They call it March Madness for a reason and the opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament provided, once again, a bevy of upsets and games to remember. It was hard to get a top 10 out of the 48 games played since Thursday, but here are 10 that should well be remembered from the first week.
The Badgers were able to build a 53-44 lead with just over five minutes remaining before Vanderbilt came storming back. A 13-3 run by the Commodores late saw them take a 57-56 lead with just 2:25 remaining.
Wisconsin capitalized on second-chance points down the stretch — taking back the lead at 59-57 with just seconds remaining. John Jenkins missed a wide-open 3-point attempt with just 2.1 seconds remaining that would have given Vanderbilt the lead and a likely ticket to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Seminoles barely survived the Bonnies upset bid to advance to the round of 32. St. Bonaventure led for most of the game before Florida State made a furious 16-2 run midway through the second half and took a 60-52 lead with just 2:47 remaining. The Bonnies hit two 3-pointers late, however, and found themselves down just three with seconds remaining. Da'Quan Cook couldn't connect on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, however, giving Florida State the narrow victory.
A No. 16 seed has never won in the tournament, but UNC-Asheville came very close to being the first, losing a heartbreaker to prohibitive favorite Syracuse. The game proved to be a controversial one, with two late calls against the Bulldogs stunting their upset bid.
UNC-Asheville came within three points three separate times in the final minute, but questionable calls from the officials prevented them from making the game any closer. After a controversial lane violation gave the Orange a free point, a blown out-of-bounds call gave the Orange the ball back up 66-63 with just 35 seconds remaining when replays clearly showed that it should have belonged to the Bulldogs.
The Bobcats led throughout the game, but the Wolverines rallied late — cutting the lead to 63-60 with just over four minutes remaining. The final four minutes weren't pretty with Michigan missing on its final five shot attempts with Ohio struggling likewise to make anything from the field. DJ Cooper led the Bobcats with 21 points.
Despite being underdogs, VCU announced that it was back and ready to wreck a lot of brackets with their first-round upset win over the Wichita State. The Rams led by as many as 13 points in the second half before the Shockers made a furious comeback — taking the lead at 59-57 late after a 3-pointer by Toure' Murry. Brandon Burgess responded with his own 3-pointer on the next possession, giving the Rams a 60-59 lead with 1:33 remaining. Wichita found itself down 62-59 with 12 seconds left, but still had a chance to tie it up and go to overtime. Garrett Stutz's 3-point attempt at the buzzer glanced off the rim, however, giving the Rams yet another tournament upset win.
Creighton erased an 11-point deficit late in the second half to come back for the win. They almost blew it, however, after Josh Jones missed two foul shots with 8.7 seconds left which would have put the Bluejays up by three. Johnson redeemed himself on the final possession, blocking a would-be game-winning shot by Trevor Releford at the buzzer.
VCU looked to be on their way to yet another before a go-ahead basket by Will Sheehey with just 15 seconds remaining bounced them from the tournament. VCU had a chance to stretch the lead to five with about a minute remaining, but two missed foul shots by Brandon Burgess kept the Hoosiers alive. Victor Oladipo made good on a 3-point play on the following possession — tying the game up at 61. After a missed 3-point attempt by VCU, Sheehey collected a blocked shot attempt and put through the winning shot with just 2.1 seconds remaining.
Duke is a hallowed name in college basketball and a team that is expected to make a deep run in the tournament most years. Lehigh led for most of the game, led by CJ McCollum and his 30 points — grabbing the lead for good with just over eight minutes remaining. Duke would get to within three points late, but that's the closest they'd get.
Purdue jumped on the Jayhawks early and led throughout before a late run and some key steals lifted Kansas late. The Boilermakers led 60-59 with just under a minute remaining with possession of the basketball when Elijah Johnson stole the ball at the top of the key and drove the length of the court of a layup to give his team a late lead with 23.9 seconds remaining. Robby Hummel missed an open three on the next possession with Johnson again taking the ball the length of the court of a dunk to put his team up 63-60 with 2.5 seconds remaining. Purdue came within inches of tying it up with Ryne Smith's 3-pointer at the buzzer clanging off the rim.
It's not often that a No. 15 seed knocks off a two seed, but it happened not once, but twice on Friday. The Tigers took a four-point lead at 73-69 with seven minutes remaining — seemingly on their way to do away with the upset bid, but Norfolk wouldn't quit. Norfolk State managed to take a three point lead at 84-81 with 35 seconds left following a three-point play by Kyle O'Quinn. Seconds later O'Quinn missed two free throws that would have sealed the victory, leaving Missouri with the ball down 86-84 with just 3.8 seconds remaining. Missouri's Phil Pressey missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, however.