It is quite crazy that college basketball is still going on without any problems. As you look around the country, especially in college football, positive tests are popping up left and right. With that being said, college basketball seems to be going smoothly, and the start of the season has been an interesting one. Duke losing a non-conference game at Cameron Indoor, Virginia being toppled by a rising San Francisco team, and finally, of course, you’re yearly early season Kentucky loss to a mid-major who has nowhere near the talent that the Wildcats do. With all that in mind, lets take the plunge into the week that was in college basketball!
Top 25 Scores (November 1st – November 3rd)
- (4) Wisconsin 82 Green Bay 42 – Wisconsin remained undefeated by toppling a much less talented Green Bay team on Tuesday. The Badgers were led by Micah Potter, who had 14 points and 8 rebounds in 24 minutes of action. With the win the Badgers improved to 3-0, while the Phoenix stayed win-less with a record of 0-2.
- (9) Creighton 94 Omaha 67: The ninth-ranked Blue Jays, easily swept past Omaha, to improve their record to 2-0. The Blue Jays were paced by floor general Marcus Zegarowski, who had eleven points and eleven assists.
- (12) Villanova 87 Hartford 53 – Jay Wright’s Wildcats improved their record to 3-1, following a loss to Virginia Tech over the weekend. Forward Eric Dixon led Nova, scoring 14 points and adding ten rebounds.
- (15) Virginia 76 St. Francis (PA) 51 – After a loss to San Francisco in Bubbleville, the Cavaliers made quick work of St. Francis (PA). Virginia was paced by forward Jay Huff who had thirteen points, five rebounds, and three blocks.
- (7) Kansas 65 (20) Kentucky 62 – After suffering a loss over the weekend to Richmond, Calipari’s Wildcats were looking for a bounce back in the first game of the State Farm Champions Classic. However, those ideas were put to bed by Kansas. Forward Jalen Wilson scored 24 points, 18 coming in the second half, to lead the Jayhawks to an early top 25 victory.
- (8) Michigan State 75 (6) Duke 69 – This is not the same Duke team as two years ago with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett. The Blue Devils were topped, in Cameron Indoor no less, by a balanced Michigan State team. Forward Aaron Henry was a catalyst for the Spartans all night. He finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists.
- (23) Ohio State 77 Morehead State 44 – The Buckeyes are off to a great start this year under coach Chris Holtmann. They easily took care of Morehead State on Tuesday night. Sophomore forward E.J. Liddell led the Buckeyes balanced attack with 17 points and seven rebounds, as Ohio State improved to 3-0.
- (22) Florida State 86 North Florida 58 – The Seminoles dominated North Florida in their first game of the year. Leonard Hamilton’s crew were led by M.J. Walker, who totaled 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
- Missouri 83 (21) Oregon 75 – The Ducks suffered a setback to Missouri to start off their season. Eugene Omoruyi had a huge game for the Ducks with 31 points, 11 rebounds, and one assist. However, it wasn’t enough as the Tigers had a balanced scoring attack, with four of the five starters reaching double figures.
- (17) Texas 69 (14) North Carolina 67 – In the final of the Camping World Maui Invitational, the Longhorns and head coach Shaka Smart got a thrilling victory over the Tar Heels to win the Invitational. Matt Coleman III hit a jumper at the buzzer to put the game to bed for good.
- (1) Gonzaga 87 (11) West Virginia 82 – In the first game of the Jimmy V Classic, the Bulldogs from Spokane improved to 3-o after notching a tough victory over West Virginia on Tuesday night. Guard Joel Ayayi led the Bulldogs with 21 points, seven rebounds, and 4 assists. Bob Huggins crew stayed with the Bulldogs for most of the game, but in the end Mark Few’s men were just too good.
- (2) Baylor 82 (5) Illinois 69 – In what was supposed to be the closer match-up in the Jimmy V Classic, Baylor bundled Illinois and held them to 69 points. The Bears are the real deal when it comes to perimeter defense. They were lead by guard Davion Mitchell who had 15 points, 4 rebounds and seven assists.
Three Games to Watch This Weekend:
(December 3rd) Kent State at (15) Virginia – Virginia is indeed beatable. We all saw that when they lost to San Francisco last weekend. Kent State is a good mid-major team, that has had multiple seasons of winning at least 20 games. Kent also snatched the top prospect in the state of Ohio last year in VonCameron Davis, who had nine points in the opener versus Point Park. Virginia will get pushed by Rob Senderoff’s men.
(December 6th) (12) Villanova at (17) Texas – In the Big East/Big 12 Battle, the Wildcats will hop on a plane and enter coach Shaka Smart’s Special Events Center. Texas will be riding high after the thrilling victory over North Carolina on Tuesday. The Wildcats, will look to keep the scoring balanced, and grab a key road non-conference win for Jay Wright’s Wildcats.
(December 5th) (1) Gonzaga at (2) Baylor (In Indianapolis) – A gigantic 1 versus 2 match up this early in the season? You bet. The Bears and Bulldogs will battle it out on Saturday afternoon for the right to claim the number one spot in the rankings next week. Baylor’s perimeter defense is the best in the country, while Gonzaga is led by three guards, especially freshman floor general Jalen Suggs. This should be the best match-up of the weekend.
JB’s Top Three Players Of the Week:
- Luke Garza, C, Iowa: The reigning Wooden Award-Runner-Up, has started right where he left off last year. Against two inferior opponents, Garza scored 26 points in 30-point blowout win versus North Carolina Central. Then, against Southern, Garza erupted for 41 points, while shooting 83% from the field. Stats: 33.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3 Blocks Per Game.
- Scotty Pippen Jr., G, Vanderbilt: The son of Scottie Pippen Himself, had a great opener for the Commodores. In Vanderbilt’s lone game this season, they were able to squeak by Valparaiso 77-71. Pippen Jr., led the Commodores with 25 points, 3 rebounds, and four assists. The apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree huh?
- Marcus Carr, G, Minnesota: Carr is off to a blazing hot start this year up in Minnesota. The one-time Pittsburgh transfer is averaging 29.7 PPG, 5 Rebounds, and 5 Assists per game for the 3-0 Golden Gophers.
JB’s Top Three Teams of the Week
- Gonzaga: Gonzaga is who we thought they were! They are a very talented and deep team that is superbly coached by Mark Few. Just this past week the Bulldogs have snatched victories over (11) West Virginia and (7) Kansas. Is this the year Gonzaga finally wins the big one? Could be.
- Baylor: The Bears are the only team in the country on the same level as the Bulldogs. Their perimeter defense is swarming, and they can score in bunches. Guards Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler have been superb this year. Baylor has beaten (5) Illinois and a tough Washington team already this year. It should be a major showdown on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, where the Bears will take on The Bulldogs from Gonzaga.
- Michigan State: Tom Izzo’s men are at it again, this year without guard Cassius Winston. The Spartans utterly dominated Duke at an empty Cameron Indoor Stadium on Monday night. Joey Hauser, a forward, has come out of nowhere to pace the Spartans in scoring and rebounding (12 PPG, 11.7 RPG)
JB’s Top Three Plays/Performances of the Week
Happily Go Into the Weekend of College Basketball Drinking My Tears with This: Kris Jenkins Buzzer Beater to Win the Title For Villanova over North Carolina 77-74 (I Quarantined Myself For a Week After This)
Follow Me on Twitter: @BrownlojCLE