Sooner or later it had to happen and Harvard’s women did it, becoming the first 16th seed to topple a No. 1 seed by defeating Stanford 71-67 Saturday night in a first-round game in Stanford, Calif.
The Ivy League champions won their first NCAA Tournament game in three tries and in the process snapped Stanford’s 59-game winning streak at Maples Pavilion.
Harvard (23-4), led by Allison Feaster’s 35 points and 13 rebounds, advanced to a second-round game Monday night against Arkansas.
Mead product Regan Freuen’s 19 points led injury-depleted Stanford, which played without Vanessa Nygaard and Kristin Folkl, both out with knee injuries.
Arkansas 76, Hawaii 70
Karyn Karlin scored 24 points, and the ninth-seeded Razorbacks (22-5) got some clutch long-distance shooting from Wendi Willits to defeat the Rainbows (24-4) in the other game at Stanford.
Karlin was nearly unstoppable in close for the Razorbacks (22-5). The 6-foot-1 sophomore hit 12 of 17 from the field and pulled down six rebounds.
Willits hit three straight 3-pointers early in the second half, when Arkansas fought back from a five-point halftime deficit to take a 43-40 lead. She finished 4 of 9 from three-point range.
The Razorbacks took the lead for good at 50-48 on a medium-range jumper by reserve Treva Christenson, who scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Karlin, Willits and Christenson had all but 11 of their team’s points in the second 20 minutes.
Louisville 69, Utah 61
Sharon Bellamy scored six of her 19 points during a decisive 13-0 run early in the second half to lead the Cardinals’ upset of the Utes in a first-round game in Durham, N.C.
Louisville (22-8), the No. 10 seed, trailed 34-32 after a see-saw first half, but grabbed a 45-36 lead early in the second and never trailed again.
Duke 92, Middle Tenn. St. 67
Also at Durham, Michele VanGorp scored 19 points to lead five Blue Devils in double figures in a win over the Blue Raiders (18-12).
Peppi Browne added 15 points, Rochelle Parent had 14, and Georgia Schweitzer and Payton Black had 13 points each for Duke (22-7), which will play Louisville on Monday.
Virginia Tech 75, Wisconsin 64
Freshman guard Amy Wetzel scored 28 points as the Hokies (22-9) upset the sixth-seeded Badgers (21-10) in Gainesville, Fla.
Wetzel led a second-half comeback for 11th-seeded Virginia Tech with 14 points after the break, and the Hokies became the 10th No. 11 seed to win a first-round game.
Wisconsin led 30-27 after halftime, and the Badgers were leading 34-29 with 17:35 to play before the Hokies went on an 11-5 run in a 4-minute span to take the lead for good.
Florida 85, Montana 64
In the other game at Gainesville, Tonya Washington and Tamara Stocks each scored 19 points as the Gators defeated the Griz.
Florida (22-8), the third seed in the West, shot 60 percent from the field against one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. The 14th-seeded Griz had been holding opponents to 34.5 percent accuracy.
The Grizzlies (24-6) were led by Linda Cummings’ 15 points.
Florida advances to play Virginia Tech on Monday night.