NCAA Tournament: Cinderella Update
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A pair of No. 11 seeds and one No. 10 seed are left standing at the 2014 NCAA Tournament as March Madness moves on from the Round of 32 to the Sweet 16 this week.
And two of those double-digit seeds will be in action against each other in the Sweet 16 this week, as No. 11 Dayton takes on No. 10 Stanford in South Region action. Dayton has beaten No. 6 Ohio State and No. 3 Syracuse so far at the tournament, while Stanford dispatched No. 7 New Mexico and No. 2 Kansas.
The other No. 11 seed, Tennessee, has needed three wins to make it to the Sweet Sixteen, first topping Iowa in the First Four and then knocking out No. 6 Massachusetts and No. 14 Mercer in the Midwest Region. The Volunteers will be up against No. 2 Michigan in the Sweet 16.
Check out 5Dimes for the opening lines for the games involving the remaining three Cinderella teams at the NCAA Tournament this week.
The No. 14 Mercer Bears pulled off the biggest upset in the Round of 64 at the NCAA Tournament this year, knocking off No. 3 Duke by a score of 78-71 in Midwest Region action. Mercer had been pegged as a 13-point underdog on the posted March Madness betting lines at 5Dimes for the contest.
The Bears will next take on another double-digit seed, as they face No. 11 Tennessee in the Round of 32 on Sunday. The Volunteers beat No. 6 UMass 86-67 on Friday afternoon, covering the 6-point spread at 5Dimes that day.
Three double-digit seeds will hit the hardwood on Saturday, with No. 12 North Dakota State taking on No. 4 San Diego State, No. 12 Harvard facing No. 4 Michigan State, and No. 11 Dayton battling No. 3 Syracuse. The Flyers edged Ohio State 60-59 as an underdog on the March Madness betting lines at the sportsbooks on Thursday.
And No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin will return to the floor on Sunday after they knocked off No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth in the Round of 64 by a score of 77-75 on Friday night. The Lumberjacks will be big underdogs at the sportsbooks once again in the Round of 32 on Sunday as they face No. 4 UCLA.
Florida Gulf Coast has taken the glass slipper away from Harvard, with the No. 15 Eagles from the Atlantic Sun conference shocking the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Friday night with a decisive victory over No. 2 - and heavily favored - Georgetown.
The Eagles topped the Hoyas 78-68 at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center in South Region action, with Sherwood Brown scoring 24 points and Bernard Thompson adding 23 points in the contest. Florida Gulf Coast was a 14-point underdog on the betting odds at the sportsbooks for that game.
Florida Gulf Coast will next play the winner of Friday night's late game between No. 7 San Diego State and No. 10 Oklahoma on Sunday in Round of 32 action in Philadelphia.
As well, at least one double-digit seed will advance to the Sweet Sixteen at the NCAA Tournament this year, as No. 13 La Salle and No. 12 Mississippi will meet at the Sprint Center on Sunday in West Region betting action.
The Atlantic 10's La Salle beat No. 4 Kansas State at the Sprint Center on Friday afternoon by a score of 63-61 as a 6.5-point underdog at the sportsbooks, while the SEC's Mississippi is coming off a 57-46 win over No. 5 Wisconsin in the Round of 64 in Kansas City.
The first day of action at the NCAA Tournament saw four lower seeds pick up victories, but it was No. 14 Harvard that provided the biggest upset by knocking out No. 3 New Mexico in Salt Lake City.
The Crimson got 18 points from Wesley Saunders and 17 more from Laurent Rivard in paying off against the Lobos in a 68-62 win at EnergySolutions Arena. That makes Harvard the current Cinderella story of the Big Dance.
Two No. 12 seeds also won on Thursday, with California beating No. 5 UNLV, and Oregon bouncing No. 5 Oklahoma State. Both of those Pac-12 schools advance to the Round of 32 on Saturday along with Midwest No. 9 Wichita State, which beat No. 8 Pittsburgh.
The other dozen winners on Thursday were No. 8 seeds or higher.
Harvard next takes on No. 6 Arizona in West Region betting action on Saturday as they try to keep the glass slipper on their foot; the Crimson opened as 10-point underdogs at 5Dimes for the contest.
Meanwhile, Wichita State meets No. 1 Gonzaga (-6) in another West matchup on Saturday, with California taking on No. 4 Syracuse (-7.5) in the East, and Oregon matching up against No. 4 Saint Louis (-4) in the Midwest.