NCAA Tournament Live: Michigan Holds Off Harvard; UConn Knocks Off Villanova

harvardjpg12:18 a.m.: UConn survives Villanova’s threat late in the second half and the Huskies will head to Madison Square Garden to face the winner of Iowa State-North Carolina.

The No. 7 Huskies knock off No. 2 Villanova with a 77-65 win.

That’s a wrap on Day 3 of NCAA tournament action, but tune into NESN.com on Sunday for more March Madness coverage as the final eight teams of the Sweet 16 will be decided tomorrow.

12:12 a.m.: With under a minute to play, Villanova isn’t going away.

The Wildcats cut the deficit to five after Kris Jenkins drained a 3-pointer, but a quick foul and two made free throws put UConn back up by seven.

12:08 a.m.: Well, Shabazz appears to be feeling OK as he drives hard to the hole on his first possession back in the game and extends UConn’s lead.

With 1:23 left to play, the Huskies lead 65-55.

12:01 a.m.: Much to the crowd’s delight (and Shabazz Napier’s mom’s) the guard checks back into the game. The Huskies extend their lead to seven points with less than three minutes to play.

11:59 p.m.: Shabazz Napier, in obvious pain, limps off the court with 4:01 to play. UConn leads only by five.

11:44 p.m.: UConn is taking over. The Huskies have used the long ball to jump out to a 54-45 lead with just over six minutes left to play.

Shabazz Napier is the latest Huskie to throw up a trey and he now has 20 points on the night.

11:20 p.m.: UConn and Villanova have turned their March Madness matchup into a 3-point contest. Both teams are making it rain 3’s right now with Nova shooting 8-for-19 from beyond the arc and the Huskies shooting 5-for-13 from long range.

The Wildcats might be winning the 3-point war, but the Huskies are winning the overall battle as they lead 42-36 with 12:02 remaining.

11:00 p.m.: Harvard gave it their all, but it proved to be too little, too late as they fall to the Spartans 80-73. Michigan State will head to the Big Apple and face the winner of Memphis/Virginia.

10:57 p.m.: The Crimson grab an offensive board and the Spartans get whistled for a foul. Wesley Saunders hits them both and it’s Harvard turn to foul.

Gary Harris makes them both to take the 78-71 lead with 9.2 seconds left.

10:55 p.m.: Turnovers doomed Harvard early and they are dooming Harvard late. Siyani Chambers coughs up the ball and they are forced to foul; Michigan State heads back to the line. Keith Appling makes them both to give MSU a seven-point lead with 30 seconds remaining.

10:50 p.m.: Siyani Chambers muscles his way to a bucket. The Crimson cut the deficit to four with 1:15 to play.

In other tournament action, UConn takes a one-point lead into halftime against Villanova.

10:47 p.m.: Laurent Rivard is a dangerous man from the corner. Rivard’s trey pulls the Crimson within five with 2:48 to play.

10:42 p.m.: Denzel Valentine’s triple gives Michigan State an eight-point lead with just under four minutes to play.

10:40 p.m.: Oof. Gary Harris tosses up a long 3 and the Spartans are on an 8-0 run. Michigan State leads 68-62 with 5:33 remaining.

UConn and Villanova are also keeping things interesting as the Huskies trail by two with five minutes to play in the first half.

10:42 p.m.: Harvard is proving its second-round win wasn’t a fluke. The Crimson take its first lead of the night after Laurent Rivard drains a 3. But Travis Trice responds with a trey of his own and its Michigan State leading 63-62 with 6:24 to play.

10:34 p.m.: A foul and a technical foul against Oregon delayed the inevitable, but Wisconsin has officially defeated the Ducks 85-77.

10:32 p.m.: We haven’t forgotten about you, Harvard.

The Crimson are putting on a show and they trail Michigan by only three points with just over seven minutes to play.

