Monday in college basketball was the start of the second week of the marathon that runs from early November to mid-April that is college basketball. All of the top 25 teams that were in action on Monday night came out victorious but there were some clear winners from those games that stood out.
Winner: North Carolina
The Tar Heels were coming off their second win of the season, a 49 point win over Elon, and followed it up with a 90-72 victory over a then 2-0 Stanford team.
UNC shot 49.3% from the field as they continued the strong shooting that they have displayed throughout the first week and a half of the year. They shot 51.7% against Elon and 49.2% against Wofford in the opener.
If the Tar Heels can continue shooting the way that they have they can continue to move up in the rankings like they did from week one to week two. The two games that UNC has against Duke later in the season will be good tests for an impressive looking team.
Winner: Kenny Williams
Williams finally broke out for 12 points in the Tar Heels victory over Stanford. He was pretty much useless in North Carolina’s first two W’s of the year. Williams was 0-7 in the win vs Elon and 0-3 in the win vs Wofford. Finally being able to hit some shots should boost Williams confidence which is a good sign for a UNC team poised to make a splash in March.
Another road win for the Bulls and even though it was against a winless Southern Illinois team, it was another road win on the already impressive resume of Buffalo. They cracked the top 25 for the first time this season after an upset win over West a Virginia also on the road and they could be a real problem for teams moving forward.
Senior forward Montell McRae didn’t miss a shot against Southern Illinois as he and senior guard Jeremy Harris both picked up 11 points in the win.
Loser: Kansas State
Kansas State won so technically they are a winner but there are some big concerns around the team.
The biggest concern is the three-point shooting for the Wildcats. Kansas State shot just 22% from beyond the arch on Monday and only had one player shoot the ball well. Barry Brown Jr. led the team with 25 points on 9-17 shooting and 4-8 from three.
The rest of the Kansas State team went just 2-19 on three-point attempts and against better teams than Denver, the Wildcats may have trouble if they can’t convert from deep.
Loser: Vermont’s second half
Obviously, nobody expected Vermont to come into Kansas and win. Kansas was the number one team in the country before dropping to number two by no fault of their own and all that fans could hope for was a close game.
In the first half, Vermont delivered.
The Catamounts were leading for the majority of the first half thanks to a strong shooting effort from leading scorer Anthony Lamb. Lamb was 5-7 at the half and was 4-4 inside the arch.
Despite the strong first half performance, Vermont was outscored by the Jayhawks by 12 points in the second half and ended up losing by 16, 84-68. After being just one shot away from going to the NCAA tournament last year, Vermont falls to 1-1 after a bad second half display against a team they gave the fans false hope that they could hang with.
Photo: Raleigh & Company