Seven of the top 10 men’s basketball teams lose in a single day
More than 1,700 men’s college basketball players entered the NCAA transfer portal after last season, allowing teams to add older, more experienced players in areas that need them. The NCAA also granted players an additional year of eligibility as a result of the pandemic.
The NCAA Tournament’s 68-team field will be announced on March 13, and the spate of losses could have implications for the bracket. But for now, Gonzaga, Arizona and Kansas are considered the No. 1 seeds, while No. 10 Baylor helped his case for a No. 1 seed by overtaking Kansas, 80 -70.
Auburn, Kentucky, Purdue and Duke could all be in the mix for the No. 2 seed. Duke could still elevate to the No. 1 seed by winning the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, which is taking place March 8-12 in Brooklyn.
The upheavals unfolded in a variety of ways, from beatings to barn-burning.
No. 2 Arizona was routed, 79-63, to unranked Colorado in the worst loss by a top-two team to an unranked opponent since the 20-point loss to No. 1 Virginia against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in the first round. of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
No. 3 Auburn blew an 11-point second-half lead against No. 17 Tennessee and couldn’t make a late comeback, falling 67-62. 4 Purdue lost to Michigan State, 68-65, when a Northeast transfer Tyson Walker drained a 3-pointer in the final seconds. The win gave Michigan State coach Tom Izzo his 662nd career Big Ten win, tying him with longtime Indiana coach Bob Knight for the most in the history of the league.
Kentucky’s No. 6 lost to Arkansas’ No. 18 despite 30 points and 18 rebounds from Oscar Tshiebwe, a national player of the year nominee and transfer from West Virginia. Arkansas senior guard JD Notae, who was traded from Jacksonville ahead of the 2019-20 season, had 30 points, 8 assists and a key block in the final seconds as the Razorbacks won for the 13th time in 14 matches.
A year after losing to Baylor in the Round of 16 of the NCAA Tournament, Notae believes his team has as good a chance as anyone to win the whole thing. And why not?