Well well well, here we are only a week or two into the college basketball season and already we are seeing some massive upsets at the highest level! I've said this before and I will likely say it again, I love college basketball. I can't tell you the number of times I have been on the edge of my seat this past week watching some of these games.
There is a definite intensity that you don't find in other sports (at least in my opinion). On top of that, the intensity just builds and builds and builds until we find ourselves in March/April waiting for the final showdown.
I LOVE IT!
Monday brought us 7 games in the top 25 this past week. It was supposed to be 8, but one of them was postponed. I am not sure why, I was hoping the days of games getting postponed were far behind us by now. It likely was nothing related to Covid this time, but then again, you never know.
There was only one game among the upsets on Monday. That was Northwestern State over the #15 TCU Horned Frogs. It was a one point victory with the Demons edging them out 64 to 63. Well done!
Tuesday was a pretty awesome day for me. I can think of a few people who probably are not as happy as I am, but I loved the outcome of the Michigan State/Kentucky game. Sorry @patrickulrich and possibly @nuthman (not sure if you are still a Wildcat fan), but you have to admit it was a great game.
I actually didn't start watching it until there were two minutes left in the game. I was laying in bed and started thinking to myself, I wonder if State plays this week. I checked my app and found out they were in one barn burner of a game.
There were about two minutes left in regulation and unranked Michigan State was within one point of #4 Kentucky. I quickly opened the YouTube TV app on my phone and started watching the end of the game (much to @mrsbozz's annoyance who was trying to sleep next to me).
I watched intently as Michigan State kept tying the score up with Kentucky, but never really pulling ahead. The game ended with a tie and went into overtime.
Much the same result as the end of regulation. Shots traded, MSU never quite pulling ahead, first overtime ends with a tie. It wasn't until the second overtime that Michigan State finally got the boost they needed and were able to pull ahead of Kentucky. Then ended up winning 86 to 77.
This was a big win for Sparty, especially after falling just short to #2 Gonzaga last week. To be fair, some of the Kentucky players seemed to be struggling to hit free throws. That likely cost them the game. On top of that, one of their big men was out for the game, so that likely would have turned the tides as well.
I still think there is a lot to be excited about for this Michigan State team. If they can keep things together, this might finally be the year they have a chance to go deep in the tourney. I feel like I say that every year though and they always disappoint...
#1 North Carolina took care of Garner-Webb on Tuesday with a 6 point victory and #6 Kansas had a delayed start (thanks to the MSU/Kentucky game), but they were able to take down #7 Duke 69 to 64. Any day Duke losses is a good day in my opinion. Finally, unranked UNLV upset #21 Dayton 60 to 52.
Wednesday gave us five games and one of those could easily tie Michigan State for the game of the week. First, let's talk about Michigan and their 31 point victory over Pitt. The fact that Michigan was able to jump two spots in the rankings to #20 even though they haven't played anyone of note is kind of annoying.
That is usually how things are in the NCAA though. Michigan has a huge fan base that travels well and therefore spends a lot of money. The NCAA in turn gets some of that money, so they do what all people usually do and "follow the money". It's the sad truth of a broken system. Just wait until U of M faces some actual competition and we will see if they deserve to be in the top 25.
Like I said, one big game on Wednesday and it was a "massive" upset. Use the term massive loosely because although the score was definitely one sided, @bigtom13 will tell you this was always going to be a tough game for #2 Gonzaga. In the end, they fell to #11 Texas 93 to 74. Ouch! Gonazga is a heck of a team. Make no mistake, they will learn from this and only get better. They are hungry after getting knocked out in the Sweet 16 last year. They want it bad this year.
Finally, Thursday night gave us six games. Unranked Murray State beat #24 Texas A&M 88 to 79. Kentucky rebounded from their loss against Michigan State to win 106 to 63 over South Carolina State.
Finally, I guess I should have just jumped a day ahead in my scores before going on my rant about the Michigan Wolverines. I mentioned before that early in the season there are destination tournaments that teams get invited to to play some harder teams. The Legends Classic is one of those tournaments was well as the Continental Tire Main Event.
In the Legends Classic last night, Michigan fell hard against unranked Arizona State 87 to 62. It seems that #20 ranking might have been a bit premature for U of M.
As much as it annoyed me that MSU was unranked, I'd prefer they start with nothing and have to work their way to the top versus being over inflated and then falling short. It allows them to be in a better headspace and not get too cocky too soon.
That's my opinion anyway.
We have some great basketball on tap this weekend with a couple of those early season tournaments happening.
Check back next week for the breakdown!