2 ranked college basketball teams on upset alert this week

While the college basketball season is a bit slowed down this week due to the holidays, these two ranked teams should still be on upset alert before the end of 2023.

Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga
Continental Tire Seattle Tip-Off - Connecticut v Gonzaga / Conor Courtney/GettyImages
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The college basketball season is in a bit of a lull due to the holidays and the final portion of non-conference play before league schedules kick in full-time in January. There haven't been a ton of opportunities for upsets to wreak havoc on the season but we did get a few last week, including Marquette falling at Providence while Baylor was tripped up by Duke in New York, a pair of results that were predicted in this space.

Two more teams in the AP Top 25 should find themselves on upset alert before the calendar flips to 2024 next week. Let's take a look at the most likely upset candidates for the week ahead, beginning with Gonzaga.

2 college basketball teams that should be on upset alert in week 8

No. 13 Gonzaga (vs. San Diego State Dec. 29)

While the Bulldogs remain a formidable foe, this year's edition of Gonzaga is much more vulnerable than recent editions. Mark Few's team already has three losses in non-conference play, including a home-adjacent defeat against No. 5 UCONN and a shocking loss at Washington, a team projected to finish ninth in the Pac-12's preseason poll.

The Bulldogs are home on Friday against a quality San Diego State team that has a solid core back from the team that lost to UCONN in the national championship game in April. The Aztecs do have a puzzling loss to Grand Canyon on their resume but San Diego State is 10-2 with wins against three Pac-12 programs and Saint Mary's so far this season.

The key to avoiding an upset for Gonzaga is not to let San Diego State slow the game down, limiting possessions in an attempt to keep the Bulldogs' high-octane offense from having too many chances. The experienced Aztecs won't be intimidated by playing in the Kennel and could leave Spokane with a win if Gonzaga isn't careful.

No. 10 Marquette (vs. No. 22 Creighton Dec. 30)

The Big East figures to be a beast this season and Marquette has a huge target on its back as the projected champ in the league's preseason poll. The Golden Eagles already suffered an upset loss last week when they went to Providence and lost there for the fifth consecutive year, showing that no league game will be easy this season.

Saturday's matchup sees Marquette hosting No. 22 Creighton, a squad that is up there with Villanova and Michigan State as one of the most confusing teams to project on the year. The Bluejays have a very strange loss to UNLV on their resume but have as much talent as any team in the country, a fact they demonstrated with a victory over Alabama earlier this month.

Few teams in the country have as much firepower as Creighton and if the Bluejays are hitting their shots it could be a long day for Marquette. Having homecourt advantage will help but no one should be surprised if Creighton finds a way to leave Milwaukee with a win.

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