Week number 2 is in the books, and as I expected, a lot of the blue bloods are struggling out of the gate. These young teams didn’t have a chance to practice together as much during the preseason, and it’s showing. By the middle of conference season, these teams will begin to figure it out, but for now, expect even more upsets from the
#11 West Virginia: 82 vs #1 Gonzaga: 87
Jalen Suggs is the most complete freshman in the country. Gonzaga’s offense looked a lot less fluid with him off the court, but that just goes to show how strong their depth is because they kept it pretty close. The Bulldogs were able to keep pace while Suggs was out and pull away late when he battled through injury to help them get a win. Drew Timmie was struggling with Derek Culver guarding him, and all the pressure WVU was able to put on him. Although the Mountaineers gave up 87 points, they might be one of the best defenses in the country. There won’t be many teams in the WCC that will even hold the Bulldogs under 100 this year, so at least giving Gonzaga fits is wildly impressive.
#5 Illinois: 69 vs #2 Baylor: 82
Baylor showed that they are just a solid, tough team to score on. The Bears were not letting Ayo Dosunmu get clean looks at the hoop, and he was really forcing his shot. Not only that, but Kofi Cockburn couldn’t stay in the game due to foul trouble, and the Illini lacked a dominant paint presence in this one. Giorgi Bezhanishvili did as much as he could off the bench for Cockburn, but he didn’t do enough defensively for the Illini. On the other side, Jared Butler needs to shoot better for Baylor if they want to be the best team in the Big 12.
#17 Texas: 69 vs #14 UNC: 67
Texas impressed me, there I’ll say it. I was not high on the Longhorns coming into this year, but they’ve looked really good so far. Maybe I was too high on UNC, but for now, I’ll give Texas credit. They tried to blow this one but managed to hang on in the end. Matt Coleman had an overall great Maui Tournament, but he put the cherry on top of this one with a buzzer-beater to send the Tar Heels home.
#4 Wisconsin: 65 vs Marquette: 67
The refs in this game stunk. They were quite suspect the entire game, but bailed Marquette out with a light foul, while also having some crappy clockwork. However, the refs didn’t shoot 7/24 from three. Wisconsin’s biggest flaw was once again showed tonight. The Badgers play very hard defense but have zero consistency from behind the arc. If they can’t knock down threes more consistently, they could lose to every team in the B10.
#12 Villanova: 68 vs #17 Texas: 64
I know I just talked about Texas, but this game just confuses me. If you hold Villanova under 70, you have to pull out a win. The Wildcats have a middle of the row defense, and an above-average offense. Not only that, but you really made Collin Gillespie a nonfactor scoring the ball. This is not a bad loss at all for Texas, but they still have a lot of question marks for me. With that being said, Matt Coleman is not one of those question marks, and they should be back in the tournament this year.
#20 Kentucky: 62 vs Georgia Tech: 79
Coach K and John Calipari are the two best recruiters in the nation. However, are they the best game managers, or even the best at preparing their guys for games? No. Does this Kentucky team feel like another group that could miss the tournament, still no, I just think they need to figure some things out. But losing to Georgia Tech by 17… YEESH!
#16 UNC: 80 vs #3 Iowa: 93
This game showed why Iowa is so dangerous. Luka Garza had a down night only scoring 16 points and snagging 14 rebounds. Those are some nice stats but he only shot 6/20 from the field and 4/8 from the line. Luckily for Garza, the rest of the Hawkeyes shot 17/39 from deep! In order to beat Iowa, you can’t let the role players beat you, it has to be Luka Garza. The Tar Heels kept throwing double teams down at Garza, which were effective in limiting his offense, but they also led to Iowa shooting too many wide-open threes. Watch out for this Iowa team, they are legit.
#8 Creighton: 72 vs #5 Kansas: 73
Creighton isn’t happy they lost, but they looked to be very good. Marcus Zegarowski came alive in the second half for the Blue Jays, but Denzel Mahoney was the real star of the show. He had some huge buckets down the stretch for Creighton, but it wasn’t enough to beat this deep Jayhawks squad. For Kansas, this is a great win, but your guards have to play better. What you thought was the highlight of your team, might just be a weakness right now.
#6 Illinois: 83 vs #10 Duke: 68
Duke got exposed in this one. Illinois did whatever they wanted against this horrible Blue Devils defense. Not only that but does Duke have any consistent scoring besides Matthew Hurt? Duke has the players to be very good, but they don’t have a Zion Williamson to carry them through their early struggles. On the other hand, Illinois looks like they’re finally starting to come together as the team they were projected to be early in the year. I’m still not sold on them yet because I don’t think this win is wildly impressive. Duke needs to get a lot better.
Penn State: 75 vs #15 Virginia Tech: 55
Most people will look at this game and call it a bad loss for the Hokies. Well, losing by 20 is never good, but Penn State is very good. They have one loss to a solid Seton Hall group, and they’ve now proven they can handle some tough competition. If Penn State can start to get any offense from their bigs, this team could be one of the best in the B10.
- Gonzaga (3-0) (-)
- Baylor (3-0) (-)
- Iowa (4-0) (-)
- Michigan State (5-0) (-)
- Kansas (5-1) (+1)
- Villanova (4-1) (+4)
- Illinois (4-1) (+2)
- WVU (4-1) (Unranked)
- Houston (4-0) (Unranked)
- Wisconsin (3-1) (-5)
Dropped Out: UNC and Creighton
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