2016-17 RTC Top 25: Week 15Posted by Walker Carey on February 27th, 2017
The penultimate week of the college basketball regular season is in the books, and it was a week marked by a few top teams suffering surprising defeats. First, #2 Villanova saw its seven-game win streak end Wednesday when #12 Butler went into Philadelphia and used an 18-0 second half run to catapult itself to a 74-66 victory. An even more stunning upset took place Saturday when previously undefeated #3 Gonzaga saw an early 16-point home lead disappear in being vanquished by a plucky BYU squad, 79-71. Not only did this loss end Gonzaga’s bid at a perfect regular season, but it also began conversations regarding if the Bulldogs are actually worthy of a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. This season has been defined by the unexpected, so it is only reasonable to assume that more craziness will occur during the final week. Hopefully we will also see some of it carry over into the postseason. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty after the jump.
Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.
- Kansas is the new #1. Kansas had a big week. Not only was it able to take advantage of Gonzaga and Villanova losses to move into the top spot, but it also clinched its 13th straight regular season Big 12 championship. The Jayhawks earned a share of the title Wednesday with a dominating 87-68 home victory over TCU, then went on to earn it outright with a 77-67 win Saturday at Texas. Kansas is almost assured of a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament at this point, but it can likely lock that in this week with wins against Oklahoma on Monday and at #22 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
- Duke takes a bit of a slide. Some have to be sick of hearing about the Blue Devils at this point in the season, but they have to be mentioned because their season continues to be one of the most interesting things about this college basketball season. After a seven game win streak, Duke experienced its first two losses of February with a 78-75 loss at Syracuse on Wednesday and a 55-50 loss at Miami (FL) on Saturday. Absences have been a theme of Duke’s season, and the Blue Devils had another one in Saturday’s loss, as star guard Grayson Allen missed the game due to an ankle injury. Mike Krzyzewski’s squad has a great opportunity to finish the regular season on a positive note, as it has a battle at home versus #13 Florida State on Tuesday and a road showdown with arch-rival #5 North Carolina on Saturday.
- Oklahoma State and Iowa State enter. While Kansas, Baylor, and West Virginia have garnered most of the national attention throughout Big 12 play, Oklahoma State and Iowa State have quietly put together seasons that have made both locks for the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys suffered through a miserable 0-6 start in conference play, but have recovered to win nine of their last 10 games. First-year coach Brad Underwood deserves a lot of credit for keeping the ship together during the poor start; without his guidance, there is no chance the Cowboys would find themselves in their current position. The Cyclones also had a bit of a bumpy start to conference play, as they sat at 5-4 in the league at the end of January. Since then, Steve Prohm’s squad has won six of seven and is now in contention for the number two seed in the conference tournament. When these two teams meet Tuesday in Stillwater, it should be appointment viewing for all college hoops fans.
Game of the Week. #5 North Carolina vs. #16 Duke. The rematch of college basketball’s greatest rivalry takes place Saturday night in Chapel Hill. North Carolina will be looking for revenge after Duke won the first meeting inside Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier this month. In that game, Duke guards Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard combined for 45 points, a total that North Carolina would certainly like to control better in this game. If the Tar Heels are able to limit Allen and Kennard, it should be able to even the score and earn the home victory.
Keep Tabs On. #5 North Carolina vs. #24 Virginia; #10 West Virginia vs. #11 Baylor; #13 Florida State vs. #16 Duke; #10 West Virginia vs. #23 Iowa State; #7 Louisville vs. #18 Notre Dame; #1 Kansas vs. #22 Oklahoma State; #25 Wisconsin vs. Minnesota; #15 Purdue vs. Northwestern.
Conference Call: ACC (6), Big 12 (5), Pac-12 (3), Big Ten (2), Big East (2), SEC (2), WCC (2), AAC (2), Missouri Valley (1).