The 2017-18 RTC16: Week Four

Posted by Walker Carey on December 12th, 2017

The week of the upset came much earlier this season. Last week certainly called a great deal of attention to the sport of college basketball as several highly-ranked teams fell victim to unexpected losses. Former RTC16 mainstays Florida and Notre Dame both discovered they are not always protected by a home court advantage, as the Gators lost in Gainesville to #16 Florida State and Loyola-Chicago, and the Fighting Irish fell in South Bend to Ball State. While those losses were certainly notable, they are an afterthought considering what happened to #3 Duke and #14 Kansas last week. The Blue Devils once again showed their defensive deficiencies in a stunning weekend defeat at the hands of Boston College, while the previously unbeaten Jayhawks lost to unranked Washington in Kansas City before suffering an extremely rare home defeat to #5 Arizona State. The season is obviously still young, but both of those teams will need to make some adjustments if they want to get back on the winning track. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty analysis is after the jump…

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Villanova is the new #1. The Wildcats grabbed the top spot in this week’s RTC16 after moving to 10-0 on the season with impressive victories over Gonzaga at the Jimmy V Classic followed by a Big 5 victory over La Salle on Sunday. Junior swingman Mikal Bridges turned in a career performance against the Zags, finishing with 28 points and six rebounds. The Wildcats resume intracity rivalry action on Wednesday when they travel across town to play Temple. Villanova will likely be a strong favorite in that game, but it is definitely a game to track considering what has recently happened to the other top teams around college basketball.
  • #5 Arizona State is the story of the season thus far. The Sun Devils have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014 and have pretty much been an afterthought in the Pac-12 during the last several seasons. This year’s Arizona State squad has been a different beast thus far, looking primed to both be a factor in the Pac-12 race and get into the Field of 68. Bobby Hurley‘s team at first looked up to the test over Thanksgiving weekend when it beat #7 Xavier by 16 points, but the Sun Devils took it to another level on Sunday when they went into Allen Fieldhouse and earned a 95-85 win over #14 Kansas. The victory marked the first time a non-conference opponent has won in the historic old barn since January 2014. It will be interesting to consider how Arizona State handles success, but this group has not yet given any indication it will be going away anytime soon.
  • Florida State enters the RTC16. Florida State was supposed to take a step back this season after losing several key players from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, but that has not been the case yet in an impressive 9-0 start. The most impressive result for Leonard Hamilton‘s group thus far was last Monday’s 17-point victory at Florida. The ACC race is going to be hotly contested among some of the nation’s top teams, but the Seminoles are a surprise group that could have some say in how things end up in that league.

Game of the Week. #4 Wichita State vs. Oklahoma. In a thin week of college hoops action, the main event will be Saturday in Wichita when the Shockers play host to the Sooners. The major intrigue in this game will revolve around how Wichita State will defend dynamic Oklahoma freshman guard Trae Young. The dynamic playmaker is lighting up the stat sheet so far this season, averaging 28.8 points and 8.8 assists per game. The Shockers have a quality backcourt of their own, highlighted by sophomore Landry Shamet. This game should be a dandy.

Keep Tabs On. #1 Villanova vs. Temple; #15 Purdue vs. Butler; #10 Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech; #16 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State; #8 North Carolina vs. Tennessee.

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

WCarey (279 Posts)

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