The 2017-18 RTC16: Week Ten

Posted by Walker Carey on January 22nd, 2018

At this point in the season, the Big 12 has clearly distinguished itself as the most complete and competitive conference in college basketball. This was on full display this week, as both #12 Oklahoma and #15 Texas Tech illustrated how difficult it is to earn a league road victory. The Sooners were unable to overcome freshman phenom Trae Young’s 12 turnovers Tuesday and were thumped by 18 at unranked Kansas State. Young was quite a bit better Saturday – finishing with a career-high 48 points – but the Sooners still fell in overtime at unranked Oklahoma State. Things do not get easier for Oklahoma this week, as it hosts first place Kansas on Tuesday before journeying to Alabama on Saturday to face a talented Crimson Tide squad in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Like Oklahoma, Texas Tech also fell twice on the road. The Red Raiders struggled offensively throughout losses at both Texas and Iowa State. Texas Tech has been one of the stories of the year in college basketball, but it currently sits at #57 in adjusted offense on KenPom. That is something that is going to have to improve if the Red Raiders want to reenter the Big 12 race. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty analysis is after the jump.

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Villanova remains the consensus #1 team. Villanova breezed by both Georgetown and Connecticut on the road this past week to move its win streak to five and its overall record to 18-1. The Wildcats figure to face a couple tougher tests this week, as they will play two teams – Providence at home on Tuesday and at Marquette on Sunday – looking to bolster their NCAA Tournament resumes. The trip to Marquette in particular should provide a challenge, as Villanova blew a 15-point halftime lead and was upset there last January. It should be interesting to see if the Golden Eagles are able to shock the world once again.
  • Wichita State and Kentucky are headed in the wrong direction. Former RTC16 mainstays Wichita State and Kentucky both fell on hard times this past week. The Shockers are going through some uncharacteristic defensive struggles and those contributed greatly to Wednesday’s home loss to SMU and Saturday’s defeat at Houston. The Wildcats are obviously a talented unit, but its youth and offensive inconsistency both reared their ugly heads in a dispiriting road loss to South Carolina on Tuesday and a blown opportunity at home against Florida on Saturday. Wichita State and Kentucky will in all likelihood be NCAA Tournament teams, but if they do not correct some obvious flaws, they will see their seeding suffer come Selection Sunday.

Poll Defenses.

  • Wichita State certainly had a bad week and I struggled with what to do with the Shockers. But in the end I didn’t want to overly punish them for losing conference games against good teams. After all, SMU (KenPom#32) and Houston (#41) are better than most people realize.” – RTC pollster Brad Jenkins, explaining his decision to keep Wichita State ranked in his RTC16 despite the Shockers falling twice this past week to unranked opponents.
  • ” I thought there was a pretty clear top nine this week and would have no issue with anyone who thought Cincinnati or North Carolina should be #10 over Oklahoma. The Sooners lost two games on the road, one in overtime. Road games are hard. 12 is as low as I think you should drop a team with that much of an offensive upside, until that team starts dropping really indefensible games.” – RTC pollster Mick McDonald, defending his decision to keep Oklahoma in the top 10 of his RTC16.

Game of the Week. #2 Virginia vs. #4 Duke. The game of the year thus far in the ACC will take place Saturday when Virginia travels to Cameron Indoor Stadium to take on Duke. This will be a battle of contrasting styles, as Virginia is one of the best defensive teams in the country and Duke is one of the best offensive teams in the country. The item to keep an eye on in this game will be how Virginia deals with Duke’s size. The Cavaliers have done a tremendous job defending the post all season, but they have yet to face anyone with the talent of Blue Devils big men Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr.

Keep Tabs On. #10 North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech; #7 West Virginia vs. TCU; #5 Kansas vs. #12 Oklahoma; #2 Virginia vs. #13 Clemson; #3 Purdue vs. Michigan; #5 Kansas vs. Texas A&M; #12 Oklahoma vs. Alabama; #7 West Virginia vs. Kentucky; #1 Villanova vs. Marquette; #6 Michigan State vs. Maryland.

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

WCarey (291 Posts)

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