It’s early in the college basketball season and many teams are still trying to figure things out. That makes it a ripe time for upsets and we saw plenty of them over the last week to the top ranked teams in the country.
Top 10 teams lost seven times over the last seven days. That includes the first defeat of the year for No. 1 Duke, back-to-back losses for No. 2 Kansas, and three straight losses for No. 5 Florida.
By the time the Jayhawks were knocked off at home by Arizona State on Sunday, a big upset hardly seemed jarring anymore. Right now, the national field feels wide open. There just aren’t any dominant teams at the moment. Villanova — who will be the new No. 1 on Monday — could be the lone exception.
Here are the biggest upsets of the week, ranked.
6) No. 5 Florida falls 83-66 to Florida State
Florida was coming off a loss to No. 1 Duke in the title game of the PK80 tournament. The Gators held a 17-point lead over Duke at one point, but it still wasn’t a bad loss, even if it was a painful one.
Then Florida State came to town and showed up the Gators in their home gym. Florida allowed Terance Mann to go off for 25 points in a game that started close but ended in a decisive 83-66 win for ‘Noles. The Gators were locked down and only shot 36 percent from the field throughout the game. It didn’t even look like they belonged on the same court, which brings us to our next matchup.
5) No. 2 Kansas falls 95-85 to No. 16 Arizona State
Though Arizona State is a ranked team, it’s always surprising when one of the country’s two top teams falls down. But it’s especially shocking when you consider that Kansas was playing at home in Lawrence where they almost never lose.
Four days after losing to Washington at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the Jayhawks were again bested, this time by Arizona State. This win legitimizes the undefeated Sun Devils. They ran wild with 58 points in the second half behind a brilliant performances from their guards. Tra Holder dropped 29 points and seven assists while Shannon Evans, II followed up with 22 points and five assists of his own. And, much like Boston College, the Sun Devils hit 14 threes in the game.
4) No. 2 Kansas loses 74-65 to Washington
There weren’t any truly spectacular offensive performances in this one or any major players stepping up. Instead, it was a zone scheme that stifled Kansas’ sharpshooting lineup. They only shot 5-of-20 from deep and turned the ball over 13 times.
The deep ball is supposed to be Kansas’ biggest strength this season. Washington showed us that if you successfully take that away, you have a good chance at beating them.
3) No. 1 Duke falls 89-84 to Boston College
This one really came out of nowhere. Duke was coming off of a 124-point performance on Tuesday and were facing an unranked Boston College team on the road.
Boston College came out the gate firing and never really stopped. They hit 15 of 26 threes, and Jerome Robinson, Jordan Chatman, and Ky Bowman combined for 76 of the team’s 89 total points and made 13 of their 15 threes. When there’s a talent imbalance, the three-point shot is the great equalizer. There’s not a better example than what happened on Saturday night.
2) No. 9 Notre Dame falls to Ball State, 80-77
Notre Dame won the Maui Invitational. The team’s only loss entering the week came to No. 3 Michigan State. With point guard Matt Farrell and center Bonzie Colson leading the way, the Irish have looked like a legitimate Final Four squad at times.
Ball State wasn’t intimidated. The Cardinals pounded a small ND front line on the glass (40-26 rebounding advantage) and got this game-winning shot from Tayler Persons to secure the victory:
This was Ball State’s first ever win over Notre Dame.
1) No. 5 Florida falls 65-59 to Loyola-Chicago
Sometimes there are upsets that you can kind of understand. But then there are those that leave you saying “maybe this team just wasn’t actually good.” That’s what this loss was for Florida.
Not only did they fall to Loyola-Chicago, but this was their third straight loss as the fifth -ranked team in the country. Loyola shot 52 percent from the field while holding Florida to 36.9 percent shooting.