College basketball scores, takeaways: Ohio State avoids upset, navy sinks Virginia on opening night

There were only a few big match-ups on Tuesday’s opening night college basketball, but that didn’t save some major schools from major embarrassment. The most notable casualty was No. 25 Virginia, which lost 66-58 to the Navy when the midshipmen sank 11 of 21 attempts from a 3-point reach for their first win over a ranked team since David Robinson in 1986 for the navy played.

The Cavaliers replaced their top-three scorers from last season’s 18-7 squad, but were still favored with 15.5. Given that UVA lost to No. 13 Ohio in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament and also holds the distinction of being the only No. 1 to ever lose to a No. 16 in the NCAA tournament, it would program forever should be on upset alert at this point.

AP voters gave Virginia the benefit of the doubt by ranking UVA in the preseason poll, and that belief was clearly misplaced. The Cavaliers were the only ranked team to lose to an unranked opponent on Tuesday, but they weren’t the only ones scared.

Avoiding a disturbance was No. 17 Ohio State—a 16.5-point favorite over in-state foe Akron—with a 67-66 win against the Zips. The Buckeyes surrendered a 4-point game in the final 10 seconds, leaving them behind, but Zed Key drained a go-ahead bucket on the other side just before time ran out to take the lead back for good.

Of course, those are just some crazy results as the season got underway. Facts and highlights from around the country are included below in our recap of the opening day.

Coaches who make debuts shine

Freshman coaches and coaches making their debuts at new schools enjoyed most of the success, marked by No. 5 Texas wielding Houston Baptist 92-48 in Chris Beard’s first game and North Carolina winning Loyola (Maryland) 83-67 defeated in Hubert Davis’ debut. Minnesota (Ben Johnson), Texas Tech (Mark Adams), Iowa State (TJ Otzelberger), Marquette (Shaka Smart), Indiana (Mike Woodson), Oklahoma (Porter Moser), Boston College (Earl Grant), Utah (Craig Smith) , Arizona (Tommy Lloyd) and Cincinnati (Wes Miller) also all won in their openers.

First-year elite make their debut

The elite freshmen of the competition put their competitions on the big stage for the first time on Tuesday. Chet Holmgren made his debut with 14 points 13, rebounds, seven blocks and six assists in Gonzaga’s 97-63 win over Dixie State. The #1-ranked prospect in the 2021 recruiting class also turned the ball five times, but it was an impressive debut nonetheless. Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren also enjoyed successful opening acts as Memphis defeated No. 12 Tennessee Tech 89-65. 5 prospect in the class, Bates finished with 17 points and four assists on 6-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-7 shooting from a 3-point range. Duren, the number 6 prospect, scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds and had five blocks.

7 prospect Jabari Smith finished with eight points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals in just 21 minutes in Auburn’s 77-54 win over Morehead State. No. 8 prospect Patrick Baldwin Jr. finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in Milwaukee’s 75-60 win over North Dakota. no. 9 prospect Kennedy Chandler had 20 points and four assists in No. 18 Tennessee’s 90-62 win over Tennessee-Martin. Rounding out the top-10-ranked freshman in action was Paolo Banchero, the No. 2 overall, who finished with 22 points and seven rebounds while playing what appeared to be serious cramps in Duke’s 79-71 win over No. 10 Kentucky.

Cal gets beat by sophomore DI program

Cal arguably suffered the biggest opening day loss in college hoops among power schools, falling to UC San Diego — a still-transitional Division I school — 80-67. The Tritons, as they are known, were behind for most of the game before taking the lead midway through the second half and going to a comfortable win.

UC San Diego moved from Division II to Division I in 2020 and has long been a consistent performer in the lower division, so it’s not entirely shocking. Oh, who are we kidding? It’s a brutal, shocking loss for Mark Fox and Cal At home to open the season against a UC San Diego team that is now 1-0 with the win against Pac-12 opponents. Cal’s woes had some company in the Pac-12, however, as Washington lost 71-64 at home as a 19.5-point favorite against Northern Illinois. The Bears and Huskies finished last in the league last season and early returns suggest there has been little improvement.

The first of a Champions Classic doubleheader on Tuesday between No. 3 Kansas and Michigan State was not even competitively late as the Jayhawks propped their big beaks to a big 87-74 win. It was a coming out party for KU guard Ochai Agbaji as he led the way with a 29-point career and was easily the best player on the floor. For Michigan State, it was a game of mistakes and missed opportunities as it made 16 turnovers, with KU on the other side converting 16 points.

Villanova flashes domination early on

As 23-point favorites over Mount St. Mary’s, No. 4 Villanova nearly doubled that number in his 91-51 win to open the season. The Wildcats looked brilliant and deep into the outing, with junior Justin Moore taking in 27 points and Jermaine Samuels, Brandon Slater and Collin Gillespie teaming up to add a combined 47 in a supporting performance. It was to be expected from a top-five team at home as a heavy favourite, yet an eye-opening performance. Jay Wright has an extensive, experienced roster that demands your respect.

The great man from Indiana, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Mr. Double-Double in real life opened his season for the Hoosiers as only he could: with — you guessed it — a double-double and a dub. The junior scored 21 points and 14 rebounds in a 68-62 win over Eastern Michigan, with three steals, three blocks and one of the best runs of the season:

It wasn’t exactly a convincing way to usher in the Mike Woodson era — IU led by a whopping 21 points in the second half before EMU came within one point — but IU avoided a collapse and its star played like one.

“We’re trying to learn to win,” Woodson said after the game. “I was glad we didn’t cut the trajectory and played winning basketballs to secure the game.”

Nebraska loses to Western Illinois on late three-pointer

Western Illinois was only 12-36 for the past two seasons as they entered the season opener in Nebraska, but the Leathernecks pulled a punch against their Big Ten foe. Luka Barisic hit a three-pointer with seven seconds left to lift WIU to a 75-74 win. Nebraska was a 17-point favorite, but scored 42-30 in the paint. It’s a good thing for western Illinois that the game didn’t go into overtime, as three of the Leathernecks’ starters fouled out.

Georgia Tech falls for MAC enemy

After losing the opening game of the football season to Northern Illinois, the Georgia Tech basketball team opened the season by also losing to a MAC foe. The Yellow Jackets led Miami (Ohio) by seven minutes with only six minutes to go, but eventually dropped a 72-69 thriller for the Redhawks, who closed at 18-8. Adjusting to life without last season’s stars Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright is going to be a challenge for Georgia Tech, and Tuesday showed how daunting that task will be. Michael Devoe shone with 26 points, but he missed five of his last six shots and didn’t get nearly enough help.

Wichita State dodges shocker at logo shot

Wichita State is expected to compete for a return trip to the NCAA tournament, and it would have been a shock if the Shockers lost at home to Jacksonville State to open the season. They avoided that fate, thanks to this long-range rocket from last year’s AAC fellow player of the year Tyson Etienne to give WSU a 60-57 win. It was his first three-pointer since 14:07 in the first half, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post