Home > Current Updates > Opening night: Upset bug mixed with Madness

Opening night: Upset bug mixed with Madness

Dave2015It was a good opening night for college hoops … with Indiana edging Kansas in overtime … and Arizona’s Kadeem Allen driving the length of the floor to beat Michigan State.  The evening’s two marquee games offered a proper salute to the men and women of our Armed Forces.

We also got a glimpse of some Madness as Xavier, Texas, Pittsburgh, NC State, and Maryland escaped the upset bug spread by Lehigh, Incarnate Word, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern, and American.

Connecticut and Penn State weren’t so lucky.  The Huskies fell at home to Wagner, which returned a host of starters from last year’s team that won the NEC’s regular season.  Penn State lost at home to Albany, a team missing its top three scorers from a year ago.  A tough opener for Pat Chambers and the Nittany Lions.

It’s never a good idea to read too much into a single game – especially in November, but here are a few additional takeaways from opening night…

  • The SEC could again struggle to get more than three or four teams into the NCAA tournament.  These are single games, but Georgia lost at Clemson and Vanderbilt was blown out in the second half at Marquette.  All four feel like potential bubble teams to open the season.  Ole Miss and Mississippi State hung on for narrow victories over Tennessee-Martin and Norfolk State. And Tennessee lost at home to a good Chattanooga squad.
  • Indiana and Kansas can score, but will either be able to defend in a half-court game?  Bill Self can’t be too pleased that his Jayhawks gave up 103 points while allowing Indiana to shoot over 43 percent from the floor and almost 50 percent from beyond the arc.  Then again, IU is one of the most explosive offensive teams in the country.
  • Kudos to North Carolina and Virginia for opening with true road games (at Tulane and UNC-Greensboro).
  • Nevada missed on one of its few chances to post a quality non-conference win by falling at Saint Mary’s.
  • Had Eastern Michigan managed to pull of a victory at Pittsburgh (an overtime loss), it would have helped the entire Mid-American Conference.
  • Harvard will continue to improve, but again, a missed chance at Stanford.

Enjoy your weekend.  College hoops returns in full force on Monday – which leads into the Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday.

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