The 2020-21 college basketball season tipped off last week, and the first weekend of play in the DMV was as hectic as it gets.
It looks like this is going to be one of the more unpredictable seasons in recent college basketball history, and that played out across some of the region’s teams over the weekend from the District to Blacksburg. There was something for almost every fan.
Let’s run through a few of the biggest stories from the past few days in local college hoops.
Virginia Tech stuns No. 3 Villanova in OT
Virginia Tech scored one of the season’s most impressive victories late Saturday night, pulling away from No. 3 Villanova in overtime for a 81-73 win. Making the win more impressive was the fact that, as a result of Temple pausing team activities for coronavirus-related reasons, VT didn’t know it would be playing Villanova until one day prior.
It didn’t matter for the Hokies, who pulled off a resume-defining win in just their second game of the season. Keve Aluma and Nahiem Alleyne led the way with 22 and 20 points, respectively in a game they never expected to play. It’s going to be that kind of year.
No. 4 UVA upset by San Francisco
Things didn’t go quite so well for the Hokies’ rivals in Charlottesville. Virginia, technically still the defending national champions after the 2020 postseason was canceled, had an inauspicious start to its season after being upset by San Francisco on Friday at the Mohegan Sun event in Connecticut.
The Cavaliers blew out Towson on Wednesday to get things started, but struggled mightily against the Dons, especially on offense. And they failed to close out San Francisco when they had a chance, allowing the Dons to end the game on an 8-0 run.
In a season with multiple top-10 upsets already, No. 4 UVA falling was perhaps the most surprising result all weekend long.
Richmond upsets Kentucky at Rupp Arena
The Richmond Spiders are a mid-major program known from springing historic upsets, and they added to that resume on Sunday on the road against Kentucky.
The Wildcats entered Sunday’s game ranked 10th in the country, but they were thoroughly outplayed in the second half by Richmond. The Spiders look like one of the best mid-majors in the country early in the season – they were really good last year, too, in a stacked Atlantic 10 – and they were clearly the better team in the second half on Sunday.
If they keep playing like this, it could be a special year in the state’s capital.
Maryland’s 21-0 run
The Terrapins have started their season with three straight wins for the seventh consecutive season, but their closest call yet came Sunday afternoon in unexpected fashion.
Facing Mount St. Mary’s, the Terps found themselves trailing 58-56 with eight minutes left in the game before they finally locked in on both sides of the court. Maryland went to its small lineup and found immediate success, going on