Harvard never trailed after the opening moments. They played with confidence and scrap against the Bearcats, who shared the American Athletic Conference regular season title.
Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati (27-7) with 18 points, but the Bearcats failed to win a tournament game for the second straight year.
Michigan State 93, Delaware 78 • In Spokane, Adreian Payne scored a career-high 41 points to get Michigan State off to a solid start in the NCAA tournament.
Payne, a 6-foot-10 senior, scored 12 straight points in the first half to help the fourth-seeded Spartans (27-8) to an 18-point lead.
He set an NCAA tournament record by making all 17 of his free throws and broke the program's tournament scoring record, set previously by Greg Kelser in 1979.
Devon Saddler had 21 points and Davon Usher added 20 for the 13th-seeded Blue Hens (25-10).
Travis Trice scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half for the Spartans.
UConn 89, Saint Joseph's 81 (OT) • In Buffalo, N.Y., Shabazz Napier shook off a miss at the second-half buzzer to score nine of his 24 points in overtime and lead seventh-seeded Connecticut.
DeAndre Daniels scored 18 while freshman center Amida Brimah forced overtime by completing a three-point play in the final minute for UConn (27-8).
The Huskies won their first tournament game under coach Kevin Ollie, who took over two years ago after Jim Calhoun stepped down due to health issues.
With the game tied at 70 entering overtime, Daniels opened the scoring by completed a three-point play with 3:47 left during a 5-minute period the Huskies never trailed.
Langston Galloway scored 25 points for Saint Joseph's (24-10). The Hawks wore down because of a lack of depth, and then lost their top forward Halil Kanacevic, who fouled out early into overtime.
UConn faces Villanova next.
Villanova 73, Milwaukee 53 • In Buffalo, N.Y., Darrun Hilliard scored 16 points, JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 for second-seeded Villanova.
No. 15 seed Milwaukee (21-14), the surprise champion of the Horizon League, made it a game all the way, leading much of the first half before fading late.
Villanova (29-4) was eager to get back on the court after being upset last week by Seton Hall in the Big East tournament quarterfinals, but the effect of that loss seemed to linger.
A 12-point run spanning halftime gave the Wildcats a nine-point lead early in the second half and they held on. Hilliard's long 3-pointer from the top of the key with 8:10 left gave them a 53-42 lead, and the Panthers couldn't recover.