10:30 p.m.: Oregon’s Dominic Artis went for the tie and missed. Wisconsin snags the rebound and Sam Dekker heads to the free throw line. Dekker makes them both; Wisconsin leads 82-77 with 10.4 seconds remaining.

10:25 p.m.: Oregon fouls immediately and Traevon Jackson goes right back to the stripe. He misses his second free throw, but the rebound is up for grabs and a jump ball is called. It looked like Sam Dekker had it, but it’s Oregon ball with 18.5 seconds left and they trail 80-77.

While this madness has been going on, Harvard has been sneaking their way back into the game. The Crimson have trimmed Michigan State’s lead to two points midway through the second half.

10:19 p.m.: Up two with 50 seconds to play, Wisconsin draws a foul and Traevon Jackson heads to the line.

The junior makes them both and Wisconsin leads 79-75 with 31.1 seconds remaining.

Jason Calliste drives to the lane and brings the Ducks back within two with 22.8 seconds remaining.

10:15 p.m.: Joseph Young’s 3-pointer just quieted the crowd. Young has 29 points on the night and his clutch shot gave the Ducks a 75-74 lead with just under two minutes remaining.

And it’s an eight-point game in Spokane. Harvard is rallying in the second half and they’re turning this into a ballgame.

10:10 p.m.: Oregon and Wisconsin are playing some of the most entertaining basketball of the night. For each bucket the Badgers score, the Ducks answer right back. We’re all tied up at 72-72 with 3:34 to play.

10:05 p.m.: Michigan State picked up where they left off and they have extended their lead against Harvard to 14 points with 16:30 to play.

Oregon and Wisconsin are still battling it out with the Badgers hanging on to a two-point lead with 5:31 to play.

Meanwhile Villanova has jumped out to a 9-2 lead against UConn.

9:58 p.m.: Wisconsin is absolutely rolling right now, but Oregon isn’t going away. The Ducks have sustained the Badgers torrid start to the second half and are only down two with just over eight minutes to play.

9:47 p.m.: Wisconsin is on fire. The Badgers are shooting 75 percent in the second half  to erase a 12-point halftime deficit and they hold a 62-58 lead over Oregon. The Wisconsin fans are going absolutely nuts and the BMO Harris Bradley Center is rocking.

9:38 p.m.: Harvard made a final push as the first half came to a close, but the Crimson trail Michigan State 45-33.

The Oregon-Wisconsin game is getting fun, though, as the Badgers have come alive in the second half and they are down by only one point with 15:04 left to play. The Wisconsin have come out and shot 7-for-9 from the field.

9:30 p.m.: Michigan State has increased its lead to double digits. The Spartans lead 41-27 with 2:50 left to play in the first half.

In other action, Oregon leads Wisconsin 52-41 early in the second half.

The last game of the night — No. 7 UConn against No. 2 Villanova — is slated to tip off in about 10 minutes.

9:26 p.m.: A Dayton turnover gave Syracuse the ball back, but Tyler Ennis misses the mid-range jumper and they are forced to foul. Dyshawn Pierre makes only one of his two free throws, but Tyler Ennis’ last-ditch shot attempt falls short and Dayton wins.

Wow, wow, wow. The Flyers are flying high in this tournament.

9:24 p.m.: Tyler Ennis easily drives through the Dayton defense to bring Cuse within one. Jim Boeheim calls a timeout as Dayton clings onto the one-point lead with 16 seconds left.

9:22 p.m.: Dayton is shooting only 50 percent from the stripe tonight, but Dyshawn Pierre hits both of his to extend the Flyers lead to three with 22.4 seconds remaining.

9:17 p.m.: A three-point play puts Syracuse within three. The Orange foul immediately and Devin Oliver heads to the line.

Oliver misses the free throw. Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis is nailed driving to the hole and he makes both his free throws. Dayton leads 52-51 with 24.8 seconds remaining.

9:12 p.m.: We’ve only got 59.9 seconds to play and Dayton is holding onto a three-point lead against Syracuse. They’ve already knocked off Ohio State so why not the No. 3 ‘Cuse as well?

