POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Mar 21, 2014
SPOKANE, Wash. » The guys in green raced off the court and into the locker room, where they danced and sang, compared whose shot was most likely to end up featured on "One Shining Moment," and checked Twitter to see who was giving them a shoutout.
North Dakota State pulled off yet another 12 seed stunner and enjoyed every moment of it.
"I just want to keep coaching this team," NDSU coach Saul Phillips said. "I don't want to have to say goodbye to this locker room."
Lawrence Alexander's 3-pointer with 11 seconds left forced overtime and Carlin Dupree came off the bench to score four unlikely points in the final 75 seconds of the extra session, and the Bison knocked off No. 5 seed Oklahoma 80-75 Thursday night.
NDSU (26-6) picked up its first NCAA Tournament win by rallying in the final minute and outlasting the Sooners in overtime. Alexander finished with a career-high 28 points, but it'll be his falling-down, fist-pumping celebration after the tying 3-pointer that will be replayed in Fargo for years.
But that was just the first act. Dupree came on in the closing seconds of overtime after Taylor Braun fouled out, hit two free throws and scored on a difficult baseline leaner with 41 seconds left that put the Bison up by four and ignited the celebration.
Phillips ran over to the fans in green and yellow, threw his arms in the air and screamed at the top of his lungs. No one could hear the excitable North Dakota State coach with all the noise.
The Bison quickly realized they grabbed the nation's attention.
"You guys figure out how big it is," Phillips said. "I know it's very gratifying and I know that for guys like Lawrence and Carlin and everybody on this team, couldn't have happened to a more fitting group of guys, because they have done what it takes to be exactly where we are right now, year-round."
While players were monitoring Twitter to see who had been watching, the school's own athletic department account probably had the best line.
"We'll gladly be your Cinderella, America."
Cameron Clark led Oklahoma (23-10) with 25 points.
SAN DIEGO STATE 73, NEW MEXICO STATE 69
SPOKANE, WASH. » Xavier Thames scored 23 points as the Aztecs (30-4) outlasted the Aggies (26-10) in the fourth and final overtime game of the day.
Seven-foot-5 Sim Bhullar had 14 points and seven boards for New Mexico State before fouling out in OT.
WISCONSIN 75, AMERICAN 35
MILWAUKEE » Ben Brust scored 17 points and the second-seeded Badgers
(27-7) devastated the Eagles (20-13) with a 22-5 run to close the first half.
Wisconsin recovered from a brief first-half rut and seven-point deficit to extinguish the dreams of 15th-seeded American.
OREGON 87, BYU 68
MILWAUKEE » Elgin Cook scored a career-high 23 points as the seventh-seeded Ducks (24-9) defeated the Cougars (23-12).
Joseph Young had 19 points for Oregon, which had to stage a big comeback to beat the Cougars 100-96 in overtime in December. There was no comeback needed this time, with the Ducks turning away every charge in the second half.
HARVARD 61, CINCINNATI 57
SPOKANE, WASH. » Siyani Chambers scored 11 points, including five straight in the final two minutes, and the 12th-seeded Crimson (27-4) upended the Bearcats (27-7).
Wesley Saunders led Harvard with 12 points as the Crimson pulled off an upset for the second straight year. Last year, Harvard upset New Mexico as a 14 seed.
MICHIGAN STATE 93, DELAWARE 78
SPOKANE, WASH. » Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points to get the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8) off to a solid start by beating the Blue Hens (25-10).
Payne set an NCAA Tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program's tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
UCONN 89, SAINT JOSEPH'S 81, OT
BUFFALO, N.Y. » Shabazz Napier shook off a miss at the second-half buzzer to score nine of his 24 points in overtime and lead the seventh-seeded Huskies (27-8) past the Hawks (24-10).
DeAndre Daniels scored 18, while freshman center Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute for UConn.
Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Joseph's.
VILLANOVA 73, MILWAUKEE 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. » Darrun Hilliard scored 16 points and JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 as the second-seeded Wildcats (29-4) pulled away from the Phoenix (21-14).
No. 15 seed Milwaukee, the surprise champion of the Horizon League, made it a game all the way, leading much of the first half before fading late.
DAYTON 60, OHIO STATE 59
BUFFALO, N.Y. » Vee Sanford scored on a layup with 3.8 seconds left to lift the 11th-seeded Flyers (24-10) over the Buckeyes (25-10).
Ohio State had one last chance to pull out the victory, but Aaron Craft's driving 10-footer hit off the backboard and rolled off the rim as the buzzer sounded.
SYRACUSE 77, WESTERN MICHIGAN 53
BUFFALO, N.Y. » Syracuse's backcourt of Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis combined for 34 points and the Orange (28-5) snuffed the Broncos (23-10).
Syracuse forced 11 turnovers in the opening half and scored 13 points off them in running out to a 40-21 halftime lead.
PITTSBURGH 77, COLORADO 48
ORLANDO, Fla. » Talib Zanna scored 16 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping the ninth-seeded Panthers (26-9) build a 28-point lead on their way to an overwhelming win over the Buffaloes (23-12).
Zanna made six of seven shots in the first half, and Pittsburgh had no problem finishing off the rout.
FLORIDA 67, ALBANY 55
ORLANDO, FLA. » Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points, most of them on dunks, and the top-seeded Gators (33-2) used a second-half surge to beat the Great Danes (19-15).
Florida showed some vulnerability, though, swapping the lead back and forth in the first half.
LOUISVILLE 71, MANHATTAN 64
ORLANDO, FLA. » Luke Hancock hit two huge 3-pointers in the final 1:19 to help the Cardinals (30-5) shake free from the Jaspers (25-8).
Louisville, the defending national champion, was down 58-55 with less than four minutes to play before coming alive from the 3-point line. Russ Smith, who finished with 18 points, got things going with a game-tying 3 from the wing. Hancock delivered the knockout blows.
MICHIGAN 57, WOFFORD 40
MILWAUKEE » Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points and the second-seeded Wolverines (26-8) started their quest for a second straight trip to the Final Four by beating the Terriers (20-13).
Michigan capitalized on its decisive edge in athleticism but still had some nervous moments after missing 15 of their first 18 shots in the second half.
TEXAS 87, ARIZONA STATE 85
MILWAUKEE » Cameron Ridley's buzzer-beating layup lifted the Longhorns (24-10) over the 10th-seeded Sun Devils (21-12).
Jonathan Holmes missed badly on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds, but Ridley emerged from the scrum with the ball and banked it in as time expired over the outstretched fingers of an ASU defender.
SAINT LOUIS 83, N.C. STATE 80, OT
ORLANDO, FLA. » Rob Loe scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, helping the fifth-seeded Billikens (27-6) wipe out a late 14-point deficit and pull away from the Wolfpack (22-14) in overtime.
Jordair Jett overcame a slow start to score 18, doing most of his damage as Saint Louis rallied in the last five minutes of regulation.