It was 258 days since the last college basketball game tipped off before East Tennesee State and Abilene Christan. The first week's slate of games was nothing but mayhem with cancellations and upsets aplenty, but before we move onto what is looking like one of the craziest college basketball seasons in history, let's take a look at some of the key takeaways from the first week.
Pitt out Pitt itself again (Saint Francis def. Pittsburgh 80-70 11/25)
Nothing gives me more satisfaction than a mid-major school-going playing a power five school in a buy game and absolutely dominating them for 40 minutes. Especially when they beat a local school where a lot of my friends go; that just puts the icing on the cake.
For someone that has followed the Saint Francis Red Flash over the past couple of seasons, I didn't really expect much coming into this year after losing two of the best guards in program history Keith Braxton and Isaiah Blackmon. Just to put in perspective how good Braxton was, he logged over 2,000 points and over 1,000 rebounds in his four years with the program.
Saint Francis shot 42% from the field in the winning effort while Pittsburgh coming into the game as a 10 point favorite turned the ball over 23 times.
The Panthers looked flat early on in the game and could never recover. The main concern for Pittsburgh after this first game was their ball control, as turnovers were one of the main reasons why they fell to the Red Flash on Opening night.
Gonzaga dominates in the first two games of the season (Def. 6. Kansas 102-90 11/26 and Auburn 90-67 11/26-11/27)
The first top 10 matchup on the year came just two days into the young season, and the matchup between the Jayhawks and the Zags did not disappoint.
Drew Timme was able to net 25 points for Gonzaga in the win. Jalen Suggs also helped in the winning effort with 24 of his own. The game was close throughout until the Zags were able to pull away late in the second half to put Kansas away by 12.
Then, on Friday, Gonzaga had a cakewalk against the Auburn Tigers in the Fort Myers Tip-off, making quick work of the Tigers by defeating them by 23 points. In the winning effort, Timme posted a double-double with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Corey Kispert scored 25 points of his own.
The Zags look like the team to beat come March. Gonzaga will test their metal once again when they meet no. 11 West Virginia University (3-0) in the Jimmy V Classic on Wednesday at 7 on ESPN
Virginia Falls to San Fransisco in Bubbleville (Dons def. Cavaliers 61-60 11/27)
Virginia, who was expected to be a top team late in March, experienced a little bump in the road last Friday as they fell to San Fransisco 61-60 Friday at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Bubbleville.
These two teams battled it out for all 40 minutes of this contest, with Virginia shooting 41% from the field and San Fransisco shooting 39%. The main difference that hurt Virginia, in the end, was their three-point percentage. The Cavaliers shot 25% from beyond the arc while the dons sported a 46% clip from three.
DOWN GOES NOVA Virginia Tech Takes 3. Villanova to Overtime and completes the upset. (Hokies def. Wildcats 81-73)
For the second straight season, the Hokies defeated the number three team in the country. They defeated Michigan State in the Maui Invitational last season and bested Villanova on Saturday night.
The Hokies took a 64-62 lead with 1.3 seconds left in the second half, but when Virginia Tech tried to inbound the ball, the Wildcats' Justin Moore drew a charge and hit both of his free throws to send the game into overtime.
In the end, the Hokies were able to pull off an incredible upset as they shot 47% from the field and shot 50% from behind the arc. They also dominated on the boards having a nine-rebound advantage in that department.
GOLDEN WINDOW ALERT Richmond Defeats 10. Kentucky in the Bluegrass Showcase (Spiders def. Wildcats 76-64 11/29)
One of the top mid-major conferences in men's basketball the Atlantic 10 has been said to possibly get three at large bids in March Madness this upcoming season. One of the possible teams to head to Indy in March is the Richmond Spiders who got their first licks at a top team on Sunday as they were able to beat Kentucky at Rupp Arena.
The Wildcats were outplayed the whole game even though they took a small lead into the break. They shot just 36% from the field while going an abysmal 0-10 from behind the arc. Along with that, the Wildcats turned the Ball over 21 times in the losing effort.
I will have to keep a close eye on Richmond down the stretch to see if they can make it into the NCAA tournament. They just were pushed into the top 25 ranking 19th in the country after the latest top 25 poll was released on Monday.
To close out the week the NCAA released their top 25. The rankings go as followed.
1. Gonzaga (57)
2. Baylor (6)
11. West Virginia
14. North Carolina
16. Virginia Tech
17. Texas Tech
22. Florida State
23. Ohio State
25. Arizona State
We're in for one heck of a ride these next couple of months as the college basketball season unfolds.