The upsets of the night happened in the NBA rather than among the heroes of March Madness.
In a rare case of two shockers happening within minutes of each other, the Chicago Bulls lost to the lowly Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets gained their sixth victory of the season Thursday night."The Bulls usually lose a game once a year to a bad team, and tonight we got the present," Dallas coach Don Nelson said after his team rallied for a 104-97 overtime victory over the defending NBA champions.
At Denver, the Nuggets (6-58) snapped a 16-game losing streak by defeating the Vancouver Grizzlies 98-93. It was their first victory in their 13 games this season that have been decided by five points or less.
At Dallas, Hubert Davis made a jumper with 10.5 seconds left to leave the Mavs trailing 91-88. Scottie Pippen was then called for a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds pass, and the Mavericks had a chance to go for the tie.
It didn't seem likely when Cedric Ceballos got jammed between Pippen and Toni Kukoc, but Ceballos threw up a 3-pointer anyway - and it went in, knotting the score at 91 with 3.9 seconds left.
The Bulls had one last chance to win in regulation, but Kukoc missed a layup at the buzzer.
Ceballos opened overtime with a dunk that gave the Mavericks their first lead of the game - and one they would not relinquish.
Michael Finley scored 32 points and Ceballos had a season-high 25, including 11 in the final 2:16 of regulation and four in overtime.
Michael Jordan led Chicago with 26 points, Kukoc had 22 and Pippen 18. Dennis Rodman had 22 rebounds.
NUGGETS 98, GRIZZLIES 93: Johnny Newman hit four straight free throws off technical fouls - two each on Blue Edwards and Grizzlies coach Brian Hill - to give Denver an 85-69 lead early in the final period.
But the Grizzlies, who earlier cut a 20-point deficit to four, rallied again with a 15-1 run to produce a 90-90 tie with 1:09 left.
ROCKETS 115, NETS 104: Clyde Drexler scored 33 points, including five in a row in the tight final minute, as Houston extended New Jersey's losing streak to seven games. Sam Cassell, playing against his former team, led the visiting Nets with 32 points and 14 assists. Kerry Kittles added 27 points.
LAKERS 108, CLIPPERS 95: Shaquille O'Neal scored 32 points, Eddie Jones added 23 and Derek Fisher tied a career-high with 21 points and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds as the Lakers won on their crosstown rival's home court.
Robert Horry had 14 rebounds for the Lakers, who entered the game with a league-leading 105.4 scoring average and improved to 15-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
TRAIL BLAZERS 95, TIMBERWOLVES 92: At Portland, Arvydas Sabonis had 28 points and 20 rebounds, including the game-winning basket with 7.2 seconds remaining.
Sabonis scored on a rebound to put the Blazers ahead 93-92. Isaiah Rider was fouled after teammate Rasheed Wallace stole the inbounds pass and made both free throws with one second remaining.
SPURS 97, KINGS 86: At San Antonio, David Robinson had 29 points and 11 rebounds the Spurs completed a sweep of the four-game season series with Sacramento.
"Yeah, a little pain wakes me up in the evening. That really got me going," said Robinson, who briefly went to the bench in the first quarter after an elbow from Otis Thorpe drew blood.
HEAT 97, CAVALIERS 84: At Miami, P.J. Brown had an eventful second quarter, scoring eight of his 12 points and getting involved in a fracas with Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
With Miami leading by 16, Brown dunked and then hit a runner in the lane before a frustrated Ilgauskas grabbed him by the neck and threw him to the floor.