Under the Radar Winners From College Basketball Feast Week

Center Court of the 2021 Maui Invitational where the Arkansas Razorbacks participated in 2022. Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire.
Center Court of the 2021 Maui Invitational. Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire.

Every season, Thanksgiving weekend features College Basketball invitationals around the Nation. Each year, we see some teams fly under the radar, and this year was no different.


The Razorbacks come into the college basketball season with sky-high expectations. Arkansas brought in an elite class of freshmen to go with another solid group of transfers. Perhaps because of their annual roster turnover, Arkansas has struggled early in the season under Eric Musselman, especially against quality opponents.

This time around things has gone much better early in the season for Arkansas. The Razorbacks went 2-1 in the Maui Invitational against some quality competition.

In their first game, they blew out Louisville. Though they lost in game two, Arkansas played very well in a close loss to a Creighton team that is a legitimate Final Four contender. Finally, in perhaps their most impressive performance, the Razorbacks came back from down as much as 13 to beat 17th-ranked San Diego State in overtime.

The Hogs also did this without their prized freshman, Nick Smith Jr. It’s safe to say Arkansas will be a front runner in the SEC and one of the best teams in the country this season.

Iowa State

Coming into the Phil Knight Invitational, the Cyclones were an afterthought and not expected to do much in college basketball this season. Iowa State surprised many last season by finishing 20-12 and making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen. The Cyclones lost stars Tyrese Hunter and Izaiah Brockington to the transfer portal and graduation, respectively. Thus, expectations in Ames weren’t that high for this season.

With a stacked field full of ranked teams, Iowa State was expected to lose early. Despite this, the Cyclones went on to go 2-1 making it all the way to championship game where they got beat by UConn. Along the way, the Cyclones knocked off two national powerhouses in Villanova and number one ranked North Carolina.

St. Bonaventure transfers Jaren Holmes and Osun Osunniyi came up big for Iowa State in this tournament. Holmes averaged 15 points and almost five assists per game while Osunniyi averaged 11 points and four rebounds in the three games.

NC State

Kevin Keatts’ NC State team came into both the college basketball season and the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament without much fanfare after a less than stellar season in 2021.

In their first game the Wolfpack took the defending National Champions, Kansas, down to the wire but lost in the final minutes. In the next two games, NC State looked very impressive as well. The Wolfpack beat Butler and Dayton, both teams with tournament expectations, by double digits. In those two contests they scored more than 150 points.

In the three games lead guards, Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith averaged 19.7 and 13.3 points per game, respectively. Also, Virginia transfer, Casey Morsell averaged 12.3 points per game. This trio will continue to get better throughout the season as they play more minutes together and could potentially get the Wolfpack back to the tournament.


In a tournament that very much went very under the radar perhaps due to its small size and west coast appeal, the Washington Huskies won the Paycom Wooden Legacy.

In their two games, Washington beat Fresno State and a very good Saint Mary’s team in the championship game. The Huskies beat the Gaels 68-64 in overtime to secure the title.

The Huskies got big contributions from star transfer Keion Brooks. the former Kentucky forward averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds in the two games.

The last few seasons have been quite disastrous for the Huskies. Perhaps this will be a springboard for them to get back to the tournament and the upper echelon of college basketball.

St. John’s

To begin Feast Week, the Barclays Center hosted the Empire Classic. In the finals, St. John’s beat former Big East rival Syracuse in overtime after beating Temple in the opening round.

After being down as many as 10 points in the second half and trailing pretty much all game, the Johnnies were able to force overtime. St John’s dominated the extra period on their way to a seven-point victory over the Orange. In overtime, the aggressive Red Storm defense held Syracuse to just four points on 1-5 shooting from the field.

St John’s got huge contributions from their two star transfers during this tournament. David Jones, the DePaul transfer, averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds while the Illinois transfer, Andre Curbelo went for 18 points and 4.5 assists during the two games.

If the Johnnies can get that kind of production out of their two stars and continue to play disruptive defense the rest of the season, coach Mark Anderson will more than likely get this team back to the NCAA tournament.

Get the latest sports news via Fantom Sports Industries. Follow us on twitter via @Fantom_sports. Like us on Facebook via Fantom Sports Industries. Subscribe to our YouTube channel via Fantom Sports. Subscribe to our Newsletter! Shop Fantom Sports Industries Merch.

Invest in your favorite athletes like stocks with “Prediction Strike!” Use code FANTOM when you sign up

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: