RTC Top 25: Week FourteenPosted by WCarey on February 17th, 2014
With another week of college basketball came another week of uncertainty atop the Big Ten standings. #17 Michigan started its week off in spectacular fashion with a win at #23 Ohio State, but the Wolverines could not stick with it as they were upset at home by #16 Wisconsin on Sunday. #15 Michigan State also had a strong start to its week by soundly defeating Northwestern on Thursday. The Spartans, however, could not take advantage of an early Michigan loss on Sunday afternoon, as they were surprised in East Lansing by an upstart Nebraska squad. Michigan and Michigan State remain tied atop the conference standings with 10-3 records and the two schools will meet this coming Sunday in Ann Arbor for what will be a monumentally important game to determine the conference’s regular season champion. While no team was able to rise to the occasion in the Big Ten, the Big East was a different story. #9 Creighton regained its stronghold on the conference lead Sunday when the Bluejays completed their season sweep of #14 Villanova with another resounding victory. With the start of conference tournaments now less than a month away, more regular season league races will continue to take shape in the coming weeks. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.
Quick n’ dirty analysis.
- Syracuse Remains The Consensus #1 Team. It certainly was not easy, but the Orange remained undefeated with thrilling last-minute victories at Pittsburgh on Wednesday and at home over NC State on Saturday. This week is a very important one for Jim Boeheim’s team, as it hosts Boston College on Wednesday before traveling to Durham to take on #5 Duke on Saturday.
- Florida Is Now The Consensus #2 Team. With Arizona losing at Arizona State on Friday night, the Gators moved to the #2 spot in this week’s RTC25. Billy Donovan’s squad is now 12-0 in SEC play following an impressive road victory at Kentucky on Saturday night. The Gators can get to 14-0 in the conference this week, as they figure to be comfortable favorites when they host Auburn on Wednesday and travel to Ole Miss on Saturday.
- Virginia Continues to Impress in ACC Play. The #12 Cavaliers are now 12-1 in conference play and remain very much in the thick of things with Syracuse and Duke in the league’s race. A victory at Clemson on Saturday moved the team’s winning streak to nine games and contests this week against conference also-rans Virginia Tech and Notre Dame give the team a strong opportunity to continue its winning ways.
- Two New Teams. College basketball blue-bloods UCLA and North Carolina re-enter the RTC25 after both completed undefeated weeks. The #22 Bruins scored home victories over Colorado on Wednesday and Utah on Saturday. The #24 Tar Heels won their sixth-consecutive conference game on Saturday when they defeated Pittsburgh in Chapel Hill.
Game of the Week. #5 Duke vs. #1 Syracuse. When these two teams met at the Carrier Dome on February 1, it was a game for the ages that resulted in an overtime victory for the Orange. This Saturday evening’s game will be in Durham and it will present an extremely tough test for the unbeaten Orange – whose only road victory of note is at Pittsburgh. Something to watch in this game though will be Duke’s stamina, as Saturday will be the third time the Blue Devils will play this week because of last week’s snowed-out North Carolina game moving to Thursday night.
Keep Tabs On. #20 Texas vs. #19 Iowa State; #24 North Carolina vs. #5 Duke; #11 Cincinnati vs. #8 Louisville; #20 Texas vs. #6 Kansas; #16 Wisconsin vs. #13 Iowa; #17 Michigan vs. #15 Michigan State.
Conference Call: Big Ten (5), AAC (4), ACC (4), Big 12 (3), SEC (2), Big East (2), Pac-12 (2), Atlantic 10 (1), Missouri Valley (1), Mountain West (1).