We have a great week of basketball ahead of us.
Feast Week brings with it several major tournaments across North America, including the high-profile Maui Invitational – where top-ranked Kansas should play at least one, if not two, major tests in Honolulu. Although the last week has been relatively quiet, there is a lot we should learn about the college basketball landscape over the Thanksgiving break.
Here’s everything you missed from the second week of the season and the latest Associated Press men’s basketball poll.
Kansas and Kentucky emerge as big winners from Chicago
Apparently, Kansas beat Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic last week.
Jayhawks transfer Hunter Dickinson dropped an incredible 27 points and 21 rebounds in the win, making him the first player in the last 25 seasons to post such statistics against a Kentucky team. He seemed unstoppable inside and teams will undoubtedly struggle to defend him later in the season. Dajuan Harris also recorded a career-high triple-double and Kevin McCullar recorded a triple-double in the win. The Jayhawks have already proven without a doubt that they are one of the top teams in the country just two weeks into the season.
Other than that, though, the Wildcats looked good at the United Center. Four-star freshmen Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard looked incredible – especially Dillingham, who dropped 16 points in the first half. They led Kansas by double digits late and showed for a young team that coach John Calipari needs to have a strong season after its recent struggles.
Kentucky, which opened the season at No. 17, moved up one spot to No. 16 this week despite the loss. Even though they failed to prevail this time against Kansas, Calipari has a group capable of to achieve another victory. We saw flashes of it this week, and we’ll certainly see it again.
Duke defeated Michigan State in the other game of the Champions Classic. The Blue Devils remained at No. 9 in the poll this week, while Michigan State — which lost to James Madison in the season opener — fell to No. 21.
There were a few other notable losses outside of Chicago this week. Arkansas lost to UNC Greensboro on Friday night and fell from No. 14 to No. 20 in this week’s poll. Florida Atlantic lost to Bryant on Saturday, which was Bryant’s first ever win against a ranked opponent. The Owls fell from No. 10 to No. 19 this week. Although USC rebounded with a win over Brown, it lost to UC Irvine in a tough game on Tuesday. The Trojans fell seven spots to No. 23.
The best Maui Invitational ever?
It’s now Feast Week and we may have the best Maui Invitational ever – or at least in recent memory – upon us.
The classic Thanksgiving tournament was moved from Maui to the island of O’ahu due to the Maui wildfires earlier this year. Five of the eight teams in the field are ranked in the top 11 in the country. UCLA and Syracuse as well as hosts Chaminade are also there and can absolutely keep up.
Kansas will open with Chaminade, a Division II school that has an 8-95 record in the tournament. The winner of this game will face either UCLA or No.
On the other hand, No. 7 Tennessee will open with Syracuse. The winner of that game will face either No. 2 Purdue and reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey or No. 11 Gonzaga, which will face off Monday night.
In theory, if Kansas or Purdue makes it out of the tournament unscathed, they will absolutely stand out from the rest of the country. However, since the field is so good, that almost certainly won’t happen. This week will be a battle and should produce a lot of great games.
There are also several other jam-packed tournaments this week, including the Battle 4 Atlantis – which includes No. 14 North Carolina, Villanova, Michigan and Memphis, among others. The ESPN Events Invitational begins Thursday and includes Penn State, Texas A&M, No. 19 FAU and Iowa State. And of course, No. 21 Michigan State and No. 3 Arizona will face off on Thanksgiving in the Acrisure Classic in Southern California.
Games to watch this week
*Neutral site play
No. 2 Purdue at No. 11 Gonzaga | 5pm ET | ESPN2*
No. 5 UConn at No. 15 Texas | 7pm ET | ESPNU*
UCLA at No. 4 Marquette | 11:30 p.m. | ESPN2*
No. 7 Tennessee/Syracuse vs. No. 2 Purdue/No. 11 Gonzaga | 8pm ET | ESPN*
No. 1 Kansas/Chaminade vs. UCLA/No. 4 Marquette | 10:30 p.m. ET | ESPN*
22nd of November
Maui Invitational Championship Game | 5pm ET | ESPN*
No. 21 Michigan State at No. 3 Arizona | 4pm ET | Fox *
AP Top 25
The complete AP Top 25 poll as of November 20, 2023
1. Kansas (3-0)
2. Purdue (3-0)
3. Arizona (5-0)
4. Marquette (3-0)
5. UConn (4-0)
6. Houston (6-0)
7. Tennessee (3-0)
8. Creighton (4-0)
9. Duke (3-1)
10. Miami (5-0)
11. Gonzaga (2-0)
12. Texas A&M (4-0)
13. Baylor (4-0)
14. North Carolina (3-0)
16. Kentucky (3-1)
17. Alabama (4-0)
18. Colorado (3-0)
19. Florida Atlantic (2-1)
20. Arkansas (3-1)
21. Michigan State (3-2)
22. James Madison (4-0)
23. USC (3-1)
25. Mississippi State (5-0)
Others receiving votes: Memphis 149, BYU 138, Illinois 138, San Diego St. 77, UCLA 75, TCU 69, Iowa St. 67, Villanova 44, Auburn 28, Clemson 12, Oklahoma 10, Princeton 10, Michigan 10, Liberty 7, South Carolina 3, Chattanooga 2, Nevada 1, Drake 1, Colorado St. 1.