To say it was an exciting holiday weekend for sports would be an absolute understatement. We had daytime football on Thursday, "The" game on Saturday, World Cup matches throughout the weekend, and college basketball tournaments galore!
Oh, and there was some more NFL football in there too, but I will get to that tomorrow. Right now, I want to focus on the college basketball that took place over the weekend. I already covered some of it on Friday, but between Friday and last night, a lot happened!
First, let's talk about the fact that #1 North Carolina was stunned in the Phil Knight Invitational Victory division by unranked Iowa State. They beat them 70 to 65. If this is a hit of what we have to expect come March, you better buckle up!
At the Battle 4 Atlantis #22 Tennessee beat #3 Kansas 64 to 50. It would appear the top 5 was ripe for some upsets!
Meanwhile, back at the Phil Knight Invitational, #20 Uconn beat #18 Alabama 82 to 67 and #24 Purdue smashed #6 Gonzaga 84 to 66. What a great win for the Boilermakers. That along with their upcoming trip to the Big 10 Football championship had to make for a great Thanksgiving for them.
Believe it or not, there were only four top 25 games on Saturday. With all of the action happening, I think they didn't want to encroach on these last games of the college football season too much.
#12 Michigan State was able to hold off Oregon to win 74 to 70. This moved them into the fifth place game at the Phil Knight Invitational. It's sad to see Michigan State struggling so much. They get out to these massive leads and then they just kind of collapse. Yes, they have two of their key players out, but they also have enough talent that they should be able to cover those gaps. They need to do better. I expect more from a Izzo team.
Also on Saturday at the Emerald Coast Classic, unranked TCU took down #25 Iowa 79 to 66.
Finally, on Sunday, we were blessed with 7 games and let me tell you, at least two of them were absolutely amazing. Okay, I take that back. At least four of them were amazing.
First, let's get Michigan State out of the way. They took on an unranked Portland team in the fifth place game. This Portland team gave #1 North Carolina a run for their money on Thursday, I think they are going to be a team to keep your eye on. They fell by one point to Michigan State 77 to 78. There was a point in the game where Michigan State was up by at least 10 points with three minutes left in the game. The Pilots clawed their way back. If they hadn't gotten in foul trouble, I think they could have won.
#24 Purdue continued to have a great showing beating #8 Duke 75 to 56, and #6 Gonzaga narrowly grabed the win from unranked Xavier 88 to 84.
Probably the most exciting game of the day yesterday was the North Carolina/Alabama game. That's the same Alabama team that knocked Michigan State into the consolation bracket. It took four overtimes for Alabama to squeak out a win against North Carolina 103 to 101. That's like an NBA score right there!
With the holiday excitement behind us, we should start to settle into conference play soon. I think most teams have one or two more off schedule games before they start the conference grind.
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing how well the Spartans can do this season. I think there is a lot of potential there. Fingers crossed they can get everyone healthy!
Check back at the end of the week for a recap of all the college hoops action that happened this week.