2022-2023 Week 7 Teams of the Week
This week had significantly less games than weeks prior, but was still packed with some quality games, shocking upsets, and two mini tournaments! Unlike other weeks, many teams appear below despite only playing one game, but as you’ll notice, each team was more than worthy of the mention. Check out the teams of the week below!
Teams of the Week!
The only eight team tournament during this week took place in the Hawaiian Islands, on the campus of Hawaii. Known as the Diamond Head Classic, this tourney was a great one, capped off by the hosts of the tourney, the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, winning the whole thing on a buzzer beater three! Check out that big time shot by JoVon McClanahan here. Thanks to that triple, Hawaii defeated SMU to win the title, and before that the Rainbow Warriors defeated Washington State and Pepperdine to get to the championship. Hawaii had to erase a 12 point deficit to set up the chance to win at the horn, and in doing so won their fourth straight game and moved to 9-3 overall on the season. This is absolutely Hawaii’s best stretch of basketball so far this season, and it’s perfect timing as Big West play begins for this group on Thursday. While Hawaii may not have been the preseason Big West favorites, they have the second best overall record in the conference after non-conference play, and look like a threat to contend in the league this season!
2. Kent State:
The second of the two tournaments this week was the Sun Bowl Invitational in El Paso, Texas. This four team field includes four quality teams that saw Kent State come out on top. Kent State defeated New Mexico State by 10 on Wednesday, and won the title game in a true road game over UTEP on Thursday by just one point. Defense was huge for the Golden Flashes in this tourney, and really has been all season. KSU game up just 54.5 points per game in the tournament and is only allowing 60.8 on the season. That coupled with timely offense has Kent State 10-3 overall on the season, with the three losses all close contests on the road to tournament hopefuls Houston, Gonzaga and Charleston. This is a group that should not only be the MAC favorites, but should also advance at least one game in your future March Madness bracket, should they qualify.
The rest of the teams below played only one game versus Division 1 competition this week, but all picked up worthy wins. We start with Miami, who defeated a Top 10 side in Virginia at home, 66-64. Star guard Isaiah Wong led all Hurricane players with 24 points. Miami led this contest by as much as 17 at one point, Virginia made a valiant comeback, but the U were able to hold on. This is an incredible result that moves Miami to 12-1 on the season, and very safely in the projected NCAA Tournament field as of today. This Hurricanes team not only looks like a future tournament team, but one of the best from the ACC.
Two weeks ago Missouri suffered its first loss in blowout fashion to Kansas at home. Instead of letting that game get to them, the Tigers have won their last two, and are now 11-1 on the season heading into SEC play. Last week, Mizzou beat UCF on a thrilling last second shot, but this week required no late game magic. Missouri dominated a Top 20 Illinois team from the jump, winning 93-71, leading by as much as 35 at one point, and never trailing. This is far and away the Tigers best win on the season, and boy was it impressive! Missouri shot 50% from three, (10/20), assisted on 66% of its baskets, and forced 17 Illini turnovers. That is truly succeeding in all phases of the game. This massive victory answers questions about whether or not Missouri is a NCAA Tournament team as of today, but we will learn even more as SEC play begins.
5. Wake Forest:
Speaking of a massive, season defining win thus far, we head to the state of North Carolina. Tuesday night, Wake Forest defeated Duke 81-70 to move to 9-4 on the year. All five starters scored in double figures for the Deacs, and all eight players that entered the game made a basket. Wake led this game for over 36 of the 40 minutes, and the majority of the second half they led by double digits. Also similar to Miami, this is easily Wake Forest’s best win on the year. Wake Is beginning to look a lot more like a tournament team than a few weeks ago, we will see if that continues.
6. Boston College:
We stay in the ACC once again, however this time in the state of Massachusetts. A significant upset took place Wednesday night there as Boston College defeated Virginia Tech 70-65 in overtime! BC were 10 point underdogs in this game despite playing at home, so this was quite the feat for the Eagles! Makai Ashton-Langford led all scorers with 21 points for Boston College, and was crucial down the stretch hitting multiple big shots. With 36 seconds left in OT, Ashton-Langford hit a deep three from the logo as the shot clock expired to extend BC’s lead to five and ultimately gave Boston College the upset victory. The win moves the Eagles to 7-6 on the year. Much more work will be needed in ACC play for Boston College to be playing meaningful basketball in March, but this is a fantastic game to build on.
Don’t look now but Providence is undefeated in December, having won five straight, and is 10-3 overall. This week, the Friars got one of their better results, defeating Top 25 Marquette 103-98 in double overtime on Tuesday! Five players scored 13 or more points for Providence, and three of those five players scored 20+. The leading scorer for the Friars, Bryce Hopkins, not only scored 29 points, but also added 23 rebounds in an incredible game that helped fuel this big win in the Big East. This was Providence’s second Big East win on the young season, as the group is one of just three Big East teams to win both of their first two conference games, joining UConn and Xavier. This week’s thrilling victory is plenty of momentum to ride as conference play moves on.
Is UNLV back? They just might be! The Runnin Rebels are 11-1, and defeated another one loss team in Southern Miss this week. UNLV trailed USM by one at the half, but were able to get up double digits half way through the second half and held that lead for the final 9:32 of the game. The crowd in Las Vegas was loving it as UNLV made this spectacular run, primarily due to its defense. The Rebels held Southern Miss to just 11% shooting from three, and forced an astounding 25 turnovers to pull away. If the NCAA Tournament started today, UNLV would be in the field. With the Mountain West Conference looking deep once again, the Runnin Rebels will have plenty more opportunities to pick up good wins, and continue to prove they belong in the postseason.
9. Ohio Valley, Have a Week!:
The next two sections are dedicated to multiple teams, all of which were a part of fantastic upsets this week! First up, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville! SIUE went on the road and upset a solid Saint Louis team 69-67 on Wednesday. This upset became possible in large part due to an astounding 32-12 run over the final 10 minutes of the game to come from behind from 18 points down. SIU Edwardsville were 18 point underdogs in the game but did not fold when down that much late in the game, incredible resolve! The other upset we will highlight here is Eastern Illinois’s record setting road upset of Iowa. EIU were 31.5 point underdogs in this game, yet still found a way to win by nine points, 92-83! That is one of the largest point spread upsets in the history of college basketball! Two other similarities of this upset and SIUE’s were also present. Both teams reside in the Ohio Valley Conference, and both needed great comebacks to get it done. We’ve touched on SIUE’s second half, but Eastern Illinois’s was just as impressive. The Panthers trailed early, 18-4, and were down by 8 at the half. But no matter, EIU shot 72% from the field in the second half and pulled off the stunner! What incredible upsets from the OVC!
10. SEC Upset Victors:
Our final team of the week section is dedicated to three schools that upset SEC foes, and all on the same day! Wofford took down Texas A&M 67-62, coming from 10 points down to get the win. The Drake Bulldogs defeated Mississippi State on a neutral floor, giving this SEC version of Bulldogs its first loss of the season to date. Very impressive! Drake forced 17 turnovers and held MSU to just 52 points for the game. Finally, North Alabama went into Oxford and upset Ole Miss, 66-65. Coming into this game, North Alabama was 0-19 all time against the SEC, but finally broke through and took down the big boys! UNA had multiple opportunities to fold down the stretch, but answered every single Ole Miss run with one of their own, including knocking down numerous tough jump shots in the final minutes. Congrats to all three of these programs on the phenomenal victories!
Thanks for reading hoops fans!