2016-17 RTC Top 25: Week Three

Posted by Walker Carey on December 5th, 2016

Another week of college hoops is in the books, and a few teams last week demonstrated they will be reckoned with during the rest of the season. #4 UCLA, behind a terrific offensive attack, earned the most impressive victory of the young season when it left Rupp Arena on Saturday with a 97-92 victory over #8 Kentucky. That defeat at the hands of the Bruins marked the first time the Wildcats have lost in Lexington since the 2013-14 season. #5 Baylor likewise continued its dream start to the season with a dominant 76-61 win over #12 Xavier. In only the first week of December, the Bears already have an excellent profile with victories over #10 Louisville, #20 Oregon and the formerly top-10 Musketeers. #7 Gonzaga also bolstered its flawless record last week, earning a 69-62 neutral site win over #23 Arizona. The Bulldogs are benefiting from the return of big man Przemek Karnowski, who missed all but five games last season with a back injury. The college basketball season is definitely a marathon where things can change on a nightly basis, but it sure seems like the Bruins, Bears and Bulldogs are in great position to succeed all season. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty Analysis of the RTC25 is after the jump.

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Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Villanova remains #1. The Wildcats remain the top team this week after a pair of complete victories over their Philadelphia brothers in arms. Jay Wright’s squad easily dispatched Penn, 82-57, and then followed that up with a blowout of Saint Joseph’s, 88-57. Villanova continues its Big 5 series on Tuesday when it takes on La Salle before facing a good test Saturday against undefeated #24 Notre Dame at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. The Wildcats are a well-oiled veteran unit, so it would be prudent to believe they will be up to the test. Still, this is college basketball, so anything can happen.
  • Indiana shakes off its surprising loss. The Hoosiers showcased why their shocking November 22 loss at Fort Wayne was more aberration than a reality. Playing host to #6 North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Indiana controlled the game throughout en route to a 76-67 victory. The win was not all positives, though, as sophomore forward OG Anunoby suffered an ankle injury in the game’s closing minutes. The injury is not believed to be serious, but it is unclear whether he will return for the Hoosiers in time to battle #16 Butler on December 17.
  • Undefeated Notre Dame enters at #24. Mike Brey continues to work his magic in South Bend. After standout point guard Demetrius Jackson left school early following last season’s run to the Elite Eight, few outlets thought the Irish had a chance to make any noise this season. So far those pundits have been wrong, as the Irish are 8-0 with a chance to earn some national attention in Saturday’s game against #1 Villanova. Notre Dame has had a culture of veteran players taking several steps forward as their careers progress, and this season features junior Bonzie Colson and seniors Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem playing the roles of next men up.

Game of the Week. #2 Duke vs. #21 Florida. The Blue Devils have finally received some good injury news, as both Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden made their collegiate debuts in Saturday’s blowout victory over Maine. Tuesday night’s ESPN tussle with Florida at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden will be a great chance to see the Blue Devils at close to full strength (Harry Giles remains out with a knee injury). After a pair of seasons in college hoops obscurity, Florida has raced out to a 7-1 start and looks to regain its swagger form the peak of the Billy Donovan era. A game against Duke represents a chance for head coach Mike White to grab a signature victory in his second season in Gainesville.

Keep Tabs On. #8 Kentucky vs. Valparaiso; #12 Xavier vs. Colorado; #7 Gonzaga vs. Washington; #1 Villanova vs. #24 Notre Dame; #17 Wisconsin vs. Marquette; #16 Butler vs. #22 Cincinnati; #4 UCLA vs. Michigan.

Conference Call: ACC (5), Big Ten (4), Big East (4), Big 12 (3), SEC (3), Pac-12 (3), WCC (2), AAC (1).

WCarey (247 Posts)


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