The first weekend of the 2017-18 men’s college basketball season had the usual expected shellackings as well as a few surprises. The top 25 ranked teams had only one loss with #11 West Virginia losing to #25 Texas A&M 88-65. A few (cat)dog fights included #19 Northwestern getting all they could handle from Loyola (MD) but the Wildcats survived with a 79-75 win over the Greyhounds to open their season. #21 UCLA clashed with Georgia Tech across the pond in China and was able to finish strong for a 63-60 victory. The Yellow Jackets still kept things close despite a 7 minute scoreless drought in the 2nd half. #5 Kentucky held off a solid Vermont team to win 73-69. This talented but young (5 starting Freshmen) Wildcat team will battle #4 Kansas on Tuesday night looking to start the season 3-0.
Some notable upsets:
- Indiana had won 32 consecutive home openers before falling big to in-state rival Indiana St 90-69. The Sycamores were “giants” from behind the arch going 17-26 (59%).
- Wake Forest lost it’s season home opener to a balanced Georgia Southern team 85-83. It was the Eagles first win over an ACC team since 2013 and first win ever over the Demon Deacons.
- California was unable to start the season on a high note and was beaten by UC Riverside 74-66. The Highlanders jumped to a 10-0 advantage early on and lead by 19 at the half. The Golden Bears were the only Pac-12 team to lose their season opener. (Washington St overcame an 18 point deficit at halftime to beat Texas Southern in overtime 86-84)
Games to watch this week:
- #19 Minnesota @ Providence (11/13 @6:30 PM ET)
- #20 Purdue @ Marquette (11/14 @8:30 PM ET)
- Creighton @ #19 Northwestern (11/15 @ 9:00 PM ET)
- #17 Xavier @ Wisconsin (11/16 @ 8:30 PM ET)
- Virginia @ VCU (11/17 @ 4:00 PM ET)
- Texas Tech @ Boston College (11/18 @ 12:00 PM ET)
- #10 USC @ Vanderbilt (11/19 @ 8:00 PM ET)