2019-20 RTC16: Week 16

Posted by Walker Carey on March 9th, 2020

The final week of the regular season saw the resolution to many conference championship battles. In the SEC, #7 Kentucky secured the outright championship last week. In the Big 12, #1 Kansas clinched a share of the league title with a win over TCU on Tuesday and earned the outright crown with a win at Texas Tech on Saturday. The ACC saw #4 Florida Statewhich was picked to finish fifth in the preseason — take home the outright league title with wins over Notre Dame and Boston College coupled with #15 Louisville falling at Virginia. #14 Oregon used comfortable home wins over California and Stanford along with some help via UCLA and Arizona State losing to earn the outright Pac-12 title. The Big Ten and Big East races ended with three teams earning the privilege to hang a banner. #8 Michigan State, #13 Maryland and Wisconsin shared the Big Ten title while #9 Creighton, #10 Villanova and #12 Seton Hall split the Big East crown. This regular season was defined by the unexpected, so be on high alert for some surprises as the postseason hits its stride later this. This week’s Quick N’ Dirty is after the jump.

Quick N’ Dirty Analysis.

  • Kansas finishes the regular season as the unanimous #1. The outright regular season Big 12 champion remains in the top spot of the RTC16 as its postseason is set to commence later this week. The Jayhawks finished the regular season with a 28-3 overall record and a 17-1 mark in the Big 12. Bill Self‘s group has not lost since January 11 and has emerged as the betting favorite to win the 2020 National Championship. Not only did Kansas take home the league title, but it was also heavily featured when the conference awards were announced Sunday evening. Senior big man Udoka Azubuike was named Big 12 Player of the Year while junior wing Marcus Garrett took home the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year honor. Sophomore point guard Devon Dotson joined Azubuike on the all-conference first team. The postseason has proven time and time again that it is a completely different animal than the regular season, but it is difficult to find any indication that this Kansas team will lose any of its firepower as bracket play begins.
  • #3 Dayton ended the regular season on a 20-game win streak. Dayton finished its regular season in style, winning by 27 points at Rhode Island on Wednesday before finishing its home slate with a 25-point win over George Washington on Saturday. The Flyers have now won 20 straight games and are the only team in the country to go the entire season without losing either a home or road game, as both the team’s losses came on a neutral floor (to Kansas at the Maui Invitational and to Colorado at the Chicago Legends Classic). Anthony Grant‘s squad has gotten to 29-2 through a National Player of the Year-caliber season from sophomore forward Obi Toppin and excellent backcourt production from senior Trey Landers and juniors Jalen Crutcher and Ibi Watson. Do not discount Dayton because it plays in the Atlantic 10 — this team is a legitimate Final Four contender.
  • #11 Duke gets back on track. Duke was at a crossroads just a week ago following consecutive defeats at Wake Forest and Virginia. Instead of letting the end of their season go into the tank, the Blue Devils responded with a pair of inspired efforts in home wins over NC State and North Carolina. Duke received an unexpected spark in those two victories, as walk-on fifth-year senior Justin Robinson scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds against the Wolfpack before filling up the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, four blocks and three assists against the Tar Heels. Robinson’s performances led to Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski to remark, “It’s better than ‘Rudy.’ It’s almost like a movie. He’s been outstanding, and hopefully he keeps it going.” Duke is going to need heroic contributions from more than Robinson this month if it wants to get to where it would like to finish the season, but having a player like Robinson step up gives you a critical depth piece you now know you can rely on to perform.

Game (s) of the Week. The Big East Tournament. It would be wise to keep tabs on every game played this week, but to narrow it down to one event, the Big East Tournament should be considered appointment viewing. Consider it for these three reasons: (1) The league had three great teams (#9 Creighton, #10 Villanova, and #12 Seton Hall) finish tied for the league crown after a very competitive regular season; (2) The nation’s leading scorer, Marquette’s Markus Howard, will be on hand; (3) All action will take place at Madison Square Garden.

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)

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