Even though the college basketball season is just three weeks young, it’s never too early to overreact. Let’s take a look at three winners and three losers from the first month of the college basketball season.
Virginia Cavaliers (5-0)
Originally ranked 23rd in our preseason, the Virginia Cavaliers have started off red-hot to start the season. Beating two ranked opponents on back-to-back days with Baylor and Illinois, Virginia has dominated in their first five games.
With one of the oldest rosters in the country, Virginia brought back virtually everyone from last year’s team. In their first five games, Virginia has had four different leading scorers. The defense has also been stellar, only allowing more than 61 points once.
Virginia’s schedule does get much more difficult, as they will head to Michigan to participate in the ACC-Big 10 challenge before taking on Florida State, James Madison and Houston, all at home.
UConn Huskies (8-0)
What a start to the season it has been for Dan Hurley and his Huskies. Originally ranked 22nd in our preseason ranking, UConn has been nothing short of dominant.
The Huskies haven’t had any close games yet, as only one game has been within 15 points – and that was Alabama, whom we have ranked at 10. UConn dominated their buy game slate, but continued to show their worth with a 24-point victory against Oregon, a 15-point win against Alabama, and an 18-point championship victory against Iowa State in the Phil Knight Invitational.
The Big East – specifically Villanova – has had its troubles so far, but UConn is making a case for them to be the best team in the conference.
Purdue Boilermakers (6-0)
Yes, Trevion Williams and Jaden Ivey have left, but Zach Edey is still at Purdue – and he’s dominating.
Never have doubt in Matt Painter, as his team is 6-0 with wins over Marquette, West Virginia, Gonzaga, and Duke. With those last two victories coming in dominant fashion.
Edey is already averaging 21.7 points-per-game in his first six contests, and he is already making his case for National Player of the Year.
Xavier Musketeers (4-3)
It’s been a disappointing start to the season for Xavier. After three easy victories to start the season, Xavier has lost three of its last four games. While that win was against Florida, Xavier has struggled against top opponents.
Sean Miller’s group missed a golden opportunity against Indiana at home, losing in the final moments. Xavier still has non-conference games against West Virginia and Cincinnati, but the margin for error is slim for the Big East school from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dayton Flyers (3-4)
Anthony Grant, yikes. It’s been a difficult start to the season for Dayton, a team everyone had ranked in their Top 25 to start the season.
It looked like things were off to a good start when Dayton hosted SMU on the first Friday night of the year, unveiling a throwback jersey and securing a 12-point victory to advance to 2-0. But, everything has gone wrong since.
Dayton traveled to Las Vegas to lose to UNLV, only beat Robert Morris at home by nine and lost three straight at the Battle 4 Atlantis against Wisconsin, N.C. State, and BYU.
Dayton is still projected to be a top team in the Atlantic 10, but have swung and missed multiple times already this season to boost their resume. They have two notable non-conference games remaining on their slate, at Virginia Tech and neutral site vs. Wyoming. But it increasingly looks more clear Dayton is going to have to run the table in the Atlantic 10 to get into the NCAA Tournament.
Wyoming Cowboys (3-3)
We all knew not having Graham Ike at the beginning of the season would hurt Wyoming, but not to this extent.
Wyoming has already put themselves in a tough spot with three non-conference losses (Southeast Louisiana, Drake, and Boston College) and have had trouble in other games. Wyoming does have Dayton, Louisiana Tech, and Saint Mary’s remaining on their non-conference schedule. They will have to end on a strong note before Ike’s return and conference play.