Minnesota Madness: NDSU, Harvard, Saint Louis win with local stars


The slipper fits for upset-minded North Dakota State and Harvard as both underdogs pulled big upsets on the first day of the NCAA tournament.

NDSU, a 12-seed in the West Region, knocked fifth-seed Oklahoma out of the tournament with a 80-75 overtime victory. Here's the game recap from The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.

The Bison were led by freshman Lawrence Alexander's 28 points, but the likes of Marshall Bjorkland, Jordan Aaberg and Mike Felt contributed in the victory. Bjorkland, a senior forward from Sibley East High School (Arlington, Minnesota), finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Aaberg (Rothsay, Minnesota) scored two points off the bench while Mike Felt (Redwood Falls, Minnesota) played quality minutes.

Five Minnesotans play for NDSU, but Zach Checkal (Delano) and Fred Newell (Lakeville) didn't play.

Harvard, also a 12-seed, was too much for fifth-seed Cincinnati in the East Region. The Crimson were led by sophomore point guard Siyani Chambers, who guided an efficient offense while providing some quick feet on defense in a 61-57 victory over the Bearcats. The former Hopkins star and 2012 Mr. Basketball winner finished with 11 points.

It's the second straight year Harvard has pulled a big first-round upset. Last year, Chambers and Harvard entered the tournament as a 14-seed and upset third-seed New Mexico.

Jonah Travis of DeLaSalle High School played six minutes off the bench for Harvard as well.

Meanwhile, former St. Bernard's High School star Jordair Jett led fifth-seed Saint Louis to a huge comeback win over 12-seed North Carolina State. The Billikens trailed by 16 points with under nine minutes left in the game before storming back to win in overtime, 83-80.

Jett led the rally with 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, all while playing suffocating defense.

Champlin Park's Kyle Washington, a freshman, scored two points in 10 minutes for N.C. State.

We counted 14 Minnesotans in the NCAA tournament. Keep track of them all right here.

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