2019-20 RTC16: Week 15

Posted by Walker Carey on March 2nd, 2020

In case you have not heard by now, “This is March.” With the calendar finally turning to college basketball’s premier month, the regular season is winding down. And continuing with the unexpected nature of this season, several ranked teams were once again tripped up by unranked foes over the weekend. #13 Duke was the week’s most notable victim. The Blue Devils’ first loss came last Tuesday at Wake Forest when they blew a nine-point lead with 1:21 to play in regulation and ended up losing by 12 in double-overtime. Mike Krzyzewski‘s group then suffered its second loss of the week on Saturday when it was unable to overcome Virginia’s stifling defense in a 52-50 defeat. #4 Baylor had developed a well-earned reputation as one of the surest things in the country this season, but that reputation took a hit Saturday when the Bears suffered their second defeat in three games at TCU. #8 Florida State and #11 Creighton also joined the party in suffering upset losses on the road with the Seminoles falling at Clemson and the Bluejays getting hit with a flurry of three-pointers in a 20-point loss at St. John’s. If the trend of ranked teams taking unexpected losses continues throughout the rest of this month, it is likely this March will go down as one to remember. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty after the jump.

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Kansas remains at #1. Kansas is still in the top spot in this week’s RTC16, but it was not without a little game pressure. After the Jayhawks easily dispatched Oklahoma State at home last Monday night, they went on the road to face intrastate rival Kansas State for the first time since January’s ugly brawl in Lawrence. Though it was heavily favored against the hapless Wildcats, Kansas needed a late surge coupled with a dynamic Devon Dotson performance to emerge from Manhattan with a 62-58 victory. With Baylor falling at TCU on Saturday, Bill Self‘s squad now has a one-game lead in the Big 12 standings with a home game against TCU on Wednesday and a trip to Texas Tech on Saturday, as the Jayhawks try to start a new Big 12 regular season championship streak.
  • #7 Seton Hall’s historic season continues. Seton Hall has already clinched a share of its first Big East regular season title since 1993, and it has the opportunity to build on that terrific accomplishment when #15 Villanova comes to town. A win there would ensure an outright Big East regular season title, as the Pirates enter the final week of the campaign with a two-game lead in the standings. Senior guard Myles Powell rightfully garners most of the attention for Seton Hall’s terrific season, but senior guard Quincy McKnight and junior forward Sandro Mamukelashvili deserve praise as well — as they are two of the country’s best glue guys.
  • Is #12 Michigan State finally hitting its stride? Michigan State has unquestionably been through an up-and-down season. The Spartans began the season as the preseason #1 team in the polls — and while they are still a very good team, it would be incorrect to say they have lived up to those expectations. That trend may be changing now though as Tom Izzo‘s group appears to be playing its best basketball of the season. A comeback victory over Iowa on Tuesday and a road dismantling of #10 Maryland on Saturday showed why this Michigan State team was viewed in the preseason as a surefire Final Four pick. Senior point guard Cassius Winston and junior forward Xavier Tillman are one of the country’s best duos and if they can keep up their recent play, the Spartans will be a very tough out this postseason.

Game of the Week. #7 Seton Hall vs. #15 Villanova. It is rare in sports when you are able to pinpoint an exact “changing of the guard” moment, but that is what will happen at the Prudential Center on Wednesday night if Seton Hall is able to complete the season sweep of Villanova and clinch the outright Big East regular season title. The Wildcats have won six of the last seven league crowns, so a Seton Hall victory there would certainly be a changing of the guard for the league. The match-up to keep an eye on will be between the two backcourts, as Villanova guards Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore were held to just 6-of-22 shooting in Seton Hall’s 70-64 win back on February 8. If Pirates guards Myles Powell and Quincy McKnight once again get the best of the Villanova guards, Seton Hall should be outright league champions by the end of the night.

Keep Tabs On. #4 Baylor vs. Texas Tech; #10 Maryland vs. Rutgers; #12 Michigan State vs. Penn State; #3 Dayton vs. Rhode Island; #1 Kansas vs. Texas Tech; #7 Seton Hall vs. #11 Creighton; #9 Louisville vs. Virginia; #10 Maryland vs. Michigan; #12 Michigan State vs. Ohio State.

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

WCarey (318 Posts)

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *