To say that opening night was everything we hoped for would be an understatement. The college basketball kickoff had all the makings of the round of 64 in March.
Houston had to come storming back in order to secure an overtime victory over Hofstra while Cal-Berkely underperformed the spread by 28 points in a loss to UC San Diego.
While this Cal squad certainly aren’t world beaters, they are capable of defeating the 292nd ranked team in the nation.
Fox and the Bears should be mildly embarrassed but there are others who struggled even more mightily.
The ACC needs to get it together
While North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Duke took care of business on opening night, not everyone was so fortunate.
The Virginia Cavaliers inexplicably lost at home to Navy. The victory over a top 25 team was the Midshipmen’s first since The Admiral, David Robinson, donned the uniform.
The Wahoos surrendered over a point per possession on defense and shot only 4-16 from behind the arc. They were also outrebounded by Navy.
Virginia has serious question marks with their roster not unlike last season.
The difference being that last season’s team had legitimate star power in Jay Huff, Sam Hauser and Trey Murphy.
Georgia Tech lost yet another buy-game in what continues to be a major early season issue for coach Josh Pastner. Year after year the Yellow Jackets look completely unprepared early in the season and suffer resume’ murdering losses at home.
Last season, they lost their first two games of the season to Georgia State and Mercer. In 2019-20 they dropped a home game to Ball State while managing only 47 points at home.
In 2018-19 they lost to Gardner-Webb at home and the season prior to that lost to Grambling, Wofford and Wright State.
These results are the reason that many Yellow Jackets’ fans are not sold on Josh Pastner at the start of year six.
Pittsburgh suffered possibly the worst loss by a power six school all season on opening night.
The Panthers didn’t just lost to The Citadel, they were soundly defeated by 15 points at home.
Jeff Capel’s squad was down 27-9 less than 8 minutes into the game.
It may not be entirely Capel’s fault as he lost two key pieces in the preseason in Nike Sibande (knee) and Ithiel Horton who was arrested last week.
Regardless, we are talking about The Citadel and you are an ACC program. It is simply unacceptable.
The three losers weren’t the only programs to fall short for the ACC.
North Carolina State was down double digits early to a horrible Bucknell team while Clemson actually trailed Presbyterian by eight at the half.
Louisville was less than impressive in their opener but was able to pull out the victory and though no one expects much of anything from Miami (FL), they are better than a ten point victory over Canisius.
What this all points to is that the conference may still be trending in the wrong direction.
With the careers of multiple hall of fame coaches presumably coming to a close in the coming years, that may be a trend that continues for some time.
Then again, we are only a single day into the season.