2013 NCAA Tournament Round Two: Taking a Look at the Top Headlines From Thursday

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2013 NCAA Tournament Round Two: Top Headlines From Thursday

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Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

Without a doubt, the 2013 NCAA Tournament—or “March Madness” as they like to call it—is arguably the greatest time of year for sports fans as millions of brackets are filled across the country. This year is different from the rest as there seems to be at least 10 teams that seem talented enough to win the NCAA Championship.

From the Louisville Cardinals to the Indiana Hoosiers, there’s no telling what’s in store for the next couple of weeks other than the fact that there will be plenty of excitement for basketball fans. In fact, opening day of the second round was filled with plenty of excitement to keep basketball fans entertained—whether it messed up their brackets or not.

From last-second plays to a few upsets, there is certainly plenty to talk about from opening day of the second round that will make Saturday’s matchups even more interesting to keep an eye on. There’s a reason why this is considered the best time of year for sports fans and if Thursday is any indication of what to expect over the next couple of weeks—it’s safe to say this year’s tournament is certainly going to be a fun one.

With Friday’s games right around the corner, here’s a look at the top stories from Thursday of the 2013 NCAA Tournament Round Two.

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Michigan State Looks Ready For a Run

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Rick Osentoski/USA Today SPports

This is Tom Izzo’s favorite time of the year as the Michigan State Spartans always seem to pick things up in March. After a slow start, the Spartans bounced back and had no trouble with Valparaiso and could could be in for their fifth Sweet 16 appearance in six seasons.

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Butler Struggles, But Holds On to Advance

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Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports

First, the Butler Bulldogs seemed like they were on their way to their way to an easy win over the Bucknell Bison. Then, they had to fight back in the second half and pulled through to advance to the third round. 3 of 17 from downtown is nothing to brag about and there may be a reason for concern over this former Cinderella story.

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Pittsburgh Looks Like They Don't Belong

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Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers and Wichita State Shockers made a combined 3 of 37 three-point field goals in this one, but the Shockers were in control of this matchup for the entire game. Pittsburgh looked like a team that didn’t even belong in the tournament and a word of advice—don’t listen to any friends that happen to be Pitt grads when it comes to picking brackets (thanks a lot Mike!)

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St. Louis May Be One of the Hottest Teams

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Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports

The St. Louis Billikens were considered one of the hottest teams heading into the tournament and they sure looked like it on Thursday after a 20-point win over the New Mexico State Aggies. This may be the last team anybody wants to play over the next couple of weeks as they’ve gone 16-1 over their last 17 games.

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Memphis Tigers Get Lucky

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Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports

If St. Mary’s didn’t have to take part in the play-in game on Tuesday, they most likely would have beat Memphis on Thursday. Plus, the Tigers should consider themselves lucky for the way they almost gave the game away at the end when they made a terrible inbounds pass to give Eric Weary a chance to make the One Shining Moment montage.

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Marquette Pulls Off Epic Comeback Against Davidson in Final Minutes

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Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports

Marquette’s victory over Davidson may go down as one of the craziest finishes in NCAA Tournament history. For a team down eight in the final two minutes to make three three-point shots before Vander Blue’s game-winning layup with one second left is pretty impressive. Nice job Davidson—you missed your chance at becoming a Cinderella team this season.

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Gonzaga May Be Who We Thought They Were

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Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

A No. 1 seed is supposed to be a guaranteed win against a No. 16 seed, but the Southern Jaguars gave the Gonzaga Bulldogs a run for their money on Thursday. The fact that Gonzaga barely squeaked by in their six-point win may be a sign that this team doesn’t have what it takes to make a run at the Final Four--which is what most of the nation thought already.

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Oregon Ducks Prove Doubters Wrong

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Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports

The Oregon Ducks entered Thursday’s game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys with a chip on their shoulder after receiving a No. 12 seed—despite winning the Pac 12 Tournament Championship. After their 13-point win, it’s safe to say this team seems capable of making a deep run.

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Louisville Cardinals Come Out Strong

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Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports

Fresh off of their Big East Tournament Championship win, the Louisville Cardinals came out just the way we all expected them—in complete dominant fashion. This team is determined to make a run at the Final Four and seems to be getting hot at the right time.

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Michigan Brushes Off Early Scare For Big Win

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Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports

Michigan may be one of the most difficult teams to figure out in this year’s tournament, but if they can play like they did in the second half against South Dakota State—they should be able to advance to the Sweet 16 with no problems.

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Arizona Dominates Belmont From Start to Finish

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Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

There’s a reason why Belmont has never won in the NCAA Tournament and the argument can be made they didn’t even look like they belonged on Thursday. Arizona was in control of this game from the start and never looked back—look out for the Wildcats in the third round.

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California Pulls Off Surprising Upset Over UNLV

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Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports

Don’t let the scoreboard fool you—UNLV was one of the biggest disappointments of the second round as many fans picked them to go to the Sweet 16. Give credit to Justin Cobbs for leading the Golden Bears in this one as they pulled off the surprising upset as a No. 12 seed.

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Colorado State Dominates Missouri

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Jamie Rhodes/USA Today Sports

Putting up 84 points in an NCAA Tournament game is impressive and Colorado State looked dangerous against Missouri. Keep an eye on this team against Louisville as Saturday’s matchup could be an intense one.

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VCU Wins By 46

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Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports

For those of you with Akron pulling off the upset in your bracket—that game on Thursday must have been painful to watch. VCU jumped out to a lead in this one and never looked back as they went on to win the game by 46 points—which is extremely rare for a tournament game.

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Harvard Picks Up First Tournament Win in Major Upset

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Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports

Talk about one of the biggest bracket busters as Harvard pulled off the biggest upset so far with an impressive win over New Mexico—a team many expected to make a deep run in the West Region. The Crimson basically led the entire game and give this team credit considering all of the controversy surrounding the school over the last couple of years.

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Syracuse Pulls Off 81-34 Win Over Montana

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Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports

Who cares if they’re currently under investigation—Syracuse came out firing in their first game of the tournament and shouldn’t be taken lightly in the East Region. This team certainly is capable of making a run at the Final Four—so keep an eye on them once Sunday rolls around.

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