There were plenty of blowouts in marquee matchups this weekend, and it looked like the week would begin the same way. Then Oklahoma mounted once of the biggest comebacks of the season against Kansas and provided a thrilling finish.
Alas, the Sooners couldn’t close out the upset win, and the Jayhawks were victorious. There were plenty of other upsets to go around, though, including some in blowout fashion like Georgetown overrunning Villanova. Others were nail-biters like Butler’s overtime victory on the road against Seton Hall.
Here’s a rundown of the most surprising scores this week and what it means for the losers as they try to bounce back.
The Pirates barely held on to their spot in the top 25 after falling to Butler at home last week. It was a tough time for the loss to come considering Seton Hall has not played a game since the loss last Tuesday. It returns to the court on Thursday against resurgent Depaul, which struggled in the non-conference slate but is now 4-2 in the Big East.
The loss to Butler will be considered a quality loss, even if it came at home. The Pirates should be just fine as long as Sterling Gibbs continues to score at will. The bigger concern will be protecting their home court in the daunting Big East.
It’s been a topsy-turvy last two weeks for the Blue Devils. They struggled against Wake Forest, lost back-to-back games against NC State and Miami, and then bounced back with two impressive defensive performances against Louisville and Pittsburgh in wins.
The larger issue beyond the two upset losses, though, is the lack of consistency on the defensive end. Coach K went, for one of the first times in his long and illustrious career, to a zone on defense, and the move worked brilliantly against Louisville. Just when it seemed the Blue Devils had found something on that end with another strong showing in the first half against Pitt, they surrendered 40 points on well over 50 percent shooting in the second half against the Panthers. That inconsistency makes Duke very vulnerable.
Just when we thought the Razorbacks were solidifying themselves as the 2nd-best team in the SEC, they go and lose back-to-back games to Tennessee and Ole Miss. Arkansas dropped out of the rankings and is now just looking to stay above .500 in the SEC at 2-2.
The issue in both losses has been the defense(for your bracket filling days in March, can I please repeat that inconsistent defenses are incredibly vulnerable come tournament play!). Ole Miss shot 56 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three. If numbers like that continue, the Razorbacks will struggle to make the Big Dance.
Where did that come from? The Wildcats were shellacked by Georgetown on the road, falling by 20 points on Monday. I’d like to think this is a scratch-your-head-and-move-on performance from Jay Wright’s squad considering it just looked flat from the start, but stay tuned folks.
Some deficiencies on offense have been exposed the last two games, so the Wildcats need to be more aggressive by forcing their way into the lane consistently again to get back on track.