First things first, where are my James Madison fans? Y'all delivered the FIRST upset of the season, bringing down the #4 Spartans in OT. While silencing the Breslin Center, James Madison earned its 2nd Top 25 win in program history. We love to see it, unless you're a MSU fan, than I'm truly sorry for your loss.
“We’re not scared of names," T.J. Bickerstaff of James Madison said after scoring 21 points, including a tying shot with 30 seconds left in regulation. "We go hard.”
Taking Care of Business
#2 Purdue's 7'4" Edey returned exactly where he left off with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Samford was ran out of the building early on at Mackey. After a first game route, 98-45, a dangerous combo of elite size and knock down shooting puts Purdue right back in to title contention, as they hope to wash that bad taste out of their mouth from last March. #9 Duke floored the gas against Dartmouth 94-52 while the Cameron Crazies took very little time to get up to spirit in the home opener, as Kyle Filipowski blew a kiss to the camera after a filthy two handed slam, on his way to 25 points. Don't forget...he's only a sophomore.
High Flying Match-ups
If you missed it...I feel sorry for you, #3 Arizona v. #9 Duke truly lived up to the hype. The Wildcats escaped with a narrow 5 point win, after a three-point play at the rim with less than a minute to go turned the tide for Arizona. They showed their versatility and athleticism by controlling the boards on the offensive glass, outpacing Duke 15-8.
“I know a lot will be made of us winning here,” Lloyd said. "Duke's obviously a great program. ... But we're on a longer journey than this.”
#9 Tennessee stole a win in Wisconsin, taking down the Badgers 80-70, in a tough matchup featuring Dalton Knecht, recent Big Sky Conference transfer who lit it up to the tune of 24 points, while reaching 1,000 career points in just two seasons.
"Dalton's a bad man, a very bad man," said teammate, Tobe Awaka.
The Volunteers clung to a 1-point lead with over 11 minutes to play in the 4th until they began a 9-2 drive jump-started by none other than Knechts baseline drive, 3-point play. Shooting 50% from the floor as a team, the Vols looked in prime form as well as pivotal bench depth pouring in 23 points to Wisconsin's 8.
A match-up built for March, #1 Kansas v. #17 Kentucky, clashed in the State Farms Champions Classic. The man, the myth, the legend, Hunter Dickinson did his thing out there, leading the Jayhawks to an insane 89-84 comeback win, dropping 27 points while commanding the glass with 21 rebounds.
With over 16 minutes to go in the second half, Kansas found themselves falling behind quickly at 58-44, but this seemed to have lit an intense fire under their butts sparking an incredible 45-26 run, which saw complete performances from Kevin McCullar Jr. (triple double), K.J. Adams Jr. (16 points) and Dajuan Harris Jr. (23 points, 7 assists). Full Stats
Meanwhile, UK was without three of their big men, but Calipari assured reporters this was not an excuse for their loss, Kentucky has faced criticism in past seasons on its ability to meld 5-star recruit freshman into a well-oiled machine built for March, causing worried fans and stressed staff, although an impressive performance from freshman stand-out, Rob Dillingham (18 points), and senior guard, Antonio Reeves (24 points, 8 rebounds), has things looking in a better direction after an early tough matchup.
Cheers to week 2 and beyond!