College basketball seemed to mirror the NBA this week as three of the top four teams suffered defeats in one night. The college basketball upsets of three of the first four in the AP top 25 included #1 Villanova.
This uncommon event, the last time according to ESPN that three of the top four were beaten on one night was Jan 20, 2012, did not pleased many sports bettors. Let’s face it, in college basketball betting on a top team to defeat and cover against an unranked opponent or a team much lower in the rankings is a common occurrence.
Here’s how the night of January 24 went down in college basketball. It was a very odd night for those who follow college hoop and a night of joyous celebration for three underdog teams.
A Night to Remember or Forget
The night began with #18 West Virginia at home taking on #2 Kansas. It’s interesting to note that since becoming a part of the Big-12 five years ago the Mountaineers are 4-1 against the Jayhawks in Morgantown. WVU pressed the Hawks in midcourt, and their tough D held KU’s Frank Mason III, one of the best college players in the nation, to six baskets as he hit just 38% of his shots. The hero for West Virginia was Esa Ahmad who tallied 27 points. The final score was 85-69.
In Marquette, the Golden Eagles hosted the top team in the nation Villanova. The Wildcats led by 15 at the half and seemed to have everything under control. But in the second-half, Marquette shot 69.6% from the field. The Eagles took the lead with 46 second left in the game. The hero was Katin Rheinhardt who sunk winning frees with 11.4 seconds to go and led Marquette with 19 points. The Eagles have back-to-back wins against ranked opponents, as they took down #7 Creighton in their last game 102-94. The final in last night’s game was 74-72.
The final of the three college basketball upsets occurred in Tennessee where the Vols beat #4 Kentucky 82-80. Tennessee went into the locker room at half-time ahead 39-36. In the second-half with just 1:42 on the clock, the Wildcats still trailed by three, 72-75. They had numerous chances to tie and go ahead but never got closer than three.
College Basketball Upsets Of 3 Of Top 4 Uncommon
As noted above, this type of occurrence is unusual. Sports bettors should not start doubting themselves if they went 0-3 on these games. It’s true that top teams don’t always cover, but they often beat unranked or lower ranked opponents. And college basketball upsets of three of the top four is uncommon.
By the way, the winner in all of this is #3 Gonzaga. The Bulldogs, who did not play last night, are 20-0. They play San Diego at home tomorrow at 9 p.m. ET. A win in that game and another at Pepperdine on Saturday could move them into the top spot. When the Bulldogs played Pepperdine in late December they beat the Waves 92-62. There should be an interesting spread on that game.