The college basketball world saw a couple of huge upsets Wednesday night, with both the second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and fifth-ranked Florida Gators going down. First, Florida fell 65-59 at home to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, earning their third straight loss in the process. Oh, and that came with the Ramblers without starting point guard Ben Richardson thanks to a broken hand. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf has more on how unfortunate this was for the Gators:
If you’re Florida, you must win that game.
If you’re an SEC contender, the flavor-of-the-month Final Four pick, the team that might snatch Kentucky’s league crown, a crew that nearly knocked off Duke two weeks ago, you beat Loyola-Chicago on your home floor.
If you’re No. 5 Florida in Gainesville, and Loyola-Chicago enters the game without starting point guard Ben Richardson, who suffered a broken hand last month, you win that game and let the reserves earn some clock in the final 10 minutes because you’ve secured a comfortable lead.
But that’s not what happened to a Florida team that embarrassed itself Wednesday with a 65-59 home loss to a Loyola squad that was picked to finish third in the Missouri Valley Conference. But that projection preceded Richardson’s injury.
…On Wednesday, Loyola waltzed into the O’Connell Center, slapped the Gators in the face and left with a quality road win that voided Florida’s convincing victory over Gonzaga in Portland.
Aundre Jackson led the Ramblers with 23 points, while Cameron Krutwig added 14 points and eight rebounds. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from that game:
The Gators weren’t the only highly-ranked team to fall, though. Second-ranked Kansas’ 74-65 home loss to the Washington Huskies, a team that entered the game as a 22-point underdog, was plenty embarrassing in its own right. Here are some highlights from the Pac-12 Network:
.@UW_MBB was on 🔥 tonight.
They take down No. 2 Kansas on the road 👏. pic.twitter.com/gT3NBnyPQZ
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) December 7, 2017
Matisse Thybuille led Washington with 19 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Noah Dickerson added 13 points and 14 rebounds. LaGerald Vick countered with 28 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Kansas, but it wasn’t enough. And both the Jayhawks and Gators came away with embarrassing home losses. Those are likely to lead to major shakeups in the next set of rankings.