RTC Top 25: Week Two Edition

Posted by Walker Carey on November 30th, 2015

Feast Week brought chaos. A lot of chaos. Six RTC25 teams lost twice and several more experienced one setback. Amid the chaos, previously unranked Syracuse and previously-#22 Xavier were able to grab several impressive victories and show they will be forces to reckon with for the balance of the season. The Orange were the surprise champions of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament after earning wins over Charlotte, #24 Connecticut and #18 Texas A&M. Jim Boeheim’s unit was led to the title by the stellar play of seniors Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije along with the emergence of freshmen Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon. Xavier was equally as impressive in taking home the AdvoCare Invitational crown. The Musketeers notched victories over Alabama and USC before blowing out Dayton in the tournament’s title game, and the relative balance of Chris Mack’s lineup was on display all weekend. After very impressive Feast Week performances, it will be intriguing to watch whether the Orange and Musketeers can keep the good vibes rolling through the non-conference portion of the season. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty is after the jump.

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Quick N’ Dirty Thoughts.

  • Kentucky remains the unanimous #1. John Calipari’s squad once again tops the RTC25 after completing another perfect week. The Wildcats cruised to victories over Boston University and South Florida to push their overall record to 6-0. After another tune-up against Illinois State this evening, Kentucky will take its show to the west coast on Thursday night for a showdown against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion. The Wildcats figure to be a heavy favorite in that game, but it must be noted this will be the first true road game for Kentucky’s talented freshmen class.
  • Kansas got the job done in Maui. The #3 Jayhawks took home the Maui Invitational crown after throttling Chaminade and UCLA before ultimately besting #16 Vanderbilt in the title game. The Jayhawks received even better news on Wednesday when it was announced that highly-touted freshman big man Cheick Diallo had finally been cleared to play by the NCAA. Diallo’s eligibility along with junior guard Wayne Selden’s emergence in Maui makes the Jayhawks an even more dangerous team than they were projected in the preseason.
  • Orlando was unkind to Wichita State and Notre Dame. Previously #15 Wichita State and previously #19 Notre Dame are no longer ranked in the RTC25 after both teams experienced a disastrous trip to the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando. The Shockers — without standout guard Fred VanVleet — failed to win a single game in central Florida, dropping all three contests to USC, Alabama and Iowa. The Irish were able to win one game — a 68-62 victory over Iowa — but they suffered surprising defeats at the hands of Monmouth and Alabama. While it is probably too early for these two teams to panic, both need to figure out how to get back on the winning track before it is too late.

Game of the Week. #4 Maryland vs. #10 North Carolina. This season’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge slate is highlighted by Tuesday night’s matchup between the Terrapins and Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. An interesting subplot in this game is that that this will be Maryland’s first trip back to North Carolina since it defected from the ACC to the Big Ten prior to the 2014-15 season. The key individual battle to watch will be between Maryland point guard Melo Trimble and North Carolina point guard Marcus Paige, who will be making his season debut after sitting out several weeks with an injury. Whoever gets the upper hand in that duel should go a long way in determining this game’s outcome.

Keep Tabs On: #11 Purdue vs. Pittsburgh; #20 Cincinnati vs. #25 Butler; #3 Michigan State vs. Louisville; #7 Duke vs. Indiana; #1 Kentucky vs. UCLA; #15 Oregon vs. UNLV; #12 Syracuse vs. Georgetown; #14 Gonzaga vs. #19 Arizona; #16 Vanderbilt vs. #22 Baylor.

Conference Call: Big 12 (5), ACC (5), SEC (3), Big Ten (3), Big East (3), Pac-12 (3), AAC (2), WCC (1).

WCarey (318 Posts)

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