It’s Flyers ball and Jordan Sibert nails a 3 to put Dayton up 52-46.

9:08 p.m.: Interior turnovers are dooming Harvard in the first half. Michigan State just capitalized on another one, but the Crimson are beginning to find their shooting touch. Brandyn Curry drained a 3 to trim the Spartans lead, but MSU isn’t missing on their end. Harvard trails 21-14 midway through the first half.

Meanwhile, Oregon takes a 12-point lead into the half and it’s going to come down to the wire with Syracuse and Dayton. With 2:11 to play, Dayton leads by one.

9:05 p.m.: Oregon is about to take a big lead into the half. Back-to-back 3’s by Joseph Young have given the Ducks a 46-35 lead. The Ducks have turned it on late.

Dayton is also turning on the jets late with a 10-2 run with under five minutes left to play. The Flyers lead ‘Cuse 47-44 with 3:33 remaining.

9:03 p.m.: Branden Dawson throws down an emphatic dunk and that’s eight points for the Spartan already. Turnovers are killing Harvard so far as Michigan leads 15-9 with 13:31 remaining in the first half.

In other action around the tournament, Oregon is holding onto a slim five-point lead over Wisconsin and Syracuse is still looking shaky as they cling to a one-point advantage against Dayton coming on six minutes to play.

8:55 p.m.: Two Harvard turnovers have given the Spartans with an early 5-0 lead. Harvard is 0-for-4 from the field with 17 minutes remaining in the first.

8:52 p.m.: We’re underway in Spokane and Michigan State gets on the board first after a Denzel Valentine floater.

8:43 p.m.: It’s midway through the second half in Buffalo and we’ve finally cracked the 30-point mark. Devin Oliver’s 3-pointer from the corner gives Dayton a 32-26 lead.

Oregon and Wisconsin aren’t having any trouble finding the bottom of the hoop as Oregon leads the Badgers 30-29 with 7:13 remaining in the first half.

No. 12 Harvard is set to take on No. 4 Michigan State in just a couple minutes.

8:30 p.m.: Well the second half of Dayton-Syracuse has started, but both of their offenses must still be in the locker rooms. The Flyers lead Syracuse 23-22 with 16:25 remaining. Yawn.

Oregon and Wisconsin has been far more interesting — probably because they’ve each outscored Dayton-Syracuse and we are only midway through the first half. The Ducks lead the Badgers 26-24 as both teams are shooting above 50 percent from the field.

8:13 p.m.: The Bison just couldn’t muster up enough late-game magic against San Diego State as they fall 63-44. The Aztecs stifled North Dakota State late in the second half, keeping them scoreless for a span of five-plus minutes. Thames’ 30 points, which is just one short of his career high, far and away led SDSU to the easy win.

In Milwaukee, Oregon has jumped out to an early four-point lead against Wisconsin just five minutes into the first half.

8:02 p.m.: The Dayton Flyers aren’t done surprising people. Dayton leads Syracuse 20-18 at the half as they hold the Orange to their fewest points scored in a half. If you like offense, well, this game isn’t for you.

Meanwhile, Xavier Thames continues to carry his Aztecs squad on his back as they lead North Dakota State 55-43 with just over three minutes remaining. Thames is absolutely burying the Bison with 30 points.

No. 2 Wisconsin is set to tip off against No. 7 Oregon in just a couple of minutes.

7:58 p.m.: North Dakota State cuts the lead to seven after Taylor Braun’s two free throws. SDSU responds with a jumper of their own, but the Bison come right back with a bucket. SDSU leads 49-42 with 5:59 to play in this back-and-forth game.

7:44 p.m.: The Bison came to play. North Dakota State’s Kory Brown hits a short jumper to bring his team within 7 of the Aztecs with 8:36 remaining in the game, and SDSU takes a full timeout to regroup. Brown has 13 points on the night.

