With Shaky Start to NCAA Season, a Deep Dive into Major Upsets So Far

Published 11/12/2023, 1:40 AM EST

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The NCAA men’s season commenced on November 6 and till now it has been an absolute delight for the fans. Though most of the games have gone as expected, some smaller teams have shone with their slog on the hardwood by securing an unlikely win against the more popular ranked teams.

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These upsets have been nail-biting as they have shocked the fans. Here are some of the adrenaline-rushing matches that took an unexpected turn.

Rutgers 61-68 Princeton on November 7 

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The Princeton registered a win over the Rutgers since the former had a decent lead of 13-4 before the first timeout. With the Princeton finding it difficult to score for the next four minutes, the Scarlet Knights cruised to 14-4 run. The Tigers too weren’t far behind as they took a 32-38 lead in the second half.

A 12-2 basketing patch had them at 57-47 with 7:03 minutes left to play. The Rutgers then put their veterans to the test who slammed three free throws to cut the lead to 61-55. The Princeton used their gaming acumen and prevented a comeback by the Rutgers, securing a win by a respectable margin of 68-61.

The Princeton guard Matt Allocco stood out with his exceptional 21 points and 9 rebounds. The second in line for the Princeton was another guard Xaivian Lee who basketed 16 points with 5 assists. While on the other hand, their forward Carden Pierce excelled in defense smashing 15 rebounds.

The ESPN too had a video on the upsets:

Thus, the Princeton had a rounding performance that beat the Rutgers.

Presbyterian 68-62 Vanderbilt on November 8

The Presbyterian upended the Vanderbilt by a decent margin of 68-62 on November 8 at Nashville in what was a season opener for both the teams. The highlight of the game was Crosby James who pocketed 11 points in only 2 minutes when the match was midway through the second half.

The Blue Hose equaled the 38 points of the Commodores with 11:11 remaining before James shifted gears and stunned all with his astounding performance. The Vanderbilt began their race a little late and could only cover it to 64-59. Another player to stand out for the Blue Hose was guard Jamahri Harvey who smoked 15 points out of which 51% were from the floor.

Their forward Kaleb Scott too basketed a phenomenal 10 points with five rebounds and a solitary assist. 

Oklahoma State Cowboys 59- 64 Abilene Christian Wildcats on November 7

The Abilene Christian Wildcats thrashed the Oklahoma State Cowboys by a decent margin of 64-59. Their forward Airion Simmons recorded a double-double of 11 rebounds and 11 points. With 15 points to his credit, their guard Ali Abdou Dibba stood as the highest point-getter for the Wildcats. 

While the Oklahoma’s shooting guard Connor Dow gave away the chance to tie the scoreboard with a three-pointer, the Abilene’s guard Hunter-Jack Madden tipped a pair of foul shots and sealed win for his team.

The Wildcats had five of their starting players return this year and that supposedly made all the difference. However, the efforts put in by the Cowboys can’t be denied as Bryce Thompson smashed 19 points while Mike Marsh rested at 13. The last Abilene win over the Cowboys had happened in 1966.

DePaul Blue Demons 74-82 Purdue Fort Wayne on November 8

The Purdue Fort Wayne gathered 82 points and defeated the DePaul Blue Demons by a margin of 8 points. Four of the Mastodons starting five slammed double figures.

Their guard Quinton Morton-Robertson stood out with a whopping 24 points. The other three – Rasheed Bello, Jaren Jackson, and Anthony Roberts smoked 15, 13, and 13 points respectively. Jackson also rebounded the highest of 8 for the Fort Wayne.

The match was initially considered an easy walk for the DePaul that gave away the contest. The Purdue ramshackled the DePaul’s defense as the latter failed to put on a tough fight. The Purdue had a run of 20-6 towards the end that folded the contest in their favor.

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Overall it was a sight for the Purdue fans who just had three all-time victories against colleges that had a major program.

VCU Rams 65-76 McNeese State Cowboys on November 7

The VCU guard Max Shulga took the first lead of 3-0 against the McNeese State Cowboys. Initially the game went from coast to coast with the score tied at 6-6 with 15 minutes left in the first half.

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The Cowboys then had a 7-0 streak that gave their team a lead of 13-6. The guard Christian Schumate thrashed a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The other two players for the McNeese to enter double figures were their guards Shahada Wells and DJ Richards who pocketed 23 and 17 points. Thus the McNeese state stunned the VCU Rams by a considerable margin of 76-65.

Previously in the NCAA women’s basketball circuit, the Angel Reese-led LSU had also faced an upset. However, it will be fair to say that the bigger teams can surface back while the smaller teams will have the zeist to clash against the titans and try to win the game.

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Written by:

Ritvan Pande

420Articles

One take at a time

Ritvan is a NBA content writer at EssentiallySports whose heart swells up whenever insider anecdotes related to the sport come to light. With over 2 years of professional writing experience, Ritvan focuses on providing an in-depth analysis of the games. The legendary trio of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman mesmerized him and he has been a Chicago Bulls fan ever since.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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