game, 59-58, on a Vander Blue layup.
Shortly thereafter, Gonzaga, the top seed in the West Region, escaped with a 64-58 over No. 16 Southern. The Jaguars were tied with Gonzaga with less than four minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs closed the game on an 8-2 run to avoid making history for all the wrong reasons.
Perhaps lost amid the afternoon excitement of the previous two games was a close contest between Memphis and St. Mary's, in which the Tigers salvaged a 54-52 victory. Memphis nearly squandered a 10-point halftime lead, but the Gaels came up just short as Matthew Dellavedova missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Oregon earned the first big upset of the day, as the No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region knocked off fifth-seeded Oklahoma State, 68-55. The Pac-12 Tournament champions were never really challenged after taking a double-digit lead with less than five minutes remaining in the second half. The Ducks' conference mates, California, later became the second No. 12 seed to win on Thursday, holding off UNLV, 64-61.
Louisville and VCU took home honors for blowout of the day. The top-seeded Cardinals routed North Carolina A&T, 79-48, in a game that was never closer than 10 points after the 14-minute mark in the first half. VCU ensured there wouldn't be another upset in a No. 5-vs.-No. 12 game by pounding Akron, 88-42. The Rams and their "Havoc" defense forced 21 turnovers in the thrashing of the Zips.
The final game of the night was a blowout start to finish. No. 4 Syracuse thumped No. 13 Montana, 81-34. The Grizzlies had just 15 points at the half and no Montana player scored more than five points in the defeat. Brandon Triche led Syracuse with 20.
Here's what the bracket looks like at the end of Thursday's competition: