March is approaching, but the madness has already begun
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant
Demolition hit the basketball court Saturday, with each of the Top-6 ranked schools falling on the same day for a never-before-seen moment in college hoops. NCAA AP voters were in for a show when the ultimate underdogs wreaked havoc and made history in men’s basketball.
A record seven of the Top-10 ranked schools all lost, leaving Duke and Baylor as the lone winners. Only one team lost to a school ranked inside the Top-16 in the AP polls; coincidentally, it came against No. 10 Baylor.
Here’s a quick rundown of the madness that transpired:
- No.1 Gonzaga defeated by No. 23 Saint Mary’s
- N0. 2 Arizona defeated by Colorado
- No. 3 Auburn defeated by No. 17 Tennessee
- No. 4 Purdue defeated by Michigan State
- No. 5 Kansas defeated by No. 10 Baylor
- No. 6 Kentucky defeated by No. 18 Arkansas
- No. 9 Texas Tech defeated by TCU
Unfortunately for Gonzaga, that would not be the only record to fall for the Bulldogs. The team’s loss to Saint Mary’s also marked the demise of the longest active streak of consecutive wins against a conference foe.
The biggest shocker in all of the chaos seemed to be Arizona losing in such a deciding factor for a team that had one of the best odds to win the NCAA National Championship, according to Odds Shark. The Wildcats were bludgeoned in the paint with 54 of Colorado’s points being scored near the rim.
Other losses seemed to be more foreshadowed. Auburn was already on shaky water entering Saturday; they lost two of their last five games after being the top-ranked team earlier in the month. Kentucky’s loss to Arkansas looked like a more likely scenario considering the razorbacks only have lost 2 games since the calendar turned to the new year. Kansas on the other hand, just caught a bad matchup on a bad day, facing the reigning National Champions losing, but fought the bears to the very end.
Most of the games came to a tight finish, with Colorado as the only victory of more than 10 points; four of the upsets were decided by 5 points or less. Purdue got the madness started being the first team to lose. They fumbled away their opportunities with 17 turnovers that eventually caught up with them as they also could not match the three-point shooting of the Michigan State Spartans.
On a brighter note, all of the teams outside of the Top-10 that played Saturday won their matchup. That includes Alabama, which easily put away conference rival South Carolina in a 19-point victory.
The new AP rankings recently came out, and three of the losing teams fell out of the Top 5. Texas Tech suffered the brunt of the punishment, dropping out of the Top-10 completely.
Gonzaga and Arizona remained atop the rankings at Nos. 1 and 2, Auburn fell to No. 5 with Kansas, Kentucky and Purdue following. While this not the end of the world for these teams, it surely makes them more vulnerable as the NCAA tournament is around the corner.
March Madness is where fans see a lot of “Cinderella” or feel-good story teams occasionally knock off top competition. If this past weekend is any indication, then the elite tier of college basketball will need to tighten up their stances as being the cream of the crop.