Many of the experts were correct.
They said San Diego State were likely to give Tennessee fits, while Vanderbilt was considered a prime candidate to be upset in the first round of the NCAA tournament by TV analysts and even President Barack Obama.
At the end of the day Thursday, the Vols in Providence saw a last-second attempt by the Aztecs fall short, but the Commodores allowed a game-winning basket to Danero Thomas as time expired and was eliminated with a 66-65 loss to Murray State at San Jose.
"It was a miracle play," Murray coach Billy Kennedy said. "It was something I drew up at the end of the game. Something we've never done before, and ... fortunately, Danero Thomas made a shot."
It was the second time in as many NCAA appearances the 20th-ranked Commodores (24-9) were seeded fourth and were eliminated by a No. 13 seed. The same thing happened in 2008.
For Murray State (31-4) it was just the second NCAA tournament victory in history.
"This time in March anybody can win," Murray State forward Isaac Miles said. "So I mean it's no seeds, a lot of upsets. They're a good team but ... we've been working all year to get to this level."
Jermaine Beal gave Vanderbilt a one-point lead when he made two free throws with 12.7 seconds to play.
The Commodores’ defense got a stop on the ensuing possession when B.J. Jenkins missed a 3-pointer with six seconds to play. The battle for the rebound went out of bounds off VU forward Andre Walker with 4.2 seconds to play and returned possession to Murray State, the Ohio Valley Conference champion.
"The kid just made a good shot, and off the dribble," VU coach Kevin Stallings said. "I wish we could have been there to contest it a little bit better. But really the game could have been over had we gotten that loose ball. We got them to take a terrible shot when they came down the first time, it was almost an air ball and then the ball glances off the rim, and they said it went out on us."
Freshman John Jenkins scored a team-high 13 points for Vanderbilt, which overcame an eight-point second-half deficit. He gave his team its first lead of the second half (58-56) on a 3-pointer 4:48 to go and briefly stretched that advantage to four points with a jump shot 1:02 later.
Beal and Ogilvy each finished with 12 points.
Miles led all scorers with 17 points. Jenkins and Thomas chipped in 14 and 11, respectively, for the Racers.
"They only scored 30 points in the second half," Stallings said. "It wasn't like our defense was bad in the second half. We defended them just fine. But we didn't defend them well enough.
"We needed one more stop and we didn't get it."
Vols survive, move on to face surprising Ohio
Melvin Goins' three-pointer with 13 seconds left helped erase his ill-timed foul and lifted sixth-seeded Tennessee to a 62-59 win over San Diego State in their first round Midwest Regional game.
After his basket gave UT (26-8) a four-point lead, Goins fouled the Aztecs' D.J. Gay on a three-point attempt. Gay, who had 16 points for the 11th-seeded SDSU squad, hit all three free throws.
The Vols' Wayne Chism hit two clutch free throws with just under 8 seconds remaining, and Kawhi Leonard missed a shot at the buzzer that could have tied the game for San Diego State (25-9).
The Aztecs, champions of the Mountain West Conference, were looking for their first-ever tournament win.