Each week on Monday, I will be posting a breakdown of the AP Top-25, as well as other headlines from power conference teams around the country.
*AAC, A10, and WCC included in power conferences.*
*This week there will be no Top 25 Breakdown, instead I will cover the main tournaments that made Feast Week 2017 so incredible. This post once again is a very long read because of the tournament breakdowns, next week it will be much shorter.*
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Wichita State
- Texas A&M
- West Virginia
- Arizona State
- Texas Tech
Headlines + Tournament Breakdowns
- The Iowa Hawkeyes began the season opening eyes, but in week 2 they were upset by ULL 80-71 and South Dakota State 80-72.
- Syracuse, and their scary 2-3 zone was too much for Oakland as they beat them by 24. Oakland is one of the best mid major teams, but Syracuse remains undefeated taking out the best looking team in the MAC in Toledo by 8.
- The CBE HOF Classic taught us a ton. #25 Creighton now has two wins over top 25 teams when they were unranked, beating at the time #23 UCLA 100-89 this week. This team with the duo of Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas could be scary good out of the Big East this year. Also, #16 Baylor holds off Wisconsin’s late push by freshman Brad Davison to beat the Badgers by 5 to conclude day 1. In day 2, UCLA got a huge win in the 3rd place game over Wisconsin, who cannot get out of their own way to win a meaningful game this year. In the Championship, Baylor finishes strong outlasting the very good Creighton team.
- #9 Texas A/M keeps rolling with a win over Oklahoma State by 17 and a dynamite win over at #14 USC by 16.
- #11 Cincinnati struggles with one of the MACs top teams in Buffalo. The Bearcats beat them by just 6. They then knocked off Richmond by 27 to reach the Cayman Island Classic Championship where they beat the very good Wyoming Cowboys by 25.
- Penn State smokes Pitt by 41 in the Legends Classic. Pitt is awful. Penn State then put up a great fight, but could not battle long enough to beat #16 Texas A/M in the Legends Classic championship. This Penn State team showed that they are for real this season.
- Utah hands Ole Miss their first loss of the year, but Utah also dropped a terrible game to UNLV by 27.
- #24 Alabama beats UT Arlington by 1 point off of a missed shot at the buzzer. UT Arlington showed us they are one of the best mid major teams, and that they can compete with power conference teams. Bama then won a game vs BYU for another great win to remain undefeated.
- Davidson falls to the best team in the Mountain West, Nevada, by 13. Davidson still should finish near the top of the A10.
- Providence gets lucky against Belmont on a buzzer beater that was identical to Florida’s in the NCAA Tournament last year. If you missed it go check it out!
- St Louis had a great showing in the 2k Classic, but they failed to take down Detroit at home.
- Arizona State stays undefeated, and stays hot with a close victory over Kansas State, and in a more important win, Arizona State upsets #21 Xavier to receive the title of on fire. Tra Holder got a 40 piece on an insane night for the Sun Devils guard. Now, the Sun Devils are granted the ranking of #20 in the country.
- #23 TCU barely hangs on in a tough game with New Mexico to remain undefeated. The Horned Frogs continue to win close games against teams that they should be blowing out with the talent they have. Also, St Bonaventure finally became relevant by beating Maryland by 2 in a back and forth game, but they then fell to TCU by 10 the day after.
- #12 Minnesota beats #24 Bama by 5 as Alabama had to play with 3 players late in the game as their bench got suspended in the most bizarre ending to a game I have seen. Collin Sexton played amazing scoring 40 points.
- Memphis gets a great come from behind win over Northern Kentucky, the defending Horizon conference champs.
- Dayton hands Akron their first loss as they look to get back on track.
- Tulane loses their first game of the year to Georgia State by 11 as they looked like they could actually be good this year.
- Temple loses their first game of the year after a hot start to La Salle, as the Explorers pulled off a great comeback victory.
- St Marys has a terrible wooden legacy showing losing to Washington State and Georgia. They showed us that they may not be able to contend with Gonzaga after all even though Jock Landale is playing like a man on a mission. Their bad week caused them to fall out of the poll.
- ECU and USF are terrible out of the AAC as USF falls to Eastern Michigan by 18 and ECU falls to NC A&T by 6.
- Mississippi State is probably the least talked about undefeated team as they beat Jax State by just 3.
- Washington State wins a major back and forth game over San Diego State to remain undefeated after 2 weeks of play when they were projected to be the worst power conference team.
- Marquette takes out VCU 94-83. #8 Wichita State comes back from 18 down to avoid a terrible loss to Cal. In semi-final game Wichita State controlled the game for 40 minutes against Marquette in a 80-66 win to complete they top half of the bracket.
- #5 Notre Dame easily beats Chaminade, and easily took care of LSU, who beat Michigan, to set up a huge championship game vs Wichita State.
- In the consolation bracket, Michigan beats VCU in a game of runs in the 5th place game, and Cal falls to Chaminade to add to their horrific start to the season.
- In a game between teams that could have really used a win, Marquette beats LSU for third place.
