Dozens of blowouts mark Opening Night

One upset of note which could loom large on Selection Sunday

First of all, so glad to be back as another exciting season of men’s college basketball has begun in earnest.

As expected, the top flight schools won with relative ease:

Duke shot over 61 percent in having a very easy time over Presbyterian College in front of the Cameron Crazies, while Rupp Arena saw Kentucky giving Ashley Judd another cool win over Grand Canyon State, while Virginia dominated James Madison on the road.  In other games:  at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, VCU beat Tennessee in spite of JeQuan Lewis banging his head hard against the court and suffered a concussion in the process (but he appears to be fine after being checked by medical personnel at the scene).

North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio State also won with ease.  Other key games of note briefly saw Louisville win by double digits over Minnesota in the third annual Armed Forces Classic at a Coast Guard military hangar in Puerto Rico, Harvard easily pummeled MIT in the Ultimate Geek Bowl, and Gonzaga began their push toward the school’s first possible Final Four berth smashing around the Hornets of Sacramento State 104-58.

Also coming up huge was Wichita State as they extended their school record for regular season wins to a whopping 32 in a row, 71-54 over New Mexico State.  The only streak that ended for them on Friday night was for the first time in 267 games (nearly eight calendar years), the Shockers failed to make a three point-shot.  According to the game broadcast on Classic Hits KEYN 103.7 in Wichita, Kansas, the last time it happened was early in the 2006-2007 season against Kennesaw State.  Billy Donovan got his Florida Gators also on the right foot, 68-45 over William & Mary.

But the season’s first upset happened in the SEC.  Charleston Southern used a tip dunk at the buzzer at Ole Miss (this after a missed shot in the final two seconds) to finish overtime in upsetting the Rebels on their home floor, 66-65.  Kansas nearly suffered the same fate, but barely survived an upset bid from the Gouchos of UC Santa Barbara–winning by only ten, 69-59 at the Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.  Also of note in the Hoosier State, IUPUI gave Indiana State a battle in the Final Four city of Indianapolis, but the Sycamores eventually prevailed 79-66 in overtime.

In my first edition of the return of that popular feature, it is time once again for:

STOCK UP

Charleston Southern for picking up a huge win on the road, plus all of the popular schools that won tonight.

STOCK DOWN

Mississippi.  Their shocking loss at home will loom very large with the Selection Committee four months and one night from now.

The jury will still be out for Fox Business popular anchor extraordinaire Liz Claman’s brother-in-law, Bruce Pearl as he is back in coaching as Auburn opened up at home against one of the nine schools ineligible to play during the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Unless any other upsets occur over the weekend, I will hope to see you all here late on Monday night for the first crucial contest of this young season–as Larry Brown and SMU try to prove that missing out on the 2014 NCAA Tournament was only a fluke as they venture north and west to the Kennel and lock horns with Mark Few and those highly touted Gonzaga Bulldogs.

Enjoy your weekend.

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