The 2017-18 RTC16: Week Two

Posted by Walker Carey on November 28th, 2017

Feast Week has come and gone, and what a week it was. Several teams continued to distinguish themselves as among the nation’s best (more on one of those below), but there were a number of unexpected results all over the board. Two teams that looked outstanding last week include #7 Notre Dame, which put together an impressive three-day performance on its way to the Maui Invitational title, and #3 Villanova, which avoided the upset bug plaguing a number of marquee teams at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Mike Brey‘s group showed a great deal of resiliency throughout its trip to the Valley Isle, as the only leads it held in the championship game against Wichita State were 4-2 and the final 67-66 result. The Wildcats, on the other hand, simply powered through its field on the back of star point guard Jalen Brunson. The junior floor general was sensational over three games in the Bahamas, averaging 19.7 points per game, shooting 61.7 percent from the field, and turning the ball over only three times in 98 minutes. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty analysis is after the jump…

Quick N’ Dirty Thoughts.

  • Duke is still #1, but it is no longer unanimous. Duke took home the Motion Bracket title at the PK80 Invitational over the weekend, but it was not always smooth sailing for the 8-0 Blue Devils. Mike Krzyzewski’s team found itself trailing at the half in its opener against Portland State and overcame double-figure second half deficits in its impressive comeback victories over Texas and Florida. The Blue Devils are obviously a very talented group with senior Grayson Allen and freshman Marvin Bagley III leading the charge, but there will need to be improvements in the squad’s perimeter shooting and transition defense if Duke hopes to remain in the top spot of the RTC16 in the weeks to come.
  • What is going on with Arizona? The Wildcats were firmly planted at #2 in the RTC16 last week and entered the Battle 4 Atlantis as the team to beat. To say things went south for Sean Miller‘s group would be a massive understatement. One of the most talented teams in college basketball finished dead last at the tournament, dropping games to NC State, SMU and Purdue in the process. Rob Dauster at NBC Sports College Basketball Talk details in length what troubled the Wildcats throughout the event — and it is safe to say there is a lot there. The question is now whether Arizona will be able to put its Feast Week in the past and get back on track sooner than later. There is no clear answer to that question right now, but it is certainly something to keep an eye on over the next couple weeks.
  • #6 Texas A&M continues to impress. The Aggies had already showed they were not a team to be trifled with in their season opening blowout victory over West Virginia, but they took things up a notch in Sunday’s impressive 75-59 road win over a very talented USC squad. Billy Kennedy‘s outfit is getting it done with excellent offensive balance, as five players scored in double figures even with star sophomore Robert Williams being limited to just four points.

Game of the Week. #4 Michigan State vs. #7 Notre Dame. The main event of this week’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge will take place Thursday night in East Lansing when the Spartans play host to the Fighting Irish. Both teams are coming off Feast Week tournament victories with Michigan State taking home the Victory Bracket title at the PK80 Invitational and Notre Dame securing the crown of the Maui Invitational. The big question in this game will be if Notre Dame’s short bench can handle Michigan State’s substantial depth. Brey’s teams are well-known for playing tight rotations and that has been an issue against teams with more players. The individual match-up to watch in this game will be between Spartans forward Miles Bridges and Fighting Irish forward Bonzie Colson. Watching two of the best players in college basketball duel in the post should make this appointment viewing for all college basketball fans

Keep Tabs On. #16 Baylor vs. Xavier; #12 North Carolina vs. Michigan; #13 Miami (FL) vs. #14 Minnesota; #15 Gonzaga vs. Creighton; #2 Kansas vs. Syracuse; #9 Cincinnati vs. Xavier; #8 Wichita State vs. #16 Baylor.

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

WCarey (255 Posts)


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