7:36 p.m.: Michigan is moving on to Indianapolis. The Wolverines knock off seventh-seeded Texas with a 79-65 win and they’ll face the winner of Mercer-Tennessee.

North Dakota State has their work cut out for them if they want to upset No. 4 SDSU. The Bison trail by 10 with 12 minutes to play.

Syracuse has trimmed its deficit to four points, as Dayton leads 14-10 with 8:45 remaining in the first half.

7:28 p.m.: Dayton is looking to complete its second upset of the tournament as they have taken an 11-4 lead over Syracuse.

Meanwhile, Texas made things interesting for a while, but Michigan has pulled away and they lead by 15 with just over a minute remaining.

With Xavier Thames leading the charge with 18 points, San Diego State leads North Dakota State 35-27 early in the second half.

7:22 p.m.: Caris LeVert makes Michigan’s 14th 3-pointer of the day, which is a team tournament record, and the Wolverines extend their lead to 11 points with 2:17 remaining. The Longhorns are putting up a fight, but Michigan has an answer for everything.

7:18 p.m.: The Longhorns still have some time, but Michigan is back to playing with confidence and they lead 68-58 with 3:52 remaining.

Dayton-Syracuse is also underway with the Flyers leading 5-4 just five minutes into the first half.

7:07 p.m.: Glenn Robinson III drains a 3 to extend Michigan’s lead to 11 points with 6:32 remaining. The Wolverines have finally generated some momentum after Texas began to threaten.

6:59 p.m.: Hang on a minute. This is becoming a ballgame. Michigan has been playing it safe, their hot scoring touch has cooled off and Texas has stormed back all of a sudden. The Longhorns have gone on a 13-3 run in the past six-plus minutes and they have trimmed the Wolverines’ lead to just eight points with 9:30 remaining in the second half.

At the half in Spokane, SDSU leads North Dakota State 30-23.

No. 3 Syracuse is set to take on No. 11 Dayton in just a few moments.

6:52 p.m.: Well, if Texas needed to find a bright side in this blowout, there is one. Michigan allowed only 40 points in its second round win over Wofford State and Texas has surpassed that number. Unfortunately, they still trail Texas by 10 midway through the second half.

North Dakota State continues to hang tough with San Diego State. The Aztecs lead 22-20 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.

6:35 p.m.: The Longhorns have their work cut out for them in the second half. Michigan is draining 3’s (shooting 52.6 percent on the long ball) and they’re slamming home some monster dunks. The Wolverines lead 51-35 with 17:12 remaining.

While Michigan can’t seem to miss, SDSU and North Dakota State are both struggling to find their shooting touch in the other matchup. Xavier Thames has found his, though, contributing 12 of the Aztecs’ 15 points in the first half. San Diego State leads 15-13 with 8:05 left to play in the first half.

6:22 p.m.: North Dakota State is looking to become this year’s tournament darling and they’re making some noise against fourth-seeded San Diego State. It’s all tied up in Spokane with 14:23 remaining in the first half.

6:08 p.m.: Michigan is putting on an absolute clinic offensively — not even the Monstars could stop these guys right now.

The Wolverines have committed only two turnovers in the first half and have a sizable lead over Texas on 15-0f-28 shooting from the field. The Longhorns trail 43-30 at the half.

No. 12 North Dakota State is set to tip off against No. 4 San Diego State in just a few minutes.

5:49 p.m.: Michigan can’t miss from the outside. The Wolverines are shooting 58 percent from the field and it’s been all Michigan in the first half. The Longhorns trail by 16 with just over five minutes to play in the first half.

5:36 p.m.: Goodness gracious, this game is exhausting just to watch. Michigan’s pace has been insane and they are wearing down the Longhorns early on.

Caris LaVert gets hacked on his putback and he’ll go to the line to complete the three-point play. The Wolverines are up  21-10 midway through the first half.

