One, two, three, surprise! The nation’s top three teams all fell at the weekend, the first time since last February, opening the door for a new team at #1.
Kansas’ loss in Stillwater will have stung bettors hardest. Oklahoma State stunned the #1 Jayhawks 85-77 thanks in no small part to James Anderson’s 27 points and 8 rebounds.
Kentucky’s loss at Tennessee won’t have hurt quite as much. The #2 Wildcats were expecting a tough test in Knoxville but the 74-65 defeat at the hands of the Vols will have come as a surprise to many. Bettors will have to reconsider Kentucky’a tourney hopes after John Calipari’s young side failed to capitalize on a big comeback. The Wildcats managed to tie the game at 65-apiece late on but then let Tennessee go on a 9-0 run to inflict only Kentucky’s second loss of the season.
By the time Purdue and Michigan State took to the court on Sunday afternoon it was almost inevitable the #3 Boilermakers, minus Robbie Hummel who is lost for the season with a torn ACL, would make it three-for-three in a big upset weekend. Sure enough the #14 Spartans came out of West Lafayette with a 53-44 victory, increasing fears amongst Purdue fans that the loss of Hummel could cost them a run at the Final Four.
Amidst all the chaos one big name stood tall. Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse will rise to the top of the AP poll for the first time since winning the NCAA championship in 2003. The Orange routed Villanova 95-77 at the Carrier Dome on Saturday to secure at least a share of the Big East regular season title.
While Syracuse bucked the upset trend in style, the conference was not immune to the wave of shocks that upset college basketball odds at the weekend. Notre Dame pulled off its second win over a ranked foe in as many games, despite the absence of Luke Harangody, as it trounced #11 Georgetown 78-64 on the road. This extra fight in the Irish of late means a win in either of its last two regular season games should be enough to be balling in March.
The weekend also saw two big rivalry games. As expected #9 Ohio State had no trouble knocking off Michigan 66-55, while Texas A&M continued the dominance of home teams in its rivalry with Texas with a 74-58 win in College Station.
Finally New Mexico may not be a dark horse but it’s certainly one unfamiliar to plenty of sports betting fans. The #12 Lobos likely won’t remain that way for long as they saw off #11 BYU 83-81 to seal the Mountain West regular season title and go to 6-0 against ranked foes.
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