After a thrilling first day with buzzer-beaters, overtimes and upsets, Friday basically went according to plan.
Nearly all of the favorites advanced.
Sure, there were scares: Michigan State needed a controversial call to get past New Mexico State and Wisconsin came down to the wire against Wofford.
However, there was only one legitimate upset: No. 12 Cornell over No. 5 Temple.
A pair of No. 10s -- Georgia Tech and Missouri -- both won, but they were toss-ups, not upsets.
Now, we're down to 32.
This is where the pretenders are removed and contenders step forward.
Anyone can have one great game, but there's a reason why the lower-seeded teams weren't given more credibility.
They were inconsistent throughout the year.
Game of the Day: Tom Izzo and Michigan State holding on and advancing largely due to the lane violation called on New Mexico State late in the game. Spartans forward Raymar Morgan, with his team leading, 68-67, made one free throw and missed the second. However, the Aggies were whistled for a lane violation, and Morgan took advantage of another opportunity from the charity stripe. New Mexico State's final shot to tie was off the mark and Sparty escaped with the win.
The Savior: Jon Diebler – With National Player of the Year favorite Evan Turner struggling to score points, it was Diebler – the team's top perimeter threat – who came up big and made 7-of-11 shots from beyond the arc to finish with 23 points and help Ohio State avoid the first-round upset against UC Santa Barbara.
1. JaJuan Johnson, Purdue – The Boilermakers big man needed to dominate and he did just that, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in Purdue's win against Siena.
2. Jordan Crawford, Xavier – Yet another Indiana transfer who exploded. The Musketeers guard had 28 points in the 65-54 victory over Minnesota.
3. Jon Leuer, Wisconsin – The Badgers skilled big man missed nine games with a broken wrist in Big Ten play, but has come on of late and had a huge game in the win over Wofford with 20 points, eight rebounds and a key steal and two free throws in the closing seconds.
4. Kalin Lucas, Michigan State – The junior point guard scored 25 points – which, shockingly, was a career-high – in the Spartans victory against New Mexico State.
Story of the Day: None of the big boys were even challenged – at least not after the first few minutes. The top seeds in action, Syracuse and Duke, cruised to routs and the No. 2's – West Virginia and Ohio State – also moved on without any issues.
Biggest Upset: No. 12 Cornell over No. 5 Temple – This wasn't a major shocker even though the seeding would give the impression otherwise. The margin of victory was the shocking part as the Big Ten were in control for much of the game.
Most Impressive: Georgia Tech making 24-of-25 free throws in the win against Oklahoma State. The Yellow Jackets haven't exactly been known for their efficiency from the charity stripe, but they scored their last 13 points from the line and didn't make a field goal in the final eight minutes.
Best second-round matchup: No. 8 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 Syracuse – The 'Zags obviously need to make shots from the perimeter, but Mark Few's team may be able to pull the upset – especially if it can keep big man Robert Sacre out of foul trouble.
Thanks, Teach: Cornell coach Steve Donahue spent 10 years learning under Fran Dunphy while an assistant at Penn. The pupil knocked off the teacher as the Big Red won its first-ever NCAA tournament game with a 78-65 victory over Temple. It was also the first win in the Big Dance for an Ivy league team since 1998 when Princeton beat No. 12 UNLV. The league had dropped 12 straight in the NCAA tourney.
Biggest disappointment: Siena – The Saints were looking to get a first-round tourney win for the third straight season and Fran McCaffery's team was going up against a Purdue team that just isn't the same without Robbie Hummel. Siena was just 3-of-12 from beyond the arc and star Alex Franklin didn't score in the second half.
We'll miss you: Trevor Booker, Clemson – The Tigers big man has managed to fly under the radar for most of his career and he didn't play up to his own standards in the final game of his college career. Booker had just four points in the first half and finished with 11 in the loss to Missouri.
Debut: Xavier rookie coach Chris Mack got a victory in his NCAA tournament debut as the Musketeers head man. Now Mack will get a chance to get revenge for when Xavier lost to Pittsburgh last season in the Sweet 16.
Quiet Return: Michigan State wing Chris Allen returned from a one-game suspension in the Big Ten tournament and didn't make any of his three shots from the field and scored a single point in 26 minutes.
Never would have thought: That Utah State, the nation's top shooting team, would go 5-of-20 from long distance, shot 39 percent from the field and also miss all four of its free throws. Aggies star Jared Quayle struggled, going 1-of-9 from beyond the arc and finishing with just 11 points in the loss to Texas A&M.
Pitino's early exit: Rick Pitino hasn't had an easy year and now it's over after a 77-62 loss to California. Pitino loves guys who can shoot the ball and that's exactly what the Bears did. The trio of Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson combined to make 8-of-15 shots from beyond the arc.
Stat of the Day: 29 – That's the number of points that Purdue's starters not named E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson tallied in the win over Siena. Keaton Grant had 11, Chris Kramer added 10 and Lewis Jackson chipped in with eight. If they can repeat that performance, Matt Painter's team has a chance to advance again.
Can't wait until tomorrow:
1. No. 10 Saint Mary's vs. No. 2 Villanova: The Gaels are coming off an impressive win over Richmond while Jay Wright's team barely got past Robert Morris. Omar Samhan needs to stay out of foul trouble for Randy Bennett's team.
2. No. 7 BYU vs. No. 2 Kansas State: A contrast of styles. This is a guards game with BYU's Jimmer Fredette against the K-State duo of Denis Clemente and Jake Pullen.
3. No. 9 Wake Forest vs. No. 1 Kentucky: I'm not sure Wake will prove much resistance, but it will be a track meet with arguably the two fastest point guards in America, Kentucky's John Wall and Wake's Ishmael Smith.
4. No. 11 Washington vs. No. 3 New Mexico: Two of the most talented teams out west battle.