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NCAA Tournament Round Of 64, Day 2: Upsets Galore

Danny Lee |
March 17, 2012 | 5:06 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Coach K and his team got an unpleasant surprise Friday. (Wikimedia Commons)
Coach K and his team got an unpleasant surprise Friday. (Wikimedia Commons)
While the first eight games of the Round of 64 saw little in the way of upsets, the eight matchups to close the curtain on this round surely picked up the pace. Six lower-seeded teams pulled out victories in Friday's evening/night session. With so many unexpected results on the final day before the Round of 32 commences, let's just skip ahead to the rundown.

Bedlam in Bethlehem

Fans had to wait 11 years to witness another 15-over-2 upset after Hampton shocked Iowa State in 2001. But on the night it happened once again, we were treated to a double dose of them. Norfolk State sending Missouri home was nice, but a tiny private school out of the Patriot League like Lehigh toppling a program of Duke's pedigree, 75-70, is a feat that won't be forgotten for some time.

"THE" Ohio University

Not to be outdone by the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh, the 14-seeded Ohio Bobcats showed that like their much more celebrated scarlet and grey-clad brethren in Columbus, they too can up the ante against Michigan. The Bobcats shot 51 percent from the field and were a proficient 15-of-17 from the foul line in slipping past the Wolverines, 65-60.

Blue Devils go down. Wolverines goes down. Hmm…I wonder if Grant Hill is sharing a box of Kleenex with members of the Fab Five at this very moment?

Zip 'em up

It appeared the Xavier Musketeers were destined for a long and hard fall after their involvement in a scuffle with crosstown rival Cincinnati earlier this season. The team dropped five of six games after that melee and did not take home the Atlantic 10 crown as predicted.

But here they are, into the Round of 32 for the fifth time in six years after a 67-63 upset over 7-seeded Notre Dame. Free throws were the key. The Musketeers made 18 of them, while the Irish converted just four in nine attempts.

No worries, Big East fans

South Florida salvaged conference pride by taking down Xavier's A-10 conference-mate Temple, 58-44, in the tournament's second 12-over-5 upset. The Bulls shot an uninspiring 34 percent from the field, but sank 47 percent from three-point range (8-of-17).

California dreams shattered

As Saint Mary's forward Rob Jones' last-second three-point attempt fell short, the state of California will be shut out of the Round of 32, having gone 0-4 in 2012's edition of March Madness.

Earlier Friday, No. 6-seeded San Diego State fell to No. 11 North Carolina State, 79-65. On Thursday, pre-tournament mid-major darling Long Beach State had its Cinderella hopes derailed against New Mexico.

With the Pac-12's lone at-large representative California getting humiliated in its First Four matchup against South Florida on Wednesday, this has not been a banner year for Golden State or left coast hoops. Which leads us to…

West Coast is not the best coast

Entering the tournament, 12 teams in the Dance came from west of the Rocky Mountains. That figure is now down to three with just Colorado, Gonzaga and New Mexico left to tango. It's not the fact that west coast teams have been going down, it's the way that they're crashing out of the field.

Saint Mary's, San Diego State and UNLV all were victims to double-digit seeds. Brigham Young, Colorado State, Montana and New Mexico State all lost by double digits. As did Cal, which put up a USC-like 13 points in the first half against USF.

The trio of western teams remaining will face uphill climbs in their Round of 32 games.

Other Scores

(9) Saint Louis 61, (8) Memphis 54: The 9th-seeded Billikens stuffed the Tigers to 38.9 percent shooting in this mild upset to earn a Sunday date with the Michigan State Spartans. Memphis is such a far cry from that 2008 Final Four appearance under then-coach John Calipari. Oh wait, that never happened! #Vacated

(2) Kansas 65, (15) Detroit 50: The Titans shot just 31.7 percent from the field and missed half of their 14 free throw attempts. Yet somehow, I can't imagine those shooting numbers are that far off from the Detroit Pistons.

(1) Michigan State 89, (16) LIU Brooklyn 67: Darn! I was hoping the Blackbirds would put together the first-ever 16-over-1 upset so I'd have an excuse to toss a Jay-Z reference into one of these subheads.

Records by conference after Round of 64 (Leagues with two or more bids)

Big East: 7-3 (.700)
Big Ten: 5-1 (.833)
Big 12: 4-2 (.667)
SEC: 3-1 (.750)
ACC: 3-2 (.600)
Atlantic 10: 2-2 (.500)
West Coast: 2-2 (.500)
Pac-12: 1-1 (.500)
Missouri Valley: 1-1 (.500)
Mountain West: 1-3 (.250)
Conference USA: 0-2 (.000)
Metro Atlantic: 0-2 (.000)

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