When the Mercer Bears knocked off the Duke Blue Devils on March 21, it was just one of many huge upsets over the last two days as the March Madness college basketball tournament kicked off in strong style. The Round of 64 saw a number of big upsets that sent home some powerhouse teams and allowed some smaller name teams to move on to the Round of 32.
Teams like the Cincinnati Bearcats, Ohio State Buckeyes and VCU Rams all joined Duke to head home early while teams like the North Dakota State Bison, Harvard Crimson and Dayton Fliers joined Mercer in living to fight another day. The next two days of college basketball action will see if any of these teams live on to move to the Sweet 16 and a chance to be the next Cinderella.
March Madness is underway and the madness of the first upsets of the tournament are sending shockwaves through college basketball. Here is a look at the five biggest upsets of the Round of 64.
Mercer beat Duke
The biggest upset of the March Madness college basketball tournament so far saw 14-seed Mecer Bears beat the third ranked Duke Blue Devils. This was Mercer’s first tournament appearance since 1985 and they beat Duke by a solid seven points to move on to the Round of 32. Next up for Mercer is 11-seed Tennessee on Sunday.
Dayton beat Ohio State
11th seeded Dayton knocked off the six-seed Ohio State Buckeyes thanks to a Vee Sanford layup as time ticked down. It was a big win in the last seconds of the game as Dayton beat their in-state “big brothers” to prove that the little guys can still win when the chips are on the line. Dayton next heads into Saturday to take on the third seeded Syracuse Orange.
Harvard beat Cincinnati
Cincinnati just couldn’t put anything together and came out very flat against a determined Harvard squad. The four point win made Harvard the first Ivy League school since 1984 to win a game in back-to-back March Madness appearances. Next up for Harvard is a meeting on Saturday with a Michigan State team that President Obama picked to win it all.
North Dakota State beat Oklahoma
All season long, the Oklahoma Sooners had one of the best offenses in college basketball and one of the worst defenses in the nation. Those both played into their loss to No. 12 seed North Dakota State. OU scored 75 points but lost in overtime to a tenacious Bison, who put up 80 points and hope to continue their winning ways against San Diego State on Saturday.
SF Austin beat VCU
The final big upset came when Stephen F. Austin beat Virginia Commonwealth, 77-75, in overtime. VCU, a team that was in the Final Four three years ago and are always a threat could not beat the 12 seed SF Austin in this year’s March Madness tournament. The Lumberjacks now head into a big meeting on Sunday with four seed UCLA in their hopes of being this year’s Cinderella team.