We’re just a week into the college basketball season and already there are two major upsets in the books — though that’s tame compared to the women’s side.
Both Michigan State and Duke lost in the opening week of the 2023-24 season, which shook up the top five significantly. James Madison pulled off a second wild win late last week, too, and Saint Mary’s may be in trouble already.
Here’s everything you missed in Week 1 of the season, and the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll.
Michigan State, Duke fall early
James Madison gets full credit for saving what was otherwise a rough opening night for college basketball.
The Dukes, behind a 24-point night from Terrence Edwards, knocked off Michigan State in East Lansing last week in what was the program’s second-ever win against a ranked team. Michigan State shot just 36% from the field, and three starters were held to only four points. Tyson Walker put up 35 points for the Spartans and had a shot late, but the Dukes forced one last turnover in overtime to grab the 79-76 win.
Michigan State started the season ranked No. 4, and coach Tom Izzo has perhaps his best team since the last Big Ten team to win a national championship back in 2000. This week, though, the Spartans tumbled down 14 spots to No. 18.
Though its loss wasn’t anywhere near as bad, fellow title contender Duke has lost already this season, too. Arizona and former North Carolina transfer Caleb Love rolled past the Blue Devils in front of former coach Mike Krzyzewski at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Friday night. All five Wildcats starters scored in double figures, and they picked up their first road win over a top-two opponent since 2001.
The win propelled Arizona, which started the year ranked No. 12 and as the clear favorite to win the Pac-12, up to No. 3 this week. The Blue Devils fell seven spots to No. 9.
Duke and Michigan State will square off on Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic in Chicago, where both programs have a chance to bounce back against a top-tier opponent immediately.
"We're gonna have to shoot the ball better, big surprise," Izzo said Monday, via the Detroit Free Press' Chris Solari.
JMU does it again
Just days after the Dukes beat Michigan State, Noah Freidel led them to what was somehow an even more unlikely win.
James Madison beat Kent State, 113-108, in double overtime on Thursday night, though the Golden Flashes should have had this game won in regulation. Freidel, remarkably, managed to score five points in less than four seconds to force the first extra period.
The final sequence was incredible, with Freidel drilling a 3-pointer and then hitting a wide-open layup after a Kent State foul as time expired. Just watch:
James Madison’s Noah Freidel scores 5 points in 2 seconds to force OT against Kent State.
Don’t wait until March to watch college basketball. pic.twitter.com/7r2w6Z6O12
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) November 10, 2023
The Dukes' three wins actually pushed it into the poll this week to No. 24.
What a way to open the season.
Saint Mary’s, SDSU struggle
Saint Mary’s is going to have an uphill battle.
The Gaels, who started out the season at No. 23 in the country, dropped a tough game to Weber State on Sunday afternoon. Though they opened the year with a pair of dominant wins before the loss, it’s sure to haunt them down the stretch as they battle through the West Coast Conference slate in a few months.
The loss knocked the Gaels out of this week’s poll completely.
Saint Mary’s held an 11-point lead at halftime on Sunday afternoon, and it pushed that to 14 points early in the second half. That, however, is when the Gaels shut down almost completely. The Wildcats, led by Big Sky preseason MVP pick Dillon Jones, mounted a massive 23-4 run to suddenly take full control of the game.
The Wildcats then held Saint Mary’s to just eight points the rest of the way to grab the four-point win. Jones finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds, and was the only Wildcat to score in double figures. Aidan Mahaney and Harry Wessels each had 11 points for the Gaels, and Alex Ducas added 10 points. They had 15 turnovers as a team, but still out-rebounded Weber State, 41-26.
San Diego State found itself in the same boat. The Aztecs, after their remarkable run to the national championship game last season, fell to BYU on Friday night. The Cougars surged ahead in the second half on a quick 9-0 burst, and rode that the rest of the way to the 74-65 win. Dallin Hall led BYU with 18 points off the bench, and three other players added 12 points on the night.
SDSU, which started the season ranked No. 17, fell out of the poll.
SDSU will host Saint Mary’s on Friday in what is sure to be a battle, though the stakes are a bit higher now with one loss a piece. A second loss this early could make this season extremely tough to recover from for either mid-major program.
Games to watch this week
No. 9 Duke at No. 18 Michigan State | 7 p.m. ET | ESPN
No. 4 Marquette at No. 23 Illinois | 8 p.m. ET | FS1
No. 1 Kansas at No. 17 Kentucky | 9:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
AP Top 25
The full AP Top 25 poll from Nov. 13, 2023
1. Kansas (2-0)
2. Purdue (2-0)
3. Arizona (2-0)
4. Marquette (2-0)
5. UConn (2-0)
6. Houston (2-0)
7. Tennessee (2-0)
8. Creighton (2-0)
9. Duke (1-1)
10. Florida Atlantic (1-0)
11. Gonzaga (1-0)
12. Miami (2-0)
13. Texas A&M (2-0)
14. Arkansas (2-0)
15. Baylor (3-0)
16. USC (2-0)
17. Kentucky (2-0)
18. Michigan State (1-1)
19. Texas (2-0)
20. North Carolina (2-0)
21. Villanova (2-0)
22. Alabama (2-0)
23. Illinois (2-0)
24. James Madison (3-0)
25. Colorado (2-0)
Others Receiving Votes: Memphis 53, Virginia 49, St. John's 47, UCLA 36, TCU 34, San Diego St. 33, BYU 32, Saint Mary's 20, Mississippi St. 19, Iowa St. 10, Wisconsin 6, Auburn 5, Michigan 2, Weber St. 2, Drake 1, Boise St. 1, Clemson 1.