RTC Top 25: Week TenPosted by Walker Carey on January 20th, 2014
Another week of the college basketball season is in the books and with that came results that had a significant impact on this week’s RTC25. Previously unbeaten and third-ranked Wisconsin experienced the agony of defeat twice this past week, as the Badgers fell on the road to Indiana on Tuesday and were surprised at home by upstart #15 Michigan on Saturday. Staying within the Big Ten, Ohio State‘s losing streak reached three games with Thursday’s loss at Minnesota. Previously 11th-ranked Iowa State and previously 17th-ranked Baylor also had tough weeks. The Cyclones were bested at home by #8 Kansas on Monday before dropping another game at Texas on Saturday. The Bears suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Texas Tech on Wednesday before returning home to Waco and blowing a late lead in a loss to Oklahoma. We are now in the thick of things in conference play, and if the past several weeks can serve as any indication, the excitement and surprises will continue throughout the remainder of the season. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.
Quick n’ dirty analysis:
- Arizona is the Consensus #1 Team for a Sixth Consecutive Week. The Wildcats only played once this past week and they were victorious with a resounding home victory over intrastate rival Arizona State. Sean Miller’s squad will stay in Tucson this week with games against Colorado on Thursday and Utah on Sunday. While the unbeaten Wildcats figure to be favorites in both contests, the Buffaloes and Utes both proved this past week – in convincing wins over USC and UCLA, respectively – that they are teams that cannot be taken lightly.
- Kansas Rises to #8. After going through some growing pains during their grueling non-conference schedule, the Jayhawks are now red hot in Big 12 play. They ran their conference mark to 4-0 this past week with wins at #18 Iowa State and at home versus #9 Oklahoma State. Kansas has the opportunity to get to 6-0 in BIg 12 play this week with a Monday showdown at home against Baylor and a trip to TCU – where the Jayhawks were stunningly upset last season – on Saturday.
- Michigan Continues to Make a Move. The Wolverines ran their Big Ten record to 5-0 this past week with a home victory over Penn State and a very impressive win at #10 Wisconsin. Since losing forward Mitch McGary to back surgery in late December, Michigan has adjusted its style of play and achieved terrific results. Things get a bit tougher this week, as the Wolverines host #7 Iowa on Wednesday before making the trip to East Lansing to battle #3 Michigan State on Saturday. Even at 5-0, the Wolverines are still widely viewed as a second-tier conference contender, but if they can continue their victorious ways this week, they will have to be seen as a legitimate threat for the conference crown.
- Two New Teams. #23 California and #25 Kansas State enter the poll after both completing unbeaten weeks. The Golden Bears earned two substantial victories over Pac-12 foes Washington and Washington State. The Wildcats ran their Big 12 record to a respectable 4-1 with home victories over Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Game of the Week. #15 Michigan vs. #3 Michigan State. These two rivals will duke it out Saturday in what should be a hotly contested affair. Entering this week, they are alone at the top of the Big Ten standings with identical 5-0 records. The intrigue is compounded by the fact that the Wolverines have already shown they can beat top competition on the road with their win over Wisconsin, while the Spartans have been taken to overtime (in wins over Ohio State and Minnesota) in their last two conference home games. A key to this game will be the health of standout Michigan State forward Adreian Payne, who has sat out the team’s last three games with a foot injury.
Keep Tabs On. #22 Creighton vs. #5 Villanova, #15 Michigan vs. #7 Iowa, #25 Kansas State vs. #18 Iowa State.
Conference Call: Big Ten (6), Big 12 (4), ACC (3), AAC (3), Pac-12 (2), SEC (2), Atlantic 10 (2), Big East (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1).