It was an eventful Thanksgiving Weekend for NCAA Basketball. Starting with Turkey Day Thursday, when Iona upset Alabama (72-68) sending ‘Bama down 6 spots in the rankings to #16. Michigan State upset #22 UCONN (64-60) and became #22 themselves.
Friday held some key matchups from #5 Duke upsetting #1 Gonzaga (84-81). A three and three unranked Dayton team upset #4 Kansas with a buzzer beater (74-73). The upsets continued with Iowa State taking down the then #9 ranked Memphis easily 78-59. Lastly, USC barely won the defensive battle against San Diego State by the score of 58-43.
Saturday’s upset was when Northern Iowa scored 90 on a then ranked #16 St. Bonaventure defeating them by ten. The rest of the week found soon-to-ranked Iowa defeating a solid Virginia squad 75-74. The most impressive win of the week was when Toledo beat Northwestern Ohio 106-36. That’s right, the Rockets won by 70 points!
The big upset happened to the #1 ranked Duke. Despite Duke beating two of the best teams in basketball (Kentucky and Gonzaga), they were upset by an unranked four and two Ohio State team (71-66). As long as Purdue can get by Iowa, they will hold the new number one spot.
Both Michigan and North Carolina have lost two games. Michigan has lost to #17 Arizona and by #25 Seton Hall. North Carolina lost to #2 Purdue and #13 Tennessee. Despite Michigan currently holding the #24th spot in the AP Poll, North Carolina is the early favorite to win. With a Tar Heels victory they should raise to #24 with Michigan sinking to an unranked status. If the game has already started you can still bet in-play, the strategies for in-play betting can be found here.
These schools are only 80 miles away from each other and this game will be wild. The seven and one Marquette Golden Eagles have only lost to St. Bonaventure, who are essentially the #27th team right now. They have also won against at the time #10 ranked Illinois, and solid teams including West Virginia and Ole Miss. On the other hand the five and one Wisconsin Badgers team have only lost to Providence. They themselves have beaten, at the time, #12 Houston, and other solid teams including St. Mary’s and Texas A&M. Justin Lewis and the Golden Eagles can rest and prepare for their big matchup on Saturday, while star Johnny Davis and the Badgers still have to get through Georgia Tech on Wednesday first. Look for Marquette to spoil the rankings and win.
One thing is for sure, both SDSU and Michigan have had great opponents this year. The 5-2 Aztecs have only lost to #12 ranked BYU (barely), and #20 USC in a defensive showdown. The Aztecs through seven games have not let a team score more than 66 points in a matchup. They defensively shut teams down. Michigan, as stated above has also only lost to ranked teams and sports a four and two record. Michigan is the heavy favorite so far, and before they lose to the Tar Heels bet on this game. Take the San Diego State side of the the spread, and look for the Aztecs to upset the Wolverines on the road.
This is probably the most exciting matchup of this weekend. Gonzaga has looked outstanding so far this year with Timme playing like a complete stud. Gonzaga has only lost to Duke, who up until recently was undefeated. Alabama has only lost a single game when they were upset by hall of fame coach Rick Pitino leading Iona to victory. Alabama is a good team, but Gonzaga is better and it might be tempting to go with the Crimson Tide with the spread, but don’t let the Duke loss stray you from the Zags. ‘Bama will be lucky if they can win one of the next three games as they will have to face #15 Houston and #18 Memphis right after they play Gonzaga.
Toledo at #22 Michigan State
Creighton vs. #19 Iowa State
Texas Tech vs. #13 Tennessee (at Madison Square Garden)
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