8. Florida Atlantic Owls
Who knows how good Loyola-Chicago this season is after ultimately finishing last in the A-10 last season. Still, the Owls taking care of business in a “neutral site” game by 13 points is a vast difference from the reported blowouts they suffered in exhibitions to both North Carolina and UCF. Most important was the availability of guard Alijah Martin, who scored five points in 25 minutes played.
As a preseason top-10 team, FAU has plenty of expectations to make the NCAA Tournament as a higher-seeded at-large team. And outside of Memphis, there aren’t opportunities available in AAC play. So even if the Ramblers don’t become a great win down the road, it’s just as important for the favorites to avoid a “bad loss” in week 1.
7. Texas A&M Aggies
No matter how bad Ohio State was last season, they still ended up being a Quad 1 or 2 opponent for everyone. Texas A&M is hoping that the Buckeyes are in the top 75 overall in future NET rankings to be a guaranteed Quad 1 victory. That and the Texas A&M-Commerce victory gives them a 2-0 start to the season.
An added benefit to this win is that it gives the Aggies a good win instead of a bad loss, something that’s happened to them in the past couple of years, negating what they then did in SEC play. But this time around, Texas A&M is off to a good start.