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NCAAB Notebook: Historic day of upsets creates chaos

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

Jason Ence

March 3rd, 2022

The final weekend of college basketball’s regular season is upon us, along with the first week of conference tournaments. Before you head back to work on Monday morning, we will have the first NCAA Tournament bids secured with Selection Sunday just 10 days away.

Let’s examine the biggest storylines from the world of college hoops in this week’s edition of our NCAAB Notebook.

Saturday saw a record number of top 10 defeats

This past Saturday was a historic one in the annals of college hoops. For the first time since the AP Top 25 poll began, each of the top six teams suffered defeat on one single day. Additionally, it was the first time ever that seven of the top 10 teams in the poll were beaten on the same day.

While Gonzaga, Auburn, Kansas, and Kentucky all lost on the road to Top 25 teams, Texas Tech, Purdue, and Arizona went down on the road to unranked teams. The Kansas game required a top10 defeat, as they were facing No. 10 Baylor.

No. 7 Duke won, and they along with Baylor were the only teams to benefit from the carnage. Both teams helped solidify arguments for a No. 1 seed, and it made the battle for the top four spots in the tournament very intriguing going into conference tournament play.

Cameron says goodbye to Coach K

Saturday will see the end of an era as Duke takes the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the final time under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Of course it is only fitting the final game for Coach K is against long-time bitter rival North Carolina, whom Duke beat by 20 points earlier this season.

According to Forbes, the prices for tickets are among the highest of any sporting event in the last decade, with prices far exceeding those of the Super Bowl a few weeks ago. Part of that is driven by the fact that Cameron holds only 9,300 fans. The ticket prices are also the highest in the history of college basketball, with the price on SeatGeek hitting near $7,500 at one point.

While Duke still has the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament ahead, Saturday will truly be the end of an era for many college hoops fans who cannot remember a time when Coach K was not roaming the Duke sideline. Whether you love or hate the Blue Devils, it will certainly be a memorable moment for all fans of the game.

Things continue to decline for Xavier

Last week, we touched on the rough stretch for the Musketeers, but stated they should be a solid lock for the tournament. Boy, how a week can change things.

Losers now of five straight and seven of their last eight, Xavier suffered a pair of double-digit defeats in the past five days. After falling at home 82-66 to Seton Hall over the weekend, the Musketeers were blown out at St. John’s on Wednesday night by 15. They now sit as a No. 9 seed in ESPN’s latest bracketology, but that is far from safe if they see bids stolen by surprise conference tournament victors.

Xavier had a chance to solidify its spot last Wednesday night at Providence, but fell in a triple-overtime thriller. That missed chance might end up spelling the Musketeers' doom should they fail to win a game or two in the Big East tournament. This weekend’s game against a horrific Georgetown team is an absolute must win, as a loss to the 6-23 Hoyas would be a death knell to the Xavier's tournament hopes.

Missouri Valley Conference tournament is must-see TV

Everyone knows how competitive the Big Ten has been down the stretch, but for my money the MVC Tournament might be the best basketball you’ll see over the next week. Four teams finished within one game of first place, with Northern Iowa just edging out Missouri State, Drake, and defending regular season and tournament champion Loyola-Chicago.

This tournament could all come down to who faces who. Drake has beaten Loyola Chicago twice this season, but were themselves swept by Missouri State. That same Missouri State squad lost twice to Northern Iowa, who beat Loyola this weekend to cap off their regular season.

My money is on either Northern Iowa or Drake, the two hottest teams coming down the stretch. Northern Iowa’s only loss over its final 10 games was a blowout at Loyola, while Drake ended the season on a five-game winning streak and has won 16 of its last 21 games. No matter who wins, it should be a very entertaining weekend.

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