- #5 Notre Dame vs #8 Wichita State was a game for the ages in the championship as Notre Dame out hustles Wichita State to beat them by one to win the Maui Invitational. This game is the game of the year so far in my opinion because of how hard these two teams fought. If both play like they did day in and day out they will be ready to make a deep run in the big dance.
- Maui showed us that Wichita State and Notre Dame both have Final Four talent and that Michigan may not be as good as they were last year due to a lack of experience beyond Mo Wagner.
- #13 UNC easily beat Portland, then Arkansas and Oklahoma went at it in a very important game for two teams on fire. Arkansas holds on for the win, then the Razorbacks could not do enough to comeback and beat UNC in the semi-final. Luke Maye carries with 28 points and he is the reason why UNC has not fell off this season and why UNC reached the championship
- Oregon could not find a way to beat Uconn in the PK80 in a game that seemed like it was going to be an easy win for the Ducks. #3 Michigan State ran through Depaul then ran through Uconn to reach the championship.
- In the consolation bracket Oregon beat Depaul in OT, and Oklahoma beat Portland. The Ducks and Sooners then met and the Sooners took care of business beating the Ducks by 10 behind 43 points from freshman Trae Young.
- The 3rd place game in the victory bracket was an impressive blowout for Arkansas over Uconn.
- In the huge championship #3 MSU takes advantage of #13 UNCs cold and depressing performance to beat them by 18.
- #1 Duke trailed Portland State at half for a real challenge in a game they ended up winning by 18. Texas has no problem with Butler in the PK80 as they grew as a team before they face Duke in the top of the bracket. In the semifinal game the Blue Devils were dominated by Texas until late when Marvin Bagley took over for the win.
- In the bottom of the bracket #6 Florida over Stanford, and #15 Gonzaga over Ohio State had no trouble in their first games, to meet in the semi-final game. This semifinal game was able to over-take the Wichita State and ND Maui game for the game of the year race so far. Florida gets a crazy and1 to force overtime, and Gonzaga gets a crazy and1 to force double overtime where Florida pulled away for the win. The highlights should show how insane the late moments of this game were so go check them out if you missed it!
- In the consolation bracket, Butler beat Portland State by just 2 as they are struggling and Ohio State took out Stanford. Butler and Ohio State then played in a game of struggling teams where Butler won in overtime by 1 point. Portland State actually pulled out a win in the last place game over Stanford who look terrible after being projected to be improved.
- The 3rd place game between Texas and #15 Gonzaga was very exciting as Texas came back from a large deficit, and scored 5 points in 5 seconds to send the game to overtime, where Gonzaga eventually won the game.
- The championship game exceeded the hype as #1 Duke overcomes a huge deficit in the first half, then they overcame a 17 point deficit with around ten minutes to go in the game to beat the #6 Florida Gators by 3 and prove to the world that the Blue Devils are the team to beat.
Battle 4 Atlantis
- Tennessee shocks the world to upset at the time #19 Purdue in the first round, then came back in the semi-final game to give #4 Villanova a real shot leading them for a majority of the game until a late run put Nova ahead for the win. Purdue received an even worse upset loss this time to Western Kentucky in the consolation bracket.
- In the bottom of the bracket, at the time #2 Arizona suffers a surprising loss to an NC State team that I predicted to be improved, but not good enough to contend with a power like the Wildcats. NC State ended up falling to Northern Iowa who beat SMU in their first game. Arizona then fell to SMU as they could not seem to find a groove.
- So to recap, in the consolation bracket Arizona lost to SMU and Purdue fell to Western Kentucky in terrible upsets setting up a last place game between ranked teams where Arizona got destroyed by Purdue, to become the first #2 team in the country to fall out of the rankings.
- #3 Villanova ends up winning the championship easily over UNI who played a great tournament, and Tennessee takes 3rd over NC State in a great game of surprise teams.
- Atlantis was the craziest tourney of them all, and it taught us that Arizona and Purdue simply struggled in easily winnable games. Also, teams we did not know much about demonstrated that they could make some noise this year, especially Tennessee and NC State.
- Notables in the first round games, St Johns has improved a ton this year, and they remain undefeated beating Oregon State by 5, and UCF beats Nebraska by 9.
- In the semifinals West Virginia blows out UCF and Missouri got a great win taking out the hot St Johns team.
- In the 3rd place game, St Johns and UCF played a tightly contested game where St Johns barely snuck out a win.
- For the all-important championship, West Virginia used pressure to climb back into the game and won it with free throws late over Missouri.
- This interesting tourney opened up our eyes to the style that each team played with. West Virgnia, Missouri, and St Johns all looked very impressive given their circumstances.
- Seton Hall receives an upset from Rhode Island without their star EC Matthews.
- #18 Virginia easily takes care of Vandy.
- Seton Hall takes out Vandy in the 3rd place game with ease.
- URI challenged, but could not hit a run to take out #18 Virginia in the championship.
- What we learned from this 4 team tournament is that Virginia is really good even after losing a ton from last year’s team, URI will be a fantastic team when their best player EC Matthews returns from injury, Seton Hall is still a contender in the Big East, and lastly that Vandy could be awful this year in the SEC.