Men’s college basketball Power Rankings: Arizona, mid-majors shine as Duke, Michigan State fall

2023-24 College Basketball Season Starts with a Bang

As the 2023-24 college basketball season kicked off, fans bemoaned the lack of high-profile matchups in the early-season schedule. However, the courts told a different story with surprises and spectacular performances from teams across the board.

The start of the men’s college basketball season saw a series of compelling storylines:
– A stunning overtime victory by James Madison, a Sun Belt favorite, over top-five Michigan State.
– A thrilling down-to-the-wire contest between Duke and Arizona, both ranked in the top-12.
– A close battle between Baylor and Auburn, two respected teams that showed their grit until the final minute.
– A face-off between USC’s top NBA prospect Isaiah Collier and last season’s Elite Eight team Kansas State in Las Vegas.
– A total of fifteen power conference teams suffering defeats at the hands of teams from outside the power conferences.

While there might not have been marquee matchups every single night, the first week of college hoops certainly provided action and excitement. And the anticipation for big games continues with the promise of two major matchups on Tuesday.

Several standout performances stole the headlines over the weekend, notably Arizona’s impressive win against Duke. Led by head coach Tommy Lloyd, the Wildcats displayed a new level of toughness and composure, hinting at a potential deep run in March.

Meanwhile, Weber State’s thrilling comeback against No. 23 Saint Mary’s showcased star forward Jones’ NBA-caliber talent, solidifying his status as a player to watch. Notable individual performances include those of Dalton Knecht, Ja’Kobe Walter, and George Washington’s inspirational freshman Garrett Johnson.

James Madison’s astonishing upset against powerhouse Michigan State and a double-overtime victory at Kent State crowned the Dukes as one of the standout teams of the week. In addition, Princeton’s positive start to the season signaled a potential return to the NCAA tournament.

However, all isn’t sunshine and roses, as Maryland, DePaul, and Vanderbilt faced unexpected setbacks in the first week of the season, raising questions about their prospects for the rest of the campaign.

Heading into week two, Kansas and Purdue retained their spots at the top of the power rankings, with standout performances from players like Hunter Dickinson. The Jayhawks and Boilermakers look poised for another season of success.

The start of the 2023-24 college basketball season has set the stage for an action-packed and unpredictable journey, showcasing the magic and madness that only college hoops can deliver.


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