Following an afternoon punctuated by almost upsets, the high seeds in action on Thursday night have good reason to be nervous.
In Salt Lake City, No. 1 seed Gonzaga barely avoided a historic upset at the hands of No. 16 Southern. No. 3 Marquette needed a last-second bucket and a furious rally to hold off Davidson in Lexington.
No. 13 Montana and No. 14 Harvard will aim to finish what those would-be Cinderellas started when they take on No. 4 Syracuse and No. 3 New Mexico.
Earlier, No. 12 Oregon dispatched No. 5 Oklahoma State to provide the seemingly annual 5-12 upset of the tournament. Can No. 12 Akron topple No. 5 VCU to add another? Or does VCU and its Havoc defense have another deep run ahead?
Rounding out the final four games of the night, No. 8 Colorado State and No. 9 Missouri tangle in Lexington.
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Syracuse wins 81-34. Triche has a game-high 20 points.
Syracuse was just leading by 50 but Montana hit a 3 to make it 81-34. 30 seconds left.
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : Well, the play of the day was here at Rupp by Vander Blue. But there is no second place to the stunner as Harvard beats UNM. Amazing.|
|@ GaryParrishCBS : Michigan-VCU will be the first game Saturday. It tips at 12:15 pm EDT. Memphis-Michigan State follows, around 2:45 EDT.|
Syracuse has a 78-31 lead over Montana now. Will they win by 50??
Montana gets a layup on a 3-on-1 fast break and now they have 31 points.
|@ jppalmCBS : Modern era low score in the tournament, Miss Valley St 29 in 70-29 loss to UCLA in 2008.|
|@ ESPNStatsInfo : Only 1,339 of the 8.15 million brackets in the http://t.co/ZUyXKpcfZT Tournament Challenge are still perfect. Just 5.6 pct picked Harvard.|
Montana just tried an alley-oop from half court and the ball went sailing out of bounds and now a few Montana players are even smiling on the bench. 76-28 Syracuse. 5:525 left in the game.
|@ JonRothstein : The door is now officially open for Arizona. Wildcats are the most talented team in the West Region.|
Syracuse shut Montana to 15 points in the first half. Montana only has 10 in the second so far. 'Cuse leads 66-25.
Harvard wins! It's No. 14 over a No. 3 seed in Salt Lake City. Harvard wins 68-62.
Moundou-Miss fouls out and Williams is at the line for the Lobos.. make.. make. It's four points with 19.3.
Fenton miss.. Greenwood miss on same trip before Chambers get the rebound for Harvard. He's fouled and hits 1 of 2. It's a six-point game with 26 ticks.
Saunders controls a short lob and is fouled. Harvard in the double bonus. Make... Miss..
Harvard can't inbound the ball and has to use another timeout. They're out. A turnover here and this gets a lot more interesting. Needless to say, it's already quite interesting.
Rivard couldn't inbound the ball and calls time.
New Mexico in the bonus. It's 1-and-1 for Williams. Make.. make... It's a four-point game with 48.3 seconds.
Montana has shot a miserable 6/35 from the field. Syracuse up 55-18. Montana is also 1/16 from 3-point range.
Moundou-missi hits 1-2 after a foul on Kirk. Harvard leads 64-58 with 55 seconds.
Fenton hits a much-needed three-point shot for New Mexico. It's 63-58 lead for Harvard with 89 seconds.
Chambers drops a jumper and Harvard is up eight as the game ticks toward two minutes remaining. This is their largest lead at 63-55.
Christmas gets a beautiful pass in the paint on a pick and roll and throws down a two-handed dunk. Syracuse up 53-17. Triche has 18 on 5/5 shooting and 6/8 from the free throw line.
Smith hits a jumper for Harvar at one end to extend the lead to 59-53 and then comes up with a block at the other. Tick tock. Kirk comes up with a tip-in for New Mexico to make it a four-point game. Harvard leads 59-55 with 3:20 to play.
Fair opens the 2nd half with an easy layup and now Triche is at the free throw line after a foul on a fast break. He went 1/2. Cuse up 41-15.
After the teams trade a few scores, Rivard drains his fifth three of the game. Harvard leads 55-53 with 6:06 to play. New Mexico timeout.
|@ JonRothstein : Syracuse with the early KO. Montana was never a team that was built to beat the Orange. Shooting just 1-10 from 3-pt range.|
Rivard hits 2 of 3 and they're all tied up 49-49 with 7 to play.
Colorado State beats Missouri 84-72. Dorian Green finished with 26 points on 6/13 from the field and 11/12 from the free throw line. Rams out-rebounded the Tigers 36-18.