NORMAN — Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY — Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard had 17 to help 14th-seeded Harvard pull off Thursday’s biggest upset in the NCAA tournament, a 68-62 win over No. 3 New Mexico in the West regional.
The Ivy League advanced for the first time in the tournament since a very good Cornell team made the regional semifinals in 2010. It also was Harvard’s first NCAA tourney win.
The Mountain West Conference, judged one of the top two leagues in college basketball all season, fell to 1-3 so far this week.
Harvard (20-9) tries to keep it going Saturday against sixth-seeded Arizona.
New Mexico closes the season at 29-6. Alex Kirk had 22 points for the Lobos, a popular pick to make the Final Four who, instead, still haven’t made it out of the first weekend since 1974.
Syracuse 81, Montana 34: Brandon Triche scored 20 points, C.J. Fair added 13 and fourth-seeded Syracuse shut down No. 13 seed Montana with its zone defense in a 81-34 victory in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday night.
Michael Carter-Williams chipped in four points, eight rebounds and nine assists as the Orange (27-9) raced out to an early lead that grew as big as 50 points and coasted past the Grizzlies (25-7) to their most lopsided tournament win since beating Brown 101-52 in the first round in 1986.
Syracuse advanced to play 12th-seeded and local favorite California (21-11) on Saturday for a spot in the East regional in Washington, D.C. next week. The Golden Bears beat UNLV 64-61.
Colorado State 84, Missouri 72: Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State used good shooting to run away from No. 9 Missouri 84-72 Thursday night in the NCAA tournament.
Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year’s second-round upset to Murray State, did much better this time as the Rams shot nearly 58 percent in the first half.
Minnesota transfer and Rams big man Colton Iverson outrebounded Missouri by himself through 27 minutes and finished with 13 boards.
First-year Rams coach Larry Eustachy earned the victory with his fourth tournament team, but the road gets tougher as they advance to face top-seeded Louisville in Saturday’s third-round Midwest Regional game at Rupp Arena.
Phil Pressey’s 20 points led the Tigers (23-11).
VCU 88, Akron 42: Troy Daniels had 23 points, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and VCU routed Akron 88-42 on Thursday night in the most lopsided victory by a fifth-seeded team over a No. 12 in NCAA tournament history.
The previous mark was set by Wyoming in a 35-point win over Howard in 1981 and matched by Tennessee against Long Beach State in 2007, according to STATS.
The Rams (27-8) will play fourth-seeded Michigan on Saturday for a spot in the round of 16.
Akron (26-7) was seriously short-handed, and it showed.
Marquette 59, Davidson 58: Vander Blue’s layup with one second left capped Marquette’s rally from a nine-point deficit and gave the third-seeded Golden Eagles a 59-58 victory over Davidson Thursday in the NCAA tournament.
Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette within 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles then caught a huge break when De’Mon Brooks’ long inbounds pass went out of bounds at midcourt with 5.5 seconds left, providing another opportunity.
Jake Cohen’s 20 points led Davidson (26-8), who seemed in control leading 49-40 with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Butler 68, Bucknell 56: Andrew Smith had a double-double including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points and Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off upset-minded Bucknell.
After trailing for most of the game, 11th-seeded Bucknell got back into it with a 19-2 second-half run. But after Joe Willman’s jumper cut Butler’s lead to 43-42 with 6:56 left, the Bison (28-6) went almost five minutes without scoring. Butler went 18-of-20 at the line in the last 4:43.
Willman scored a career-high 20 points for Bucknell, but the Bison couldn’t overcome an off day by two-time Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala. Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer had nine points, only the second time this season he’d failed to reach double figures.
California 64, UNLV 61: Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and 12th-seeded California held off UNLV.
Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent so close to Berkeley, the Golden Bears (21-11) held the Runnin’ Rebels (25-10) without a basket for more than 11 minutes in the second half. Cal turned a tie game into a nine-point lead during that stretch and withstood a late UNLV push for its first tournament win since 2010.
The fifth-seeded Rebels rallied to within a point in the final seconds before missed free throws and a costly inbounds pass sealed the loss.
Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 15 points and Anthony Bennett shook off a poor start to finish with 15 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV, which beat Cal 76-75 in Berkeley on Dec. 9.
Louisville 79, North Carolina A&T 48: Pay attention, No. 1s. This is how it’s done.
Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the Cardinals demolished North Carolina A&T.
Louisville finished with a season-high 20 steals as it forced the Aggies (20-17) into 27 turnovers. It was the 11th straight win for the Cardinals (30-5), who will play Colorado State or Missouri on Saturday.
Rick Pitino and the Big East champions quickly ended a postseason run for the Aggies, who finally earned their first NCAA tournament win on Tuesday. Bruce Beckford led North Carolina A&T with 12 points.
Sain Louis 64, New Mexico State 44: Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State in the Midwest Regional.
Playing through the death of Rick Majerus in December, Saint Louis reached another mark for its late coach. The Billikens (28-6) eclipsed the 1988-89 team’s school record of 27 victories.
Evans shot 11 of 16 and finished a point shy of his career best to propel Saint Louis past 7-foot-5 New Mexico State freshman Sim Bhullar. The Billikens held Bhullar to four points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Saint Louis plays Oregon on Saturday.
Bandja Sy had 17 points and nine rebounds for the 13th-seeded Aggies (24-11), who shot just 28 percent.
Gonzaga 64, Southern 58: A March Madness warm-up turned into a great escape for Gonzaga.
The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern, pulling out a victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament.
Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points. They play No. 9 Wichita State on Saturday.
But it was a pair of 3-pointers — one by Gary Bell Jr., the next by Kevin Pangos — that staked the Bulldogs to a 62-58 lead only moments after the game was tied at 56 with 3:45 left.
Derick Beltran had 21 points to lead Southern (23-10) and his 14-foot baseline jumper tied it at 56. But the Jaguars from the Southwestern Athletic Conference didn’t make another field goal.
No. 1 seeds are now 113-0 against 16s.
Arizona 81, Belmont 64: Mark Lyons scored 23 points and sixth-seeded Arizona rolled past Belmont.
The Wildcats (26-7) used their huge size advantage to shut down the Bruins (26-7), who are 0-6 in tourney games. Arizona held a 44-18 edge on the boards, outscored Belmont 36-18 in the paint, blocked five shots and outshot the Bruins from 3-point range.
The Wildcats made 9 of 17 3-pointers, including a critical one from Solomon Hill with 4:40 remaining to stop an 11-2 Belmont run, and shot 57 percent overall.
Bruins guard Ian Clark entered shooting better than 46 percent from 3-point range but was 3 of 8 from beyond the arc.
Kerron Johnson led Belmont with 22 points and Clark finished with 21.
Kevin Parrom, Kaleb Tarczewski and Nick Johnson added 12 points each for Arizona, which will play the winner of Harvard-New Mexico.
Michigan 71, South Dakota 56: Glenn Robinson III scored 21 points and Mitch McGary added 13 points and nine rebounds, helping fourth-seeded Michigan overcome a rough night for star Trey Burke.
Burke made only two field goals and left the game briefly in the second half after a hard fall under the basket. The star point guard came back after that, but he finished with only six points.
Michigan (27-7) advanced anyway behind Robinson, McGary and Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 21 points.
South Dakota State (25-10), the 13th seed, trailed by only four at halftime but couldn’t keep up. High-scoring guard Nate Wolters was held to only 10 points.
Burke was held in single digits for the first time all season.
Michigan plays the winner of VCU against Akron on Saturday.