...Wait, that happened?
Tons of great hoops action as conference schedules get underway. We already got to see some upsets, we saw some statement wins as well as some great dunks. Mr. Southerland's contribution to the weekend's dunk-reel was more power than grace, but it did USF no favors.
In addition to Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan and Minnesota all defending their home court against unranked foes these next five games caused me to say ... wait, that happened?
Illinois did indeed beatdown Ohio State
Did that really happen? Did Illinois smoke Ohio State after dropping the conference opener to a bad Purdue team? You better believe it. The impressive thing is that Illinois' post-game woes may have been sorted out as Nnanna Eqwu had a monster day. Of course that beast of a guard in Brandon Paul also sliced and diced his way through the Buckeyes defense all night, reminding us all that he is one of the premiere players in the nation.
Arizona remains unbeaten, barely
After a controversial overtime win against Colorado, Arizona looked gassed in a three-point win over a weak Utah team. They may be 14-0 (2-0) and I have them in the final four by upsetting that solid Louisville team, but something is going on in Tucson. Are they lucky, good, due for a loss -- all of the above? Whatever it is, they find a way to win and their games are turning into appointment television.
Gonzaga wins a big league game against ... Santa Clara?!
A season removed from going 8-22 and 0-16 in the WCC, the Santa Clara Broncos have been a nice story, starting 12-3 (1-0). That being said, everyone assumed they would meet their maker against the mighty Bulldogs. I hate throwing around the term 'moral victory', but Santa Clara gave them all they could handle in a seven-point loss. We know Gonzaga is legit, but the WCC might have a newcomer that is ready to tangle. BYU and Saint Mary's better be ready for this Bronco team.
The Golden Eagles were a rather quiet 10-3 before their upset win against Georgetown. In a grinding win where the bodies were flying, Marquette won just 49-48 against the top-15 Hoyas. This isn't as high-flying a gang like Buzz Williams has had in recent years, but they can score when they must and as Saturday showed, they can win the blue-collar, physical games too. They don't receive the clippings of Syracuse, Cincy, Louisville or Georgetown, but they will be a tough team to go against all year and they have a nasty edge in Milwaukee.
Kansas State knocked off Oklahoma State in a game between ranked teams this weekend. The way this team has looked, and its star (Rodney McGruger), there is a real chance that they can finish second in the Big 12 and get a very nice seed come March. This is nice and all, but I'm sure they are looking to knock off Kansas in the Octogon and who knows, maybe win the whole league.