RTC Top 25: Week 11 Edition

Posted by Walker Carey on February 1st, 2016

College basketball is one of those sports where no development should really surprise anyone. Things can change on a dime and unexpected occurrences are the norm. For example, the way in which the conference season has played out for #25 Duke has been a shock to the system. Mike Krzyzewski’s squad dropped to 4-4  in ACC play last Monday when it was toppled by #16 Miami (FL) on the road. A road loss to the Hurricanes is nothing to worry about on its own, but grouped with losses to Clemson, Notre Dame and Syracuse, it is part of a more troubling trend. Things have a chance of improving this week, as Duke figures to be the favorite in a trip to Georgia Tech on Tuesday and at home with NC State on Saturday. On the contrary, a loss in either of those games would put Duke dangerously close to the bubble. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty after the jump.

RTC25 02.01.16

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Oklahoma remains in the #1 spot. The Sooners remain in the top spot this week after moving to 18-2 with two more victories. Lon Kruger’s squad thoroughly dismantled Texas Tech in Norman on Tuesday before coming from behind to steal a hotly-contested battle at LSU on Saturday. No one should be surprised if Oklahoma is in this position again next week, as it will likely be a strong favorite in both its upcoming home clash with TCU and its weekend journey to Kansas State. Over the past decade, the Big 12 title has run through Lawrence, but it is starting to look more like Norman will also be heard from this season.
  • #2 North Carolina really has things humming right now. Ever since they fell on a buzzer-beater at Texas on December 12, the Tar Heels have reeled off 12 straight victories. North Carolina’s 8-0 start to ACC play puts it in first place with a comfortable two-game lead over Louisville. Roy Williams’ squad will be tested this week, though, as his team faces a pair of tough road games — a Big Monday visit to #22 Louisville and a weekend trip to Notre Dame. If the Tar Heels can win both of those games, it would be difficult not to consider them a heavy favorite to take home the league crown.
  • #17 Wichita State, remember them? The Shockers started the season with great fanfare given the return of standout senior guards Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, but after a 2-4 start (related to some injuries), they were quickly written off. However, since an overtime loss at Seton Hall on December 19, Wichita State has reemerged on the national radar by winning 11 straight games. Due to those early mishaps, the Shockers might still need to win Arch Madness to feel completely safe about an NCAA Tournament bid, but with how Gregg Marshall’s unit has fared thus far in league play, that does not seem to all that difficult.

Game of the Week. #11 Iowa State vs. #15 West Virginia. The Big 12 has correctly earned a reputation for being a fast-paced, high-scoring league. No two teams meet that reputation better than the Cyclones and Mountaineers, so their upcoming showdown in Ames on Tuesday night should be delightfully entertaining. Something to keep an eye on will be how West Virginia deals with the suspension of senior forward Jonathan Holton. Bob Huggins’ team struggled mightily without Holton in the lineup on Saturday, so if West Virginia is unable to adjust to another road test without one of its key seniors, it could be in for another long game.

Keep Tabs On. #2 North Carolina vs. #22 Louisville; #19 Baylor vs. Texas; #23 Indiana vs. Michigan; #16 Miami (FL) vs. Notre Dame; #8 Virginia vs. Pittsburgh; #10 Michigan State vs. Michigan; #3 Villanova vs. #17 Providence; #4 Maryland vs. #19 Purdue; #2 North Carolina vs. Notre Dame; #9 Texas A&M vs. South Carolina; #12 Oregon vs. Utah.

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

WCarey (318 Posts)

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