Week 6: Kentucky Falls and Backyard Brawls
When a #1 seed loses, that is usually the biggest story from the past week. However, the Kentucky loss was completely overshadowed by the Xavier-Cincinnati matchup from this past Saturday afternoon. When the two cross-town rivals met, the lead picture shows how it ended. In a game-ending bench-clearing brawl (YouTube), the shoves and jawing quickly escalated into full-blown madness, with no less than eight players receiving varying-length suspensions. Both coaches condemned the brawl immediately after the game and both schools seem to have had the same reaction, as all suspensions have come from their respective schools, not the NCAA. The swift reactions from both schools should be applauded.
Moving on to actual games from this past week…
Points of Interest, Week #6:
- Alabama (#16) fell to the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday night, 74-62. The loss drops the Crimson Tide to #23 in this week’s AP poll.
- It took OT, but Florida knocked off formerly-ranked Arizona 78-72, also on Tuesday night, much to the joy of our editor, @lastwordmike.
- After all the hoopla surrounding Harvard‘s (#25) entry into the Top 25, it ends as swiftly as it began, with a 67-53 loss to Connecticut (#9), Wednesday night. Harvard is now out of the Top 25, while UConn stays at #9.
- Ohio State (#2) fell to the Kansas Jayhawks (#13) Saturday afternoon, 78-67, at the Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas. With the rest of the reshuffling up top, the Buckeyes remain at #2 and Kansas moves up to #12.
- Indiana (NR) dropped the Kentucky Wildcats (#1) on Saturday, 73-72. The win earns the Hoosiers (9-0) a long-overdue ranking at #18 and drops Kentucky to #3.
- And ladies and gentlemen, our new #1 seed, at a perfect 10-0 record: the Syracuse Orangemen. The former #3 leapfrogged Ohio State to take the top spot this week, with 51 of the first-place votes in the AP Poll. Although chock full of talent, Syracuse’s biggest test thus far has been against a Florida team that was then ranked at #10. The rest of their schedule is littered with teams that have been bulldozed into submission. I have a feeling that when the Big East conference schedule starts, we will see what the Orange’s true colours are.
Upcoming Games, Week #7:
- Louisville (#4) hosts formerly-ranked Memphis on Saturday, 4PM EST tip-off.
- Florida (#13) visits Texas A&M (#22) on Saturday afternoon, in what should be a pretty good battle. Tip-off is 2:30PM EST.
The Xavier-Cincinnati game left a black eye on the world of college basketball (literally). It could have been an infamous incident, where the NCAA was forced to step in and levy sanctions against the offending schools and threaten to leave a permanent mark on the Division I world. As I said before, the reactions of the schools are to be applauded, not only for their swift action, but for dealing with the matter internally. With such a fantastic demonstration of class by the governing bodies of the programs, hopefully the memory of this brawl lasts no longer than the time it takes for a black eye to heal.
… and that’s the last word.