2020-21 RTC16: Week 7

Posted by Matthew Eisenberg on January 11th, 2021

After trailing most of the second-half, Texas rallied from five down in the final two-minutes to escape West Virginia with a win. Shaka Smart’s team has now picked up road wins at both Kansas and West Virginia over the past 10 days. While Michigan, Iowa and Wisconsin escaped any damage in the Big Ten this past week, the middle of the conference continued to beat on each other with Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern and Rutgers all losing at least one game over the last seven days. The RTC16 has plenty of consensus on the top 12 teams, while the bottom four spots this week are filled with varying opinions.

Conference Breakdown: Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), ACC (2), Big East (2), AAC (1), SEC (1), WCC (1)

Risers

  • Gonzaga: While Gonzaga cannot rise any higher than its position at the top of the RTC16, they continued to show just how dangerous they can be. In Saturday’s win over Portland, Joel Ayayi’s triple-double was the first in Gonzaga program history. After averaging 10.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game a season ago, Ayayi is averaging 11.8 points and a team-best 8.1 boards per game. Flying under the radar behind Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs and Drew Timme, Ayayi is another piece to the puzzle that makes this team special.
  • Clemson: Clemson makes its first appearance in the RTC16 after an overtime win this past week against NC State. Clemson now has five wins over KenPom top-50 ranked opponents, with its lone loss coming on the road against Virginia Tech. After shooting 46.3 percent from the field in his first three years at Clemson, senior Aamir Simms is shooting 56.1 percent while averaging 12.6 points per game.
  • UCLA: After escaping with an overtime win in Tempe, the Bruins led much of the second half in a win against Arizona in Tucson. UCLA is now 5-0 in Pac-12 play, having won 12 of its last 13 league games going back to last season. While the defense still has room to grow, the Bruins have the league’s best offensive efficiency, effective field-goal percentage, and three-point percentage. The Bruins sit just outside the top 16, but picked up multiple votes this week.

Fallers

  • Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights had an 0-2 week with a pair of double-figure losses. It was a tough shooting week for Ron Harper and Geo Baker who went a combined 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. The team’s struggles at the free-throw line also continued, as the Knights were a mere 11-of-27 at the line. The struggles allowed Ohio State and Michigan State to outscore Rutgers by 25 points with the clock stopped.
  • Minnesota: Minnesota finished the week 0-2 after dropping both of its games away from home. The Golden Gophers’ offense did not crack the 1.0 PPP mark in either game, while the defense allowed 1.21 and 1.19 points per possession. Through seven Big Ten games, the Minnesota offense now ranks 13th in three-point percentage and last in two-point field-goal percentage.
  • Missouri: Cuonzo Martin’s Missouri club led Mississippi State 43-29 with 18:28 to go in a game last Tuesday night. The Tigers saw State finish the game on a 49-20 run. After committing just one turnover in the first half, Missouri turned it over seven times after the break.

Notable Upcoming Games

  • Tuesday: Wisconsin @ Michigan, 7 PM EST, ESPN
  • Wednesday: Texas Tech @ Texas, 9 PM EST, ESPN2
  • Thursday: San Diego State @ Utah State, 9 PM EST, CBS Sports Network
  • Thursday: Washington State @ UCLA, 5 PM EST, Fox Sports 1
  • Friday: Villanova @ Connecticut, 9 PM EST, Fox Sports 1
  • Saturday: Baylor @ Texas Tech, 4 PM EST, ESPN
Matthew Eisenberg (121 Posts)


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