5:30 p.m.:Michigan is starting to find a rhythm in the early going against the Longhorns. The Wolverines have gone on a 10-0 run in the past two minutes and Texas is having trouble slowing them down. Michigan leads 13-6 with 13:00 remaining in the first half.

5:16 p.m.: Rick Pitino’s squad is moving on. Louisville advances to the Sweet 16 with a commanding 66-51 win over Saint Louis. It wasn’t always pretty and it might have been a bit of a snoozefest, but regardless, the defending champs join the Florida Gators as the first two teams to punch their tickets to Indianapolis. Luke Hancock led the way for the Cardinals with 21 points.

Up next, we’ve got No. 7 Texas squaring off against No. 2 Michigan. The fun rolls on.

5:08 p.m.: Dwayne Evans drains his second three of the day for Saint Louis, but it won’t be enough as the Wildcats lead 59-46 with 1:35 left to play.

4:50 p.m.: Louisville’s pressure defense has forced a few turnovers and several missed shots in the last few minutes, which has allowed the Cardinals to open up a 50-37 lead with 5:30 remaining. The defending champs are too strong in the paint for Louisville.

4:38 p.m.: Luke Hancock has hit back-to-back threes for Louisville but Saint Louis answers with a basket on its next trip down the court. The Cardinals are up four with 9:45 to play.

4:30 p.m.: Louisville’s Russ Smith is starting to heat up but Saint Louis isn’t going away. The Cardinals have a slim 35-33 lead with 11:40 remaining in the second half.

3:48 p.m.: First half ends with Louisville leading 25-16. 20 combined turnovers (ten from each team) are making this game look more like table tennis than basketball. Louisville needs to tighten up on the transition and St. Louis will have to put some 3-pointers on the board (0-6 so far) if they want to compete in the second half.

3:40 p.m.: St. Louis forward Rob Loe sits with three fouls. A completed jump shot by Russ Smith puts all Louisville starters on the board except Stephan Van Treese. 25-14 Louisville.

3:34 p.m.: St. Louis’ Mike McCall Jr. makes floating jump shot sending St. Louis into double digits. Luke Hancock sinks a fadeaway three bringing the Louisville lead to seven. Hancock leads this game in scoring with 11 points. Louisville up 19-11 with 3:11 remaining in the first.

3:27 p.m.: With six minutes to play in the first, St. Louis has already turned the ball over seven times. They had nine turnovers in the entirety of their first round game against N.C. State.

3:22 p.m.: A bullet pass to junior John Manning puts St. Louis at six. Louisville is demanding the court defensively with seven defensive rebounds. The Cardinals are not stellar on the offensive end, however, shooting 21 percent from the field. 14-6 Louisville with 7:21 remaining in the first half.

3:11 p.m.: St. Louis has five turnovers only made two baskets – not looking strong in these first ten minutes of play. Louisville leads 11-4.

3:06 p.m.: Mangok Mathiang puts up two to become second Cardinal on the board. Louisville now up 10-4.

2:59 p.m.: St. Louis senior Rob Loe issued a flagrant technical foul for elbowing Louisville’s Luke Hancock. Hancock sinks both free throws.

2:55 p.m.: First basket of the game comes from St. Louis after three missed shots.

2:52 p.m.: The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals faceoff against the No. 5 St. Louis Billikens is underway. St. Louis have said they played one of the most physical games of the season against Manhattan in the first round. Will be interesting to see how they play against St. Louis today.

2:19 p.m.: Panthers fall to Scottie Wilbekin and the Florida Gators. Final 61-45. Gators advance to the Sweet Sixteen.

2:15 p.m.: Florida now has 13 offensive rebounds where the Panthers have four. Gators lead 57-45 with 1:16 left to play as Wilbekin goes to the line.

