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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Saturday, June 22, 2024

Moments ‘til Madness: Post-Feast Week recap

The winners and losers of last week’s tournaments.

"Moments 'Til Madness " Column Graphic
Graphic by Gretta Goorno

Every year, college basketball has countless tournaments on the week of Thanksgiving, and they never seem to disappoint. This Feast Week gave us not only great games but also lots of movement within the AP Poll. Here are the teams that either boosted their ranking or busted their resume.

Winner: Purdue University Boilermakers

For the third straight year, Purdue has worked itself back into the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll. In just one week, the Boilermakers have beaten three top-12 opponents, with one of them being Marquette University, who handily took down the former No. 1 team, the University of Kansas. Prior to this, Purdue took down another top-10 opponent, No. 7 University of Tennessee, along with a comfortable victory against No. 11 Gonzaga University. Zach Edey and his supporting cast look like they have only improved since last season, with an undefeated record and easily the best resume in the country up to this point.

Winner: Villanova University Wildcats

On Nov. 13, coach Kyle Neptune quickly found himself on the hot seat after an abysmal loss to the University of Pennsylvania. Now, the Wildcats are on a quality four-game winning streak, with three of those wins coming from last week’s Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. The most notable victory from the Thanksgiving event came from their 2016 NCAA Championship rematch against the formerly No. 14 University of North Carolina. After going to overtime, the Wildcats were finally able to pull it out for their first-ranked win of the season. Furthermore, ‘Nova had no problems against Texas Tech University or the University of Memphis, winning both games by sixteen points. Following their Battle 4 Atlantis Championship, Villanova found themselves back in the AP Poll at No. 18. 

Loser: University of Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas started the season at No. 14 in the AP Poll. Now, the Razorbacks are just one game above .500 (4–3), with three losses in their last four matchups, fully dropping them out of the top 25. Their Feast Week consisted of barely topping Stanford University, losing to the unranked University of Memphis, and getting run off the court by UNC. Sitting at No. 49 in KenPom, this team has given themselves some work to do before March rolls around. Still, don’t be surprised if they end up in the Elite Eight once again. Eric Musselman always seems to find a way.

Loser: Creighton University Bluejays

The Bluejays came into the year considered one of the best teams in the country, leading to their No. 8 spot in the AP Poll. After five decent wins, Creighton got pummeled by Colorado State University. While CSU has proved to be a quality mid-major team, Creighton didn’t even put up a fight, losing by 21 points. With this loss, it’s hard to argue that Greg McDermott’s team should even be in the top 15, with just one Power 5 win so far and not much else. The loss of Ryan Nembhard to Gonzaga seems to be a big one, with a clear lack of playmaking on the floor. But they’re going to have to pick up their play soon, as they have a three-game stretch of ranked matchups come mid-December.

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