The NCAA Tournament got underway in earnest Thursday. And no region was busier than the Midwest, where six games took place.

Colorado State beat Missouri in an #8-#9 game to close the evening in Lexington, Ky., while top-seeded Louisville routed North Carolina A&T to start the night. Michigan State quickly disposed of Valparaiso in the first game to tip off, while Saint Louis proved it's a legitimate threat to go far against New Mexico State. Memphis narrowly avoided a meltdown against Saint Mary's, while Oregon showed Oklahoma State its #12 seed was too low.

(8) Colorado State 84, (9) Missouri 72

Dorian Green scored 26 points, and Colorado State handily beat Missouri, 84-72, in a second round game of the 2013 NCAA tournament's Midwest Regional on Thursday evening in Lexington, Ky. The Rams opened up a nine-point halftime lead and then pulled away in the second half thanks to a 42-19 rebounding advantage. Phil Pressey scored 20 points to lead Missouri. Colorado State will play top-seeded Louisville in the third round on Saturday.

(1) Louisville 79, (16) North Carolina A&T 48

Russ Smith scored 23 points, and top-seeded Louisville routed North Carolina A&T, 79-48, in a second round game of the 2013 NCAA tournament's Midwest Regional on Thursday evening in Lexington, Ky. Wayne Blackshear added 12 points for the Cardinals, who overran the Aggies from the outset of the game. Bruce Beckford scored 12 points to lead North Carolina A&T. Louisville will play Colorado State in the third round on Saturday.

(3) Michigan State 65, (14) Valparaiso 54

Playing close to home in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the Spartans had their way with the Crusaders in a game that was never in doubt. Derrick Nix was a monster, recording 23 points and 15 rebounds -- almost as many as Valpo's 20 as a team. Valparaiso shot an abysmal 35% from the field and really struggled from beyond the arc, going 7-for-25 from 3-point range.

(4) Saint Louis 64, (13) New Mexico State 44

A lot of people think Saint Louis could go deep in this tournament and the Billikens showed why. Dwayne Evans paced SLU with 24 points and a smothering defense held the Aggies to under 30% from the field. Bandja Sy finished with 17 points to lead NMSU.

(6) Memphis 54, (11) Saint Mary’s 52

Memphis shot better than 50% in the first half and fought back whenever Saint Mary’s inched closer in the second half to move on, including a valiant effort with under a minute to play, in which Saint Mary’s had a chance to tie or win with under 2 seconds to play. In the tournament’s first exciting finish, Eividas Petrulis banked a 3-pointer with 3 seconds to go and the Tigers turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds, giving Saint Mary's a chance to win or tie as the game ended. The Gaels couldn't convert and the Tigers escaped with a victory. D.J. Stephens had seven blocks for Memphis, which was paced by Joe Jackson's 14 points. Matthew Waldow led the Geals with 17 points, while their star player, Matthew Dellavedova scored 10 points on just three of 13 shooting.

(12) Oregon 68, (5) Oklahoma State 55

Oregon proved it was indeed worthy of better than its #12 seed by thumping the Cowboys in what looks like what may be upset on paper only. The Ducks raced out to an 11-point halftime lead and never looked back. Oklahoma State star and Big 12 Player of the Year Marcus Smart only scored 14 points on five of 13 shooting, while Oregon’s Damyean Dotson scored 17 points. The Ducks hammered the Cowboys on the glass, outrebounding them 45-29, with Arsalan Kazemi leading the way with 17.