Man what a weekend... I don't think saying that it was an emotional one is overstating it. You feel relief, excitement, and ever a little bit of anxiety when the season begins. This weekend had a little bit of everything. There were upsets, there were injuries, and there was even the customary cancelled game that has seemingly become a staple for college hoops opening weekend. STOP SCHEDULING GAMES IN WEIRD PLACES!
Monmouth, William & Mary, Belmont, Alabama State, Radford, Chattanooga, North Florida, Sacramento State, and Western Illinois all made a name for themselves this weekend. Some of those upsets you could see coming and some were a bit unexpected. I was a bit surprised this weekend by an upset that didn't happen. I was a bit surprised that no non-Division I opponents pulled out a win over a Division I squad. There were some close calls like Liberty's two point win over Covenant, but no one was able to breakthrough.
Who the hell is Mid-Atlantic Christian University?
Grambling has become a staple at the bottom of national rankings the last couple of years. Last year the Tigers finished last in KenPom's ranking after going 2-27 and failing to win a Division I game. In one of the strangest scheduling moves you'll Grambling started the season losing to East Carolina 61-53 and then proceeded to play a game the next day at Elizabeth City State. Not only is it weird for a D1 team to play at a non-D1 team but it's even stranger when it becomes a neutral court game against USCAA member Mid-Atlantic Christian University.
Let's just call them MAC for now. MAC has about 150 students and nine staff members total according to the interwebs. Grambling took down the Mustangs 85-26... TWENTY SIX! This may be worse than the Champions Baptist ordeal a few years ago.
This isn't the last you'll hear from MAC. The Citadel hosts the Mustangs this Thursday and I'm scared to see what Duggar Baucom's offense might do. Can we at least make a rule where NCAA Division I teams are only allowed to schedule NCAA teams?
I'm keeping a close eye on the Winthrop Eagles this year. Why? Because Pat Kelsey has been a mad scientist in his roster contemplation for this season. He has multiple Division II sharpshooters, crazy volume shooters from Minnesota who didn't get much Division I interest, and a frontcourt that features Zach Price (former Mizzou, Louisville big man), Sideshow Bob look-alike Xavier Cooks, and a hulk of a man in Duby Okeke.
Round 1 goes to Kelsey as the Eagles took down Hampton 102-95 at homecoming on Saturday. Jimmy Gavin, a Wisconsin-Parkside transfer, dropped 26 points going 5-for-5 from downtown. Cooks added 22 points along with Minnesota volume brother Bjorn Broman who had 18 points in his collegiate debut.
If you want a fun watch on any given a night then keep an eye on Winthrop. Kelsey could turn out to be a genius or this could turn out to be a bit of mess. Who knows...
This week has even more for us to feast on. We have the College Hoops Marathon which is always fun and then this weekend we have a bevy of tournaments to keep an eye on. The real first good measuring stick of the season will come this week.