SALT LAKE — Give those Harvard kids an A-plus in another subject: Bracketbusting 101.
Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers to help the 14th-seeded Crimson pull off the biggest upset on the first full day of NCAA tournament games, 68-62, in a West Regional game Thursday night.
The Ivy League advanced for the first time since a very good Cornell team made the regional semifinals in 2010. The Mountain West Conference, judged one of the top two leagues in college basketball all season, fell to 1-3 so far this week.
The Crimson (20-9) put the clamps down on New Mexico’s Tony Snell, holding him to nine points on 4-for-12 shooting after he dominated in the MWC tournament. They banged inside with Lobos big men Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk, whose 22 points provided New Mexico’s only consistent offense.
Mostly, they showed none of the jitters that marked their trip to the tournament last year — a 79-70 loss to Vanderbilt in Harvard’s first NCAA appearance since 1946.
SALT LAKE — 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.
GONZAGA 64, SOUTHERN 58
SALT LAKE —A March Madness warmup 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.
WICHITA STATE 73, PITTSBURGH 55
SALT LAKE — Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
Freshman center Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Call Hall added 11 points for the Shockers (27-8).
The Shockers forced Pitt into 15 turnovers and held the Panthers to 35 percent shooting, including 1 of 17 from 3-point range.
MARQUETTE 59, DAVIDSON 58
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue’s layup with a second left capped Marquette’s late rally against 14th-seeded Davidson.
Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette to 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The third-seeded 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.
Blue took full advantage after taking Wilson’s inbounds pass, driving left and finding room for the winning basket. He then sealed Marquette’s improbable win by stealing Davidson’s last-ditch inbounds pass at midcourt to set off a celebration among players and Golden Eagles fans at Rupp Arena.
BUTLER 68, BUCKNELL 56
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andrew Smith had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones also scored 14 and sixth-seeded Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off 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.
SYRACUSE 81, MONTANA 34
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brandon Triche scored 20 points, C.J. Fair added 13 and the fourth-seeded Orange shut down No. 13 seed Montana with their zone defense in the biggest NCAA tournament blowout by a team seeded third or lower.
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.
LOUISVILLE 79, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 48
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 23 points and had eight of Louisville’s NCAA tournament-record 20 steals in an easy win over North Carolina A&T.
Peyton Siva added eight assists and four steals for top-seeded Louisville, which limited the 16th-seeded Aggies (20-17) to 42 percent shooting and harassed them into 27 turnovers. It was the 11th straight win for Louisvlle.
COLORADO STATE 84, MISSOURI 72
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State ran away from Missouri.
Green, who went scoreless with five turnovers in last year’s second-round loss 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).
MICHIGAN STATE 65, VALPARAISO 54
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders in the Midwest Regional.
The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control, and cruised to an easy victory.
Michigan State (26-8) will play Memphis on Saturday when coach Tom Izzo and the Spartans will be shooting for a spot in the round of 16 for the fifth time in six years.
The Crusaders (26-8) were no match for Michigan State in their first NCAA tourney in nine years.
Erik Buggs scored 14 and Matt Kenney had 10 points for the Crusaders.
MEMPHIS 54, SAINT MARY’S 52
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s.
The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
With Memphis ahead 54-49, Eividas Petrulis banked in a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. The Tigers then lost the ball when the Gaels’ Jordan Giusti deflected the inbounds pass off Joe Jackson of Memphis and out of bounds.
Saint Mary’s (28-7) was out of timeouts but had a chance to regroup while officials reviewed the previous sequence. It didn’t matter. Dellavedova, the career leader in scoring for Saint Mary’s, was able to get a shot off, but it didn’t come close to going in.
D.J. Stephens had nine points and eight blocks for Memphis, and Jackson had 14 points and seven assists. Brad Waldow scored 17 points to lead Saint Mary’s.
SAINT LOUIS 64, NEW MEXICO STATE 44
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State in the Midwest Regional.
Playing through Rick Majerus’ death 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.
OREGON 68, OKLAHOMA STATE 55
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Damyean Dotson scored 17 points and Arsalan Kazemi added 11 points and 17 rebounds to help 12th-seeded Oregon beat fifth-seeded Oklahoma, extending a run that began in the Pac-12 tournament.
MICHIGAN 71, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 56
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — 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.
VCU 88, AKRON 42
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Troy Daniels had 23 points, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and VCU routed Akron in the most lopsided victory by a fifth-seeded team over a No. 12 in NCAA tournament history.