After months of empty speculation and projection, college basketball fans finally have something material to use in formulating a Top 25: games.
The college hoops season tipped off on Friday and carried through the rest of the weekend, with most teams tagged in the preseason Top 25 fattening up on Division-1 bottom feeders. The few marquee match-ups originally on the opening weekend docket were either postponed, cancelled or called off at halftime because of wet floors or ominous weather forecasts. That’s what happens when you schedule outdoor games in coastal climates without a prearranged contingency plan in the event of inclement weather.
In the only meeting between two ranked teams to date, Syracuse notched the most impressive win of the early season, rolling San Diego State on the sun-splashed flight deck of the USS Midway (off the coast of San Diego). The performance bumps Syracuse from No. 7 to No. 3 in the first regular season installment of the Busting Brackets poll.
Baylor jumped four spots as well (from No. 12 to No. 8) thanks to a dominant win over Lehigh on Friday night–highlighted by the emergency of Cory Jefferson and thorough domination of super freshman Isaiah Austin, who left the game late in the first half after spraining his ankle–followed up by another authoritative performance on Sunday.
Michigan State (preseason No. 6) spiraled out of the poll altogether thanks to its shoddy performance against a vastly inferior Connecticut team in Germany. San Diego State (preseason No. 14), the only other team in the Busting Brackets preseason Top 25 to lose, also fell out of the rankings. Despite winning its only game of the weekend, Arizona (preseason No. 22) was jumped by Cincinnati and VCU in the poll because of its struggles to hold off Charleston Southern. The Wildcats still check in at No. 22 because of Michigan State and San Diego State dropping out of the rankings, but the school’s choppy season opening performance, especially on the defensive end, raised red flags about the status of the team this early in the season.
Wisconsin (No. 24) and Murray State (No. 25) are first-time occupants of the Busting Brackets poll. Despite its impressive win over Michigan State in Germany, Connecticut still sits outside the Top 25. One win can turn heads, but it can’t turn a team that lost the core and guts of last year’s up-and-down bunch into a top-25 team overnight.
The complete Busting Brackets Top 25 for Week One is as follows: (You can access the preseason BB poll, with slugs about each team, here).
|Busting Brackets Top 25|
|4||North Carolina State||1-0|
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