Many sports fans wait until the calendar flips over to March before tuning in to college basketball.
This season, those fans are missing out.
The madness has already begun.
The past week of games featured 11 upsets of ranked teams and seven overtimes in games involving ranked teams.
Duke and Syracuse helped kick off the wild week with an overtime thriller Feb. 1, the first conference meeting for the new ACC rivals. The Orange held off the Blue Devils 91-89. Duke hit 15 3-pointers and threatened to hand Syracuse its first loss, but the Orange pulled out a late win that coach Jim Boeheim called one of the best in memory.
“I don’t think I’ve been involved in a better game in here that I can remember, where both teams played at such a high level,” Boeheim said of his team’s win in its home Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Last Saturday also featured Texas upsetting Kansas, Georgetown knocking off Michigan State, Ohio State upsetting Wisconsin, St. Joseph’s pulling off an upset against Massachusetts and SMU doing the same against Memphis. Unranked Baylor topped ranked Oklahoma State, and then-No. 1 ranked Arizona lost its first game of the season against Cal, a loss that allowed Syracuse to climb to No. 1 this week.
The madness continued Sunday with unranked Indiana topping No. 10 Michigan and Virginia taking down No. 18 Pittsburgh.
On Monday, No. 16 Iowa State needed three overtimes to beat No. 19 Oklahoma State, the Cyclones’ first win in Stillwater, Okla., since 1988.
Tuesday, Ohio State pulled out another upset, this one on the road against No. 17 Iowa. West Virgina kept the upset streak going with an overtime win against No. 21 Oklahoma on Wednesday. No. 2 Arizona barely missed another loss Thursday night but pulled away in the last two minutes to defeat Oregon 67-65.
For five straight weeks, just five or fewer teams have held steady at the same spot from the previous week’s Associated Press poll ranking.
Expect more tumult ahead.
Saturday’s lineup includes multiple upset possibilities, including No. 10 Michigan on the road against No. 17 Iowa, No. 15 Texas at Kansas State and No. 23 Gonzaga at No. 24 Memphis. Expect more overtimes and buzzer-beaters next week, which will feature multiple rivalry games.
Games to watch
Projecting the top seeds