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Best of the NCAA tournament: Day 1

Kevin Kaduk
The Dagger

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Marquette's Vander Blue scores the winning layup against Davidson on Thursday. (Getty Images)

1. There weren't any buzzer beaters we'll remember forever, but that doesn't mean the first day of the tournament was a bust. Harvard, a fourteen seed, won the school's first tournament game and forced a premature end to New Mexico's sexy candidacy for the Final Four. Marquette crushed Davidson's upset dreams with a late surge in the last 30 seconds while Memphis and St. Mary's staged a close matchup that was highlighted by DJ Stephens' monster dunks. Wichita State used a strong victory to advance to a Saturday matchup against what looks to be a vulnerable Gonzaga team. Yes, 16 games in and it looks like we're in for a great three weeks of basketball.

[Yahoo! Sports fan shop: Buy gear commemorating Harvard's historic win]

2. Louisville and Gonzaga ran the all-time record of No. 1 seeds over No. 16 seeds to a perfect 114-0, but they did it in dramatically different ways. While the Cardinals romped their way to a 31-point win over North Carolina A&T, the Zags needed two late three-pointers to hold off Southern. Gonzaga is more than happy to advance, but it wasn't an encouraging performance by any means. No top seed who only beat a team by single digits has ever won the NCAA title.

3. It was a good day to be a twelve seed from the Pac-12 as both Oregon and California recorded upsets with a pair of wins over Oklahoma State and UNLV. Arizona's win over Belmont gave the conference a perfect 3-for-3 day with Colorado and UCLA getting the chance to continue the Pac-12's unblemished run on Friday.

4. Have we seen the last of Jamie Dixon on Pittsburgh's sideline? The coach has been the subject of rumors when it comes to USC's vacancy and Panthers fans may have reached the point where they won't care if he walks. That's because a 73-55 loss to Wichita State marked yet another disappointing March exit for Dixon and the coach's tournament record now stands at 10-9 since 2003. Dixon was asked about his future after the game, but deflected after watching an emotional press conference from senior Tray Woodall. "I just had my point guard break down here and it's the farthest thing from my mind," he said.

5. Speaking of coaches who have long been coveted by fans in Southern California, Shaka Smart led his VCU team to a 46-point blowout of Akron. Your move, Ben Howland.

Five points down with 30 seconds to go? No problem. Third-seeded Marquette erased that deficit and then advanced with a 59-58 win over 14th-seeded Davidson. This driving layup from Vander Blue proved to be the difference:

Top-seeded Louisville coasted to a 79-48 victory over 16th-seeded North Carolina A&T, though you'd never have known it after watching Rick Pitino.

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(Getty Images)

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Looking like an extra from the set of the new Gatsby flick, Butler benchman Andrew Smeathers achieved a small measure of Internet fame after he did the "three monocle" during his team's 68-56 win over Bucknell.

Harvard did a number on all the perfect brackets out there. After Day 1, only 374 perfect brackets remain in Yahoo! Fantasy Tourney Pick'em. That's out of an original 3,329, 638 entries. Which underdog will come for the rest on Friday?

"I'm trying to get paid here soon because I'm tired of doing all this stuff for free ... This is where you make your money, the NCAA tournament."

— Mississippi guard Marshall Henderson

Jeremy Lin was just a tad excited after Harvard pulled its upset of New Mexico.

New Mexico State's Pistol Pete has a sweet pair of chaps, two silver pistols and two cheerleaders on each arm. What he does not have is a chance to defend this title on Saturday as the Aggies lost 64-44 to a tough St. Louis squad.

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(Getty Images)

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