No. 12 Seed Cornell Rolls On In NCAA Tourney

Cornell's Jon Jaques (25) and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor go after a loose ball.
Cornell's Jon Jaques (25) and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor go after a loose ball. via NPR

The underdog Big Red are now one of the big dogs in men's college basketball. Cornell thumped Wisconsin, 87-69, to advance to the Sweet 16. No. 1 seed Syracuse and No. 2 seed Ohio State also won and No. 5 seed Michigan State nipped No. 4 seed Maryland.

The underdog Cornell Big Red must now be ranked among the big dogs in men's college basketball.

No. 12 seed Cornell took apart No. 4 seed Wisconsin Sunday, 87-69, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen — a rarity for an Ivy League school.

In other second-round action Sunday, No. 1 seed Syracuse dismantled No. 9 seed Gonzaga,No. 2 seed Ohio State held off No. 10 seed Georgia Tech and No. 3 seed West Virginia got by No. 10 seed Missouri.

In the day's only real nail-biter, No. 5 seed Michigan State nipped No. 4 seed Maryland on a last-second 3-point shot by Korie Lucios, 85-83.

Syracuse began pulling away midway through the first half and barely looked back, shooting more than 60 percent from the field in an 87-65 romp.

Ohio State got 26 points from star Evan Turner and 17 second-half points from sharpshooter Jon Diebler in the victory over Georgia Tech.

Syracuse became the second No. 1 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen, joining Kentucky, which tore through Wake Forest 90-60 Saturday night.

Overall No. 1 seed Kansas was eliminated Saturday by No. 9 seed Northern Iowa in a 69-67 thriller. The fourth No. 1 seed, Duke, plays later Sunday against California.

Joining Cornell among the surprise teams in the Sweet Sixteen: Northern Iowa, hoping to be the first Missouri Valley Conference school to reach the Final Four since Larry Bird's Indiana State crew in 1979; Saint Mary's, which had been a non-factor in NCAA play since 1959; and Washington, which has overcome an up-and-down Pac-10 season and a No. 11 seed to win its first two tournament games.

Then there's Butler. The Bulldogs aren't an out-and-out surprise — this is the third time in eight years that they've reached the Sweet Sixteen, and they're a No. 5 seed — but they are representative of the recent rise of "mid-major" teams from smaller schools that have bedeviled the power conferences in recent NCAA tournaments.

The tournament's topsy-turvy first round included eight wins by lightly regarded "double digit" seeds — No. 10 or higher.

Still on tap Sunday are Xavier and Pitt; California and Duke and Texas A&M and Purdue.

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