2019-20 RTC 16: Week 13

Posted by Walker Carey on February 17th, 2020

Entering this season, it seemed like almost a formality that preseason #1 Michigan State was going to run through the Big Ten on its way to a regular season title. That notion, however, has not turned out to the be the case, as #7 Maryland and #9 Penn State have emerged as the clear favorites to take home the Big Ten title. The Terrapins have now won eight straight games after overcoming a seven-point deficit with less than four minutes to play in a stunning 67-60 weekend victory at Michigan State. The Terrapins currently have a one-game lead in the Big Ten standings over the Nittany Lions, who are equally as hot. A January 16 loss to Minnesota left Penn State at 2-4 in the league and decidedly behind the eight-ball in a very competitive conference. Things have turned on a dime, though, for Pat Chambers‘ group, as the Nittany Lions have now won eight consecutive league games for the first time in program history with an ability to win both at home and on the road. While the Big Ten race has thus far shaken out much differently than expected, Maryland and Penn State have both shown they are good enough to not only take home the league title, but also be legitimate contenders to advance to the Final Four. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty after the jump.

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Baylor holds serve at #1. It was just another routine week for Baylor with the Bears earning comfortable victories over Texas and #16 West Virginia. Scott Drew’s team has now won 22 straight contests and continues to be among the surest things in college basketball. This week will, however, bring about what could be a couple arduous tests for the Bears, as a sneakily tough road trip to Oklahoma is on tap for Tuesday before returning to Waco to take on #3 Kansas in what looks to be the Big 12 Game of the Year. Just know that if Baylor is still in the top spot next week, it will have fully earned it.
  • #4 San Diego State is primed to finish the regular season unbeaten. San Diego State is now 26-0 after earning a pair of comfortable wins over New Mexico and Boise State. With just three games remaining on their regular season schedule, KenPom now projects the Aztecs to have a 67.6 percent chance to enter the Mountain West Tournament with an unblemished record. Continuing to lead the way for Brian Dutcher‘s squad is junior guard Malachi Flynn, who has performed at an All-American level all season. Flynn leads the Aztecs in points, assists, and steals — and his presence alone has given San Diego State the most dynamic guard on the floor during each game this season.
  • #11 Creighton is a legitimate Big East contender. It is quite difficult to have a season where you win a game at either Villanova or Seton Hall, but it is nearly impossible to have a season where you win games at BOTH. Creighton is the exception to the latter rule, as the Bluejays won at Villanova on February 1 and rode its hot shooting to an 87-82 victory at Seton Hall last Wednesday. Greg McDermott‘s team is now just one game behind the Pirates in the Big East standings, and with five games remaining, it should not be a surprise if the balanced Jays find a way to at least grab a share of the league title.

Game of the Week. #1 Baylor vs. #3 Kansas. Saturday’s battle in Waco figures to be the most exciting game of the Big 12 season, as first place Baylor will host second place Kansas in a game where its result will go a long way in determining the regular season league champion. The Bears are unbeaten in league play and earned an impressive 67-55 victory during their trip to Lawrence back on January 11. For the Jayhawks to get revenge on their long conference loss, they will need to get stronger performances from their two stars — Devon Dotson and Udoka Azubuike — who combined for just 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting in the defeat. The key to the game for Baylor will be getting guards Jared Butler and MaCio Teague to once again control the game as they were able to in Lawrence. It is going to be an all out battle and it is definitely one all college hoops fans need to make time for when constructing their Saturday viewing schedule.

Keep Tabs On. #9 Penn State vs. Illinois; #5 Dayton vs. VCU; #11 Creighton vs. Marquette; #1 Baylor vs. Oklahoma; #10 Kentucky vs. LSU; #14 Seton Hall vs. Butler; #13 Villanova vs. Xavier; #2 Gonzaga vs. BYU; #9 Penn State vs. Indiana; #7 Maryland vs. Ohio State; #11 Creighton vs. Butler.

Conference Call.  Big 12 (3), ACC (3), Big East (3), Big Ten (2), SEC (2), Atlantic 10 (1), Mountain West (1), WCC (1).

WCarey (318 Posts)

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