The first weekend of the college basketball season is here and gone but not without some major storylines to discuss. Here are some of the top stories from Friday and Saturday of the first weekend of college basketball.
Western Illinois Stuns #17 Wisconsin
This was the biggest upset of the weekend, as the Wisconsin Badgers were the only ranked team to lose on opening weekend. Wisconsin had a comfortable lead at the half, up 44-37. Western Illinois came back into in the second half, limiting Wisconsin to only 23 points in the half. Western Illinois had an eight point lead with six minutes left in the game and Wisconsin was trying to crawl back into the game. All tied at 67 with ten seconds left, Western Illinois' Garrett Covington went to the free throw line and converted his two shots to go up 69-67. Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig missed the potential game-tying shot with four seconds left as the Leathernecks took down the Badgers for an impressive first win on the season.
Pittsburgh - #9 Gonzaga Called Off Due to Wet Floors
Before explaining how there were wet floors, this game was played indoors. Yes, wet floors in an indoor arena. The Pittsburgh Panthers and Gonzaga Bulldogs played in Japan in the Armed Forces Classic and the game only made it to halftime before they canceled the game due to the conditions on the court. Foster Field House, the venue of the game, had been known to have slippery field conditions previously and rain had rolled through the arena prior to the game, leading to some water coming through the ceiling. Players were seen slipping on the court commonly and the risk for injury was running high. The officials called the game after the first half when Pittsburgh was up, 37-35. The game will not be replayed nor moved to another Japanese venue.
#24 Butler Routs Citadel, 144-71
Yes, you read that score line right. Butler doubled Citadel’s point total and started their season off on the right foot. It was not a blowout from the start. Midway through the first half, Citadel was only down six. However, Butler pulled away from Citadel in a big manner. They executed a 24-point run in the second half to eclipse the 100 point mark, not usually common for college basketball teams. But Butler didn’t stop there. They kept scoring and adding to the scoreboard. Butler set four school records during their massive victory over Citadel. It was the most points scored in a game (previously 136), points in a half (73), field goals (56) and margin of victory (73), records courtesy of the Indianapolis Star. All five starters and two bench players scored over double digits points. Every player for Butler did score a basket, showing the thrashing was a total team effort.
Georgetown Shocked by Radford at the Buzzer in 2OT
There were plenty of upsets the first weekend of the college basketball season, showing we are in for a wild ride this year. Georgetown was one of the larger schools to be upset, as they fell to Radford. The Hoyas and the Highlanders were neck-and-neck the entire game and took two overtimes to decide a winner. Radford’s Rashun Davis got the ball as Georgetown had an 80-79 lead. Davis pulled up from beyond the arc and converted on a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left in double overtime to give Radford the shocking victory. In what was supposed to be an easy season opener for Georgetown, they let Radford stay in it and win it. Radford, a school from the Big South Conference, will definitely have a few more fans this season following this exciting win.
Stony Brook Pummels Division III Opponent
This game was not as high scoring as Butler vs. Citadel, but it still was a large margin of victory. Stony Brook took on US Merchant Marine Academy and it was not pretty from the start. Come halftime, Stony Brook put up 58 points with ease while US Merchant Marine Academy struggled to put up 14. Stony Brook won by a final score of 103-32. Their 71 point margin of victory was only two points less than that of Butler’s. While they may have been playing a Division III school, winning by 71 points is still impressive.
Be sure to come back next Sunday as we look at the major storylines from that weekend’s slate of games.