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  • Harvard stuns New Mexico

  • SALT LAKE CITY — Give those Harvard kids an A-plus in another subject: Bracketbusting 101.
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  • SALT LAKE CITY — Give those Harvard kids an A-plus in another subject: Bracketbusting 101.
    Wesley Saunders scored 18 points and Laurent Rivard made five 3-pointers to help the 14th-seeded Crimson pull the biggest upset in Thursday's flurry of NCAA tournament games, a 68-62 win over No. 3 New Mexico.
    The university where John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy earned degrees was making just its third trip to the tournament — and it had never won — though the Ivy League advanced in 2010 when a Cornell team made the regional semifinals.
    Reaction, not surprisingly given the school and the moment, came quickly and from various corners.
    "America, we are sorry for messing up your brackets and also your financial system and everything else," tweeted the jokesters at the Harvard Lampoon.
    But this was no laughing matter. And it was anything but a fluke.
    The Crimson (20-9) put the clamps down on New Mexico's Tony Snell, holding him to nine points on 4-for-12 shooting after he dominated in the MWC tournament. They banged inside with Lobos big men Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk, whose 22 points provided New Mexico's only consistent offense.
    Mostly, they showed none of the jitters that marked their trip to the tournament last year, a 79-70 loss to Vanderbilt in Harvard's first NCAA appearance since 1946.
    Rivard went 6 of 7 from 3 in that one — played on New Mexico's home court in The Pit — and was clearly pumped for an encore. He was 5 of 9 this time, with three of them coming in the first half, while Harvard was holding a small lead and, more importantly, answering every surge the Lobos (29-6) threw at them. Rivard finished with 17 points.
    "I hit my first one, and you know, you hit the shot and then you keep shooting after that, and then I hit another one, so I knew it was going to be a good game after that," Rivard said.
    Christian Webster was more of a role player last year, but jumped to the fore in 2013; he finished with 11 points and was gesturing after each of his three made 3s, even pointing to his forehead after making one from the corner in the first half.
    Yep, these smart kids really can play.
    "We battled a really good basketball team in a tough environment," coach Tommy Amaker said. "I'm very proud of our guys."
    Amaker outcoached his contemporary, Steve Alford, exacting revenge of sorts for the time Alford's Indiana team beat Amaker and Duke back in the 1987 regional semifinals.
    "I commend Tommy and his staff and his players," Alford said. "They made shots. We dodged this bullet a lot this year and were still able to get wins."
    Arizona 81, Belmont 64
    At Salt Lake City, Mark Lyons scored 23 points and sixth-seeded Arizona rolled past Belmont.
    The Wildcats (26-7) used their huge size advantage to shut down the Bruins (26-7), who are 0-6 in tourney games. Arizona held a 44-18 edge on the boards, outscored Belmont 36-18 in the paint, blocked five shots and outshot the Bruins from 3-point range.
    Wichita State 73, Pittsburgh 55
    At Salt Lake City, Malcolm Armstead scored 22 points, Cleanthony Early added 21 and ninth-seeded Wichita State ousted Pittsburgh.
    Freshman Steven Adams led Pitt (24-9) with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
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