2:06 p.m.: Pittsburgh’s leading scorer Lamar Patterson scored seven points in the first half and has yet to score in the second. After a series of unsuccessful looks, the Panthers manage to get the ball to Talib Zanna for a 2-point layup. Back-to-back shots by playmaker Scottie Wilbekin are followed up by a much needed three by the Panthers. Gators lead 53-44.

2:01 p.m.: Looking ahead, the Midwest Region faceoff between St. Louis and Louisville is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. after the Florida-Pittsburgh game concludes.

1:57 p.m.: Pittsburgh’s Cameron Wright sinks a field goal after five missed shots. Panthers are shooting 35 percent from the field while the Gators are at 37 percent. Florida defense has clearly made the difference in this match up. Gators up 49-36 with just under seven minutes to go.

1:51 p.m.: Florida senior Patric Young’s performance has really turned around in the second half. Young now leads the Gators in rebounds at 7. Pittsburgh trails the Gators by nine 36-27 with 10:40 left in play.

1:47 p.m.: Pittsburgh gets on the board after a six-minute drought only to turnover the ball, setting the Gators up for a behind-the-back pass to Casey Prather who then toss in two more points for Florida. Looks like the Gators have an answer to every Pittsburgh attempt.

1:41 p.m.: Pittsburgh has zero fast break points — says a lot about their offensive play in this game.

1:37 p.m.: A Pittsburgh player takes out a cameraman with a misread pass. Panthers are scrambling for points. Gator Casey Prather slams an awesome alley-oop and the Gator crowd rises to their feet with 15 minutes left in the second half. Gators lead by ten 34-24.

1:31 p.m.: Wilbekin forces a Pittsburgh turnover with incredible half court defense and Pittsburgh is unable to block a Florida 2-pointer after multiple rebounds. Gators lead 32-24.

1:26 p.m.: Pittsburgh scores first in the second half with a layup by Talib Zanna. Florida’s Patric Young goes to the line and hits one of two free throws. Gators up by four at 28-24.

1:07 p.m.: Florida’s leading scorer Scottie Wilbekin hits a buzzer beater three to take the Gators into the half with a five-point lead. With the exception of Patric Young, every Florida starter is on the board. When speaking on Young’s inability to score so far, Gators coach Billy Donovan said they need to “keep him encouraged and keep him positive.” Pittsburgh is shooting 25 percent on 3- pointers and will have to outsmart Florida’s defense if they are going to compete in the second half. Florida leads Pittsburgh 27-22.

12:58 p.m.: Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been spotted at the game rocking a Gators visor.

12:55 p.m.: Panthers are increasingly unable to get to the paint. Patric Young knees Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson in attempt to retrieve ball. Florida leads 22-17 with 2:16 to go in the first.

12:49 p.m.: Florida’s Michael Frazier II sinks his second three of the game giving the Gators their biggest lead so far at 20-15.

12:46 p.m.: Talib Zanna and Jamel Artis lead the Panthers in scoring with four points a piece. Florida’s strong defensive showing has forced Pittsburgh to change up their usual pass-heavy offensive.

12:40 p.m.: Gators are 27-0 in their last 27 games and it looks like Pittsburgh is going to give that record a run for its money. Pitt. leads 15-13 with just under eight minutes to go in the first half.

12:35 p.m.:  Second turnover for the Gators presents Panther Josh Newkirk with the opportunity to sink a three from way back.

12:26 p.m.: Gators coming out of the gate taking the lead in both offensive and defensive rebounds. Scottie Wilbekin gets on the board with a clean drive to the hoop and layup. Pitt.’s Josh Newkirk fouls and Kasey Hill hits one of two free throws. Gators lead 10-8.

12:16 p.m.: Game time. Panthers reject Florida’s first drive to the hoop after two failed rebounds. Pittsburgh gets on the board first with a three by Freshman Michael Young.

12:11 pm.: To kick off Day 3, the No. 9 Pittsburgh Panthers take on the No. 1 overall seed Florida Gators. Tip-off for this South Region battle is set for 12:15 a.m.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SINow

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