The madness of March waited no time to shake up college basketball's landscape, as five of the Associated Press' Top 10 ranked teams lost Saturday, marking the most top-10 losses in a single day since Jan. 18, 2003.
Saturday was the first day of March, a month college basketball fans annually associate with the upsets of tournament time. If Saturday's scores are any indication, March could prove to be a historically unpredictable month on the hardwood this year.
Headlining the defeated teams was fourth-ranked Syracuse, which lost for the third time in four games in a 75-56 dismantling at Virginia. Even worse, the loss handed Virginia the ACC regular-season title, a prize Syracuse looked destined for following a perfect 25-0 record to begin the campaign.
Entering Saturday just behind Syracuse, fifth-ranked Kansas fell as well. The Jayhawks could not withstand a second-half onslaught led by Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart, whose 20 points after halftime led the Cowboys to a key 72-65 victory.
Losing by slightly slimmer margins were seventh-ranked Louisville and ninth-ranked Creighton, both beaten by six points in respective games at Memphis and Xavier.
Rounding out the group, 10th-ranked Saint Louis dropped its second consecutive game, falling 67-56 at Virginia Commonwealth.
When looking at the comparable day of upsets in 2003 (also a Saturday), more teams at the back end of the Top 10 lost on that occasion. Besides then top-ranked Duke, the remaining beaten teams held the sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th spots in the rankings.
Unique to this year's standing-shifting Saturday was the fact that each of Syracuse, Kansas, Louisville, Creighton and Saint Louis lost in road games.
Moving forward, the majority of college basketball's games will be played at neutral sites, but judging by Saturday's wacky results, the month of March once again expects to feature much madness.
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