The casual fan may not pay much attention to college basketball until March Madness begins. However, the madness may have come early this year. This college basketball season has been declared by many experts as the most wide open and wild year in recent memory. And after what has happened in the past week, that could not be more true.
Let’s start on Monday. Yes, it wasn’t too crazy just yet. No. 24 Notre Dame was defeated by a talented Georgetown squad and No. 3 Syracuse wound up holding on to a win over No. 21 Cincinnati. But this was only the beginning.
Now onto Tuesday, the day things started to get crazy. No. 5 Louisville was coming off a loss and it looked like they had a great opportunity to bounce back against Villanova. That was not the case, however, and the Wildcats used stifling defense to knock off the Cardinals. In addition, No. 18 N.C. State was completely outmatched by Wake Forest in a close loss. The Wolfpack looks like the most talented ACC team this season, but lost to a very mediocre team.
By Wednesday, the Madness was in full force. No. 1 Duke was completely embarrassed by No. 25 Miami in a 90-63 blowout. No. 9 Butler, everyone’s darling, fell short by a late layup to La Salle. No. 12 Minnesota continued its struggles in Big Ten play by dropping a winnable game to Northwestern. And finally, No. 17 Creighton could not stop an offensive onslaught from Drake.
Thursday showed no signs of stopping as No. 6 Arizona, arguably one of the best teams in the country, was completely victimized by the talent of UCLA, while another A-10 favorite, No. 19 VCU, was beaten in overtime by an undermanned Richmond squad.
Saturdays in college basketball are always filled with a ton of big games, and this one was no exception. Two Big East squads that ranked in the top five in the country, No. 3 Syracuse and No. 5 Louisville, lost tight games to Villanova and Georgetown, respectively. No. 11 Kansas State came up just short to Iowa State, who everyone should be watching closely. Finally, Minnesota and VCU each lost for the second time this week to Wisconsin and La Salle (they’re back), respectively.
Phew, that was a mouthful. It took an entire column just to talk about the upsets. Basically, the point that I’m trying to make is that if you love the madness, you may want to start paying attention right now. Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a leg up on everyone when the NCAA tournament begins.
Or maybe it’ll just be more madness, as usual.