The second week of the college basketball season has concluded and it had some incredible moments. We got to witness some game winners and crazy upsets, so here is a recap of the biggest moments from week two.
No. 9 Duke pulls away late and defeats No. 18 Michigan State in the Champions Classic
The first matchup of the 2023 Champions Classic matched up Kyle Filipowski and Duke with Tyson Walker and Michigan State, a game many had their eye on. That was for good reason as this one proved to be a very entertaining game of basketball from start to finish. The Blue Devils were in control for most of the game, but the Spartans were tough, making runs multiple times to make it close in the second half. This was not enough, though, as Duke never let up and was great down the stretch. Caleb Foster ended up being the key piece for the Blue Devils, as he scored 18 points and shot 7-for-8 from the floor. Walker was the main guy for the Spartans, as he dropped 22 points for Tom Izzo. Walker’s efforts were not enough, though, as Foster shined brighter and led his team to a 74-65 win in Chicago.
No. 4 Marquette goes into Champaign-Urbana and beats No. 23 Illinois
While most people on Tuesday had their eyes on the Champions Classic, another ranked matchup took place on the Illinois campus. This matchup featured the 23rd-ranked Fighting Illini against No. 4 Marquette. While Marquette was more highly ranked, going into a road environment is always tough, especially at Illinois. The Illini fans may have brought the noise, but Golden Eagles guard Tyler Kolek brought his game. The preseason All-American scored 24 points and added four assists and six rebounds. He led the charge for Shaka Smart’s team, but Marquette got good performances out of Kam Jones and Oso Ighodaro as well. Terrence Shannon Jr. led Illinois with 21 points. This game was very close throughout, but Marquette was better late and walked away with the 71-64 win.
Hunter Dickinson tallies 27 points and 21 rebounds in a comeback win vs. No. 17 Kentucky
It was the Hunter Dickinson show in the second game of the Champions Classic, as Kansas came all the way back to defeat the Wildcats of Kentucky. The Cats were up by as much as 12 during the second half, but the Jayhawks were relentless and went on a run late to take the lead with just a few minutes to go. Dickinson was obviously the best player on the floor, but Kentucky had some performances worth noting. Antonio Reeves and Rob Dillingham both impressed, scoring 24 and 18 points, respectively. Dickinson was also complemented by DaJuan Harris, who had 23 points of his own, along with seven assists. The Dickinson-Harris connection ended up being too much for Kentucky in the end, as Kansas came back from double-digits down to win 89-84.
Two major upsets occur on Friday night as No. 14 Arkansas and Michigan go down
Friday was not supposed to be a very exciting day of basketball, but in the world of college hoops anything is possible. That was proven by two huge upsets going down during what was thought to be an unassuming slate of games. First, Long Beach State stunned Michigan. After getting down early, the Beach fought back to make it an extremely close win. Marcus Tsohonis racked up 35 points in the rowdy environment and led Long Beach State to the 94-86 dub. Later on in the night, UNC Greensboro upset Arkansas on the Razorbacks’ home floor. The Razorbacks allowed the Spartans to get ahead early and UNCG never let go of the lead and won fairly comfortably. Keyshaun Langley was the top scorer, putting up 23 points while leading his squad to a 78-72 win.
Bryant stuns No. 10 FAU, the Owls lose their first of 2023
Florida Atlantic was picked to possibly be the last undefeated team standing, but those hopes are no more after a shocking loss on Saturday to the Bryant Bulldogs. The Owls were heavy favorites going into the game, but Bryant saw that as motivation, as with the victory they picked up their first top-10 win in program history. Sherif Gross-Bullock was the top scorer for the Bulldogs, racking up 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Bryant also got great performances out of the role players, something that FAU did not get. The Owls only had two men in double figures and were extremely stagnant offensively. All this led to the upset that followed, a 61-52 win for Bryant.
Empire Classic tips off, includes a blowout and a buzzer-beater
On Sunday from Madison Square Garden, the Empire Classic began with two matchups including high-profile programs. The first game featured fifth-ranked UConn facing off against Indiana, in what ended up being a 20-point defeat for the Hoosiers. IU looked lost on offense, with the exception of Malik Reneau who scored 18 points. UConn was sluggish early, but caught fire in the second half with great performances out of Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban. This one certainly got out of hand for the Hoosiers, allowing the Huskies to win easily 77-57. The second semifinal matched up the 19th-ranked Texas Longhorns against the struggling Cardinals of Louisville. They did not struggle much in this one, though, as Kenny Payne’s bunch played phenomenally and played the Longhorns very tough. This was about as close of a game one can get as no tem led by more than five in the second half. This all culminated in what ended up being a do-or-die possession for Texas. Down by one with 10 seconds left, the Longhorns had a chance to win the game. They put the ball in the hands of Max Abmas and he delivered, hitting a fadeaway jumper to win the game for Texas 81-80. These two results set up Monday’s matchups, those being Texas vs. UConn in the championship and Louisville vs. Indiana in the consolation game.