Miami Drops Duke; Top 7 Hold Ground, Leading Up To Rivalry Week
Here are your (lengthy) Points of Interest from the last week in college basketball:
- Formerly-ranked Illinois knocked off #9 Michigan State on Tuesday night, 42-41. MSU drops out of the Top 10 to #11 with the loss.
- In one of ten games that pitted ranked teams against each other this week, #23 Michigan knocked off #20 Indiana on Wednesday, 68-56. The win moves the Wolverines up to #22.
- Perpetual yo-yo Gonzaga dropped to Brigham Young (BYU) Wednesday night, 83-73. The loss drops the former #24 Bulldogs out of the AP Top 25… again.
- Notre Dame almost played itself into the Top 25 by knocking off #15 Marquette at home, 76-59, Saturday afternoon. The Irish fell a few votes short of the #25 slot, despite several quality wins against ranked teams.
- The #12 Florida Gators bested former #25 Vanderbilt on Saturday, 73-65, in a great second half. The win moves Florida up to #8 in the AP Poll. With gutsy wins like this, the Gators should be marked down as a dark horse for March Madness. A Final Four birth is not out of the question.
- #3 Ohio State marched into the Badgers home floor and knocked off #19 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon, 58-52.
- The Florida State Seminoles; I am writing every week about them it seems and how they have earned their place in the Top 25 with legit wins over ranked teams. Well, they just knocked of #16 Virginia last Saturday, 58-55, one of the three teams everyone expected out of the ACC – the other two being UNC and Duke. Even I never thought they would be in the discussion, but with that win, they can punch their ticket to March.
- Unranked Wyoming welcomed former #11 UNLV onto their floor Saturday and then held off a late charge to beat the Rebels. The loss drops UNLV to #14.
- Northern Iowa, also unranked, upset one of my other dark horses for March, former #13 Creighton. The Blue Jays fall to #17.
- In the game of the week, #4 Missouri held off #8 Kansas, besting them 74-71, Saturday night. The win creates a three-way tie atop the Big 12, with Baylor, Kansas and Missouri all holding 8-2 records.
- Michigan State made up for their earlier loss to Illinois, by beating their cross-state rivals, #23 Michigan, 64-54, Sunday afternoon.
- And last but not least, as the lead picture implies, the unranked Miami Hurricanes marched into Cameron Indoor Stadium and knocked off former #7 Duke. The Hurricanes nearly blew a 14-point halftime lead, but held off the Blue Devils to win in OT, 78-74.
This coming week promises some fantastic games; here are your upcoming Games of Interest for Rivalry Week.
- What I consider to be the best rivalry in all of sports writes another chapter this week, when the #10 Duke Blue Devils make the eight-mile drive down to Chapel Hill to take on the #5 North Carolina Tar Heels. Based less on geographical proximity and more on years of amazing basketball tradition at both schools, this matchup needs very little hype. But just in case you need some, here’s a video. And a book. And there’s also a t-shirt or two. Tip is Wednesday, 9PM EST.
- After their loss to #4 Missouri last week, #7 Kansas is thrown from the pot into the fire, with a battle against #6 Baylor. That games goes off Wednesday, 7PM EST.
- The top team in the country, #1 Kentucky, has a couple of tests this week. First, they travel to Florida, for a battle with the #8 Gators; tip is Tuesday, 7PM EST. Then they get the formerly-ranked Vanderbilt (Saturday, 9PM EST). A tough week for the Wildcats, indeed.
- #2 Syracuse hosts a pair of rivals this week: #12 Georgetown (Tuesday, 7PM) and the yo-yo Connecticut Huskies (Saturday, 1PM EST).
- After knocking off Kansas last week, #4 Missouri is rewarded with a Saturday afternoon (1:45PM EST) showdown with #6 Baylor.
- After their Wednesday game against Duke, #5 North Carolina hosts #19 Virginia. Tip is Saturday, 1PM EST.
- The #3 Ohio State Buckeyes get another good test this week, hosting #11 Michigan State, in a battle for the top spot in the Big Ten. Tip for the Buckeyes-Spartans is Saturday, 6PM EST.
- #9 Murray State, still undefeated at 23-0, hosts Tennessee State and Austin Peay this week; Thursday and Saturday respectively.
- The Aztecs of San Diego State (#13) hosts their border-rivals, #14 UNLV, Saturday, 4PM EST.
The games of Rivalry Week always have consequences on the tournament. It will be excited to see what happens this year. Enjoy the games and Go Heels Go.
… and that’s the last word.