Top 3 Upsets in College Basketball So Far
As previously stated in the CrownHoops College Basketball preview, there was no guaranteed winner this college basketball season. That statement has proven true so far this year. We’ve seen the number one spot get exchanged a ton this season. A few of these exchanges came from thrilling upsets in games that pitted major schools against much smaller programs. Most of these matchups were pegged as supposed cakewalks but ended up concluding in shocking fashion.
Virginia Tech over #3 Michigan State
After coming off of a Sweet Sixteen appearance last year, Virginia Tech was predicted to finish 14th in the ACC. They lost their entire starting lineup to the NBA Draft, player transfer and also lost their head coach Buzz Williams. With Michigan State, they were the preseason number one team after coming off a Final Four appearance, and have star point guard Cassius Winston. They met in the first round of the Maui Invitational and it was back and forth the entire game until Tech went up to as much as 10. Michigan State would come back and make it a one-possession game until Tech guard Landers Nolley drilled a three with 47 seconds to go. Tech would pull away with some free throws and the win 71-66.
Evansville over #1 Kentucky
In an early-season matchup, Evansville played Kentucky at Rupp Arena. Evansville plays out of the Missouri Valley Conference and is coached by Walter McCarthy, who led Kentucky to the 1996 National Championship. McCarthy is in his second season after going 11-21 his first year. Kentucky had a developer of NBA talent in John Calipari and four ESPN top 100 players. Kentucky started the game sluggish with some turnovers and Evansville took advantage of it. Even though Kentucky kept it close, their offensive struggles were too much to overcome. With two clutch free throws from Sam Cunliffe and missed game-winning three, Evansville defeated number one Kentucky in Rupp Arena. This marked Evansville’s first win over a number one ranked team in their history.
Stephen F. Austin over #1 Duke
Stephen F. Austin out of the Southland Conference faced Duke at Cameroon Indoor Stadium in an early-season matchup. Duke was a 27.5 point favorite heading into this matchup, which makes it the largest upset in 15 years. Despite being down at halftime, the Lumberjacks were able to get it into overtime. In the final seconds of overtime, a Tre Jones pass was stolen by Gavin Kensmil. It got passed it to a driving Nathan Bain who was able to lay it up just before the buzzer. The loss snapped a 150 game winning streak for Duke against unranked opponents in Cameroon Indoor.
These are just a few upsets, but there’s a feeling that more will come throughout the season. It’s crazy that there has been this caliber of upsets this early in the year. With all this happening, a big question will be how many more will the college basketball world see in March. At this rate, it’s definitely possible that there will be a great number of upsets in the tournament. Don’t be surprised at seeing more upsets as the college basketball season progresses.