Upsets and comebacks create weekend madness


Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Ian Miller

   Ranked teams were defeated, crazy comebacks shattered records, and shots were taken that made or broke a season. All of which shook up the college basketball spectrum during a chaotic weekend of basketball from Feb. 25-26.

   Seven nationally ranked teams lost to unranked opponents and three more lost to ranked opponents. Additionally, several insane comebacks occurred, and a fair share of buzzer beaters. All of which has indicated that March will be madness. 

   The first sign of the weekend madness transpired in one of the first games of the day on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Iowa Hawkeyes were down 13 points, 91-78, to the Michigan State Spartans with 1:34 to play. However, after a series of three-pointers, the Hawkeyes cut the lead to two, 100-98, with 0:10 to go. After a made free throw from Michigan State’s A.J Hoggard, Payton Sandfort drilled a three-pointer to tie the game up and sent it to overtime. The Hawkeyes pulled away in overtime and beat the Spartans 112-106. 

   Around the same time, the first two ranked teams fell: the 19 ranked Creighton Bluejays and the 23 ranked Iowa State Cyclones. The Bluejays were dominated by unranked Villanova, while Iowa State fell to unranked Oklahoma after a poor performance in the second half.

   Later that day, Arizona State defeated the seventh-ranked Arizona Wildcats 89-88 on an insane beyond half-court shot by Desmond Cambridge Jr. that left a sold-out McKale Center in stunned silence. 

   “If I’m being completely honest, I make those all the time. But, that shot, I did not think it was going in. I just wanted it to be a nice miss and have everyone go ‘ooo.’ When it went in, I could literally only scream,” Cambridge said after the game, according to

   Meanwhile, the ninth-ranked Baylor Bears overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat the eighth-ranked Texas Longhorns 81-72. 

   Additionally, Mississippi State pulled away late and was victorious against the 25 ranked Texas A&M Aggies, with a score of 69-62. 

   The largest comeback in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) history also happened on Saturday. The Florida State Seminoles rallied from 25 points down and left a sold-out Watsco Center speechless, as they defeated 13 Miami 85-84. Even crazier though, Matthew Cleveland of Florida State hit a buzzer-beater from beyond the three-point line to catapult the Seminoles to victory. 

   In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the Tar Heels got a much-needed boost as they answered the call and defeated the sixth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers 71-63. The Tar Heels jumped out to an early 18-10 lead and never looked back.

   West-Lafayette, Indiana was left disappointed after a sold-out Mackey Arena saw the fifth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers ousted by in-state rivals 17 ranked Indiana 79-71. A dominant performance in the second half earned the Hoosiers a season sweep of Purdue. 

   College Gameday made its way to Spokane, Washington for the first time since 2009 as the Gonzaga Bulldogs topped the Saint Mary’s Gaels 77-68, in what served as a revenge game after the Bulldog’s earlier loss to the Gaels this season. 

   In one of the last games of the day on Saturday, the #22 San Diego State Aztecs hit a long-range three-pointer to escape The Pit, New Mexico’s arena, with a 73-71 victory. The Aztecs had trailed by 13 in the second half but were able to piece back a comeback, which dented New Mexico’s tournament hopes. 

   On Sunday, Feb. 26, yet another ranked team fell when Maryland put up an excellent second half to defeat the ranked 21  Northwestern Wildcats 75-59, which gave Maryland another 20-win season.

   The last crazy finish of the weekend happened when Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson nailed a three-pointer to send the Wolverines into overtime against Wisconsin. In overtime, the Wolverines pulled away and won 87-79.

   All in all, if any of these games serve as a sign for what is to come when March Madness starts on March 14, it will be a fun tournament.