Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Upsets, Overtime Thrillers Mark First Day NCAA Tournament Action

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Upsets, Overtime Thrillers Mark First Day NCAA Tournament Action

Article excerpt

Did you already lose out on the $1 billion perfect bracket challenge? If so, you're not alone, as Thursday's second round NCAA men's basketball tournament play was a bracket buster's delight all around, including some nail-biting games that could have dramatically altered the landscape for the remainder of "March Madness."

There were a number of upsets, including South 11th seed Dayton hitting a buzzer-beater with no time left on the clock to defeat sixth seed Ohio State, 60-59; West No. 12 North Dakota State likewise getting a three-pointer by Lawrence Alexander in the waning moments to secure an overtime session - and eventually a victory - over fifth-seeded Oklahoma, 80-75, and East 11th seed Harvard University maintained a steady, if slender lead throughout their contest with sixth seed Cincinnati to outlast the Bearcats, 61-57. For Harvard, it's their second victory in the tournament and only the second time an Ivy League team has won NCAA tournament games in consecutive years since Princeton in 1983-84.

For Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker, it was a sweet return to the tourney, and one that has caught the eye of other teams - one being Boston College who, after releasing head coach Steve Donahue this past week, are reportedly planning to approach Amaker after the season to secure him as Donahue's replacement.

There were also games that were very near upsets. East No. 7 Connecticut needed an extra frame to subdue a seemingly relentless tenth-seeded St. Joseph's squad, 89-81; West 13th seed New Mexico State, who scored only 20 points in the first half, charged back to force an overtime session with the Aztecs of San Diego State, but eventually came up short, 73-69, and the fifth seed Saint Louis Billikens also needed overtime to defeat the momentum-charged North Carolina State Wolfpack, 83-80.

North Dakota State had, in the last minutes, sustained the loss of arguably its best player, Taylor Braun, to fouling out. …

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