Saturday was a great day for road underdogs.
First, Oregon, as a 3.5-point underdog, won 71-70 in overtime at Michigan. Then Memphis, as a 6-point underdog, won 51-47 at Tennessee. Then Gonzaga, as 2-point underdog, won 84-80 at Arizona. Put simply, those are three of the best wins any ranked teams have secured this season. And the most impressive of the bunch is probably the Tigers’ victory that snapped UT’s 31-game winning streak at home.
What a win.
Memphis entered this game at Thompson-Boiling Arena down two starters — one of whom is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft (James Wiseman), the other being the player who was leading the team in minutes played until he fractured his hand last month (Lester Quinones). Regardless, the Tigers managed to overcome a double-digit deficit and earn the biggest win of Penny Hardaway’s college coaching career. It doubled as Memphis’ first road win over a school ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll since January 2014. And now it’s not crazy to think this Memphis team that’s 9-1 — with the lone loss coming to Oregon in Portland by single-digits — could maybe, just maybe, go 12-0 during Wiseman’s 12-game suspension. The Tigers are currently 7-0 without Wiseman, and the only time they’ll be underdogs between now and the day Wiseman returns is in next month’s game at Wichita State.
Memphis is No. 11 in Sunday’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings — one spot behind the Oregon team that beat Michigan Saturday and Memphis last month. Oregon and Memphis both jumping into the top 11 after great road wins pushed North Carolina down two spots, no fault of its own. And Ohio State is No. 1 for the fifth consecutive morning. The Buckeyes are 9-0 with three wins by at least 25 points over top-25 KenPom teams. They play at Minnesota on Sunday and, with a victory, should become this season’s fifth different team to be No. 1 in the AP poll when it updates Monday.