NCAA tournament 2013: Harvard beat New Mexico? What 'Madness' might Friday bring?
The West region's 14th seeded Crimson shocked the third seeded Lobos late Thursday night. Another 16 games are scheduled to tip off Friday as the tournament field gets pared down 32 teams by the end of the day.
Now that the appetizer of the 'First Four' portion of the NCAA men's basketball tournament is complete, the full effects of 'March Madness' are being felt.
Across the Charles River from the Boston newsroom of the Christian Science Monitor, they're lustily singing 'Ten Thousand Men of Harvard' in Cambridge as the Crimson men's basketball team won its first ever NCAA tournament game Thursday night.
Harvard upset third seed New Mexico, 68-62, in the second round of the West region in Salt Lake City. The 14th seeded Crimson will next play sixth seed Arizona on Saturday.
Going into this year's tournament, many college basketball experts looked at the field and believed a number of teams have a chance to make their mark. A handful of past champion coaches think up to 30 teams in the field have a shot to make the Final Four.
Even President Obama has a second- and third-seeded team along with two top-seeded teams, Indiana and Louisville, in his bracket's Final Four. And any number of brackets across the country will have all four No. 1 seeds reaching Atlanta at the beginning of next month.
The possibility exists for more upsets on Friday as the NCAA tournament provides some interesting match-ups.
One of those games will take place in the South region as sixth seed UCLA meets 11th seed Minnesota Friday night in Austin, Texas.
The Bruins have a championship pedigree (11 NCAA titles between 1964 and 1995) on their side. But they lost second-leading scorer Jordan Adams to injury in the Pac-12 conference tournament semifinal. UCLA can still compete with a pair of all-Pac-12 performers in guard Larry Drew II and freshman Shabazz Muhammad. They also feature twin six-foot 10-inch forwards Travis and David Wear.
Minnesota is led by head coach Tubby Smith, a man who took the University of Kentucky to an NCAA title in 1998. The Golden Gophers have a balanced scoring attack, paced by guard Andre Hollins and forwards Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe.
Minnesota has had its share of highs and lows this year, but Mbakwe believes a new season starts now against UCLA.
"We know we've played one of the toughest schedules, we've played the best teams, the Dukes and Indianas of the world. We know we can compete with them. We have to get back to playing that way and actually believing," Mbakwe told the Associated Press Tuesday.
Out in the West region, seventh-seed Notre Dame plays 10th seed Iowa State Friday night in Dayton, Ohio. Both schools reached the semifinal round in their respective league post-season tournaments.
The Irish played in the rugged former Big East Conference as a basketball member. Notre Dame doesn't have a lot of stars, but they do feature all-Big East forward Jack Cooley and second-teamer Jerian Grant. Sophomore Pat Connaughton is one of those 'do everything' basketball players for head coach Mike Brey.
The Cyclones, coached by former Iowa State shooting star Fred Hoiberg, represent the Big 12 Conference. Iowa State likes to spread the scoring wealth around, with Will Clyburn, Tyrus McGee, freshman Georges Niang, and Melvin Ejim all averaging ten points or more per game. They are fourth in the nation in team scoring, averaging 79.6 points per game.
Also Friday, South top seed Kansas will take on 16th seed Western Kentucky in Kansas City. In the East region, top seed Indiana plays 16th seed James Madison in Dayton, Ohio.