SALT LAKE CITY — Give those Harvard kids an A-plus in another subject: Bracketbusting 101.
The school known for producing U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices and Nobel Prize winners earned its first NCAA tournament victory Thursday night — a 68-62 upset of No. 3 seed New Mexico — and it didn’t feel like a fluke.
Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers to help the 14th-seeded Crimson pull the biggest surprise of March Madness so far.
Next up for Harvard (20-9), a meeting with sixth-seeded Arizona.
“This is the No. 1 moment in my career," said Harvard senior Christian Webster, who finished with 11 points. “The thought came to mind that this could be the last game. We showed a lot of toughness, just persevering."
The Ivy Leaguers put the clamps down on New Mexico’s Tony Snell, holding him to nine points on four-for-12 shooting after he dominated in the Mountain West Conference tournament. They banged inside with Lobos big men Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk, whose 22 points provided New Mexico’s only consistent offense.
In other second-round games on Thursday:
California 64, UNLV 61: SAN JOSE, Calif. — Allen Crabbe had 19 points and nine rebounds, reserve Robert Thurman scored all 12 of his points on dunks and 12th-seeded California held off UNLV. Buoyed by the crowd support of a strong contingent so close to Berkeley, the Golden Bears (21-11) held the Runnin’ Rebels (25-10) without a basket for more than 11 minutes in the second half.
Marquette 59, Davidson 58: LEXINGTON, Ky. — Vander Blue’s layup with one second left capped Marquette’s rally from a nine-point deficit and gave the third-seeded Golden Eagles a victory over No. 14 seed Davidson. Blue and Jamil Wilson made consecutive 3-pointers to bring Marquette within 58-57 with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles then caught a huge break when De’Mon Brooks’ long inbounds pass went out of bounds at midcourt with 5.5 seconds left, providing another opportunity.
Butler 68, Bucknell 56: LEXINGTON, Ky. — Andrew Smith had a double-double, including a career-high 16 rebounds, Roosevelt Jones added 14 points and No. 6 seed Butler made its free throws down the stretch to hold off Bucknell.
Syracuse 81, Montana 34: SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brandon Triche scored 20 points, C.J. Fair added 13 and fourth-seeded Syracuse shut down Montana with its zone defense.
Louisville 79, North Carolina A&T 48: LEXINGTON, Ky. — Russ Smith scored 23 points and set a Louisville NCAA tournament record with a career-high eight steals, and Peyton Siva had eight assists as the top-seeded Cardinals rolled.
Michigan State 65, Valparaiso 54: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Derrick Nix had 23 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help power third-seeded Michigan State past the 14th-seeded Crusaders. The Spartans went on a 26-5 run in the first half to take control.
Memphis 54, St. Mary’s 52: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Matthew Dellavedova’s 3-pointer from the right wing missed everything as time expired, allowing sixth-seeded Memphis to hold on for a win over 11th-seeded Saint Mary’s. The Tigers (31-4) led by 15 in the first half but nearly gave the game away in the final seconds.
Saint Louis 64, New Mexico State 44: SAN JOSE, Calif. — Dwayne Evans scored 24 points, Cody Ellis added 12 points and fourth-seeded Saint Louis overwhelmed New Mexico State.
Colorado State 84, Missouri 72: LEXINGTON, Ky. — Dorian Green scored 17 of his 26 points in the first half and eighth-seeded Colorado State used good shooting and great rebounding to run away from Missouri.
Gonzaga 64, Southern 58: SALT LAKE CITY — The Zags got pushed to the limit by Southern, pulling out a victory in the closing minutes to avoid becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 in the NCAA tournament. Kelly Olynyk led the Zags (32-2) with 21 points.
Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55: SALT LAKE CITY — Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
Arizona 81, Belmont 64: SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Lyons scored 23 points and sixth-seeded Arizona rolled past Belmont. The Wildcats (26-7) Arizona held a 44-18 edge on the boards and outscored Belmont 36-18 in the paint.
Michigan 71, South Dakota State 56: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Glenn Robinson III scored 21 points and Mitch McGary added 13 points and nine rebounds, helping fourth-seeded Michigan overcome a rough night for star Trey Burke, who finished with only six points.
VCU 88, Akron 42: AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Troy Daniels had 23 points, Juvonte Reddic scored 21 and VCU routed Akron in the most lopsided victory by a fifth-seeded team over a No. 12 in NCAA tournament history.