It was hard to have a bigger opening night of college basketball than what we had last night. Numerous ranked teams were in action, including the top four of Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky, and Duke, in a back-to-back at Madison Square Garden.
Both lower-seeded teams won their respective matchups in last night’s Champions Classic. No. 2 Kentucky looked very impressive in their 69-62 win over Michigan State, while No. 4 Duke outlasted No. 3 Kansas 68-66.
CBS Sports‘ Gary Parrish updated his Top 25 And 1 college basketball rankings after last night’s action. He has the Wildcats and Blue Devils on top, with their big starts on Tuesday night.
Parrish was especially impressed with Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey, who made a statement in his college debut.
So now there’s a new No. 1.
And the new No. 1 is … Kentucky.
A year after getting embarrassed in the season-opener on a similar stage, John Calipari’s Wildcats controlled Michigan State pretty much from the opening tip to the final buzzer while Tyrese Maxey had one of the best debuts of any freshman in UK history. The 6-foot-3 guard came off of the bench, took 12 shots, made seven of them and finished with a game-high 26 points and five rebounds. He was tremendous and showed why he’s probably best-equipped to be UK’s best player and leading scorer.
The two Champions Classic losers don’t fall too far. Michigan State falls to No. 3, below Louisville, and Kansas is at No. 5.
Here’s what Parrish’s Top 10 looks like:
3. Michigan State
8. North Carolina
We have another fun night of hoops coming up. As the ACC rolls out its early season games, North Carolina hosts Notre Dame, and defending national champion Virginia travels to Syracuse. Elsewhere, Ohio State, No. 18 in the AP Poll to start the year, hosts Cincinnati in its first game after the Mick Cronin era.