RTC Top 25: Week Thirteen

Posted by Walker Carey on February 10th, 2014

The first full week of February has come and gone and with that another thrilling week of college basketball. The Big Ten race is no clearer than it was a week ago, as #9 Michigan State and #12 Michigan continue to keep pace with one another. The injury-laden Spartans are now 9-2 in conference play after a victory Thursday over Penn State and a narrow loss Sunday at #24 Wisconsin. The Wolverines are also now 9-2 in conference play after a blowout victory Wednesday over Nebraska and a decisive defeat Saturday at the hands of #12 Iowa. With approximately a month to go in the regular season, it will be interesting to see whether either school can grab control of the conference lead or if this close race will go down to the very end. In other movement, previously #20 Oklahoma State continued its free fall last week, as the Cowboys fell at home to #15 Iowa State on Monday and suffered a fairly surprising road defeat Saturday at Texas Tech. Just two weeks ago, Oklahoma State was sitting pretty at #9 in the RTC25 and is now an unranked team that will be without its most critical player for the next three games. This goes to show that the unexpected should become the expected in college basketball. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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Quick n’ dirty analysis.

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RTC Top 25: Week Twelve

Posted by Walker Carey on February 3rd, 2014

This past week of college basketball was highlighted by a plethora of upsets – especially over the weekend when we saw six top 10 teams fall victim to the upset bug. Starting at the top, previously unbeaten and top-ranked Arizona suffered its first setback of the season Saturday evening when it was bested on the road by California. Previously 4th-ranked Kansas was also a road victim earlier in the day, as the Jayhawks were thoroughly outmanned in a defeat at the hands of Texas. Previously 6th-ranked Michigan State, a team that is suffering through well-documented injury issues, started its week off with a bang by winning in overtime at Iowa. But that victory proved to be the Spartans’ only positive tally of the week, as they fell to unranked Georgetown on Saturday in a non-conference game played at Madison Square Garden. Previously 7th-ranked Michigan entered Sunday’s game at Indiana as one of the hottest teams in America — the Wolverines had won 10 consecutive games and sat atop the Big Ten standings with an 8-0 record. None of that mattered in Bloomington though, as John Beilein’s team struggled offensively throughout a 63-52 defeat. Previously 9th-ranked Oklahoma State suffered what was probably the most puzzling loss of the week, as the Cowboys were bested at home on Saturday by a Baylor team that had lost six of its last seven games prior to Saturday. With February now in full swing, there is really not much that can be considered unexpected – especially with how this season has played out thus far – so you should expect even more shocking upsets moving forward as teams jockey for March position. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 02.03.14

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RTC Top 25: Week Eleven

Posted by WCarey on January 27th, 2014

With conference play now in full force, last week was one where several teams distinguished themselves as bona fide contenders in their respective conferences. Previously #22 Creighton traveled to previously #4 Villanova last Monday and the Bluejays used an epic three-point shooting performance to throttle the Wildcats in Philadelphia, 96-68. Michigan, a team that had quietly been making a move in the RTC25, had a very impressive week as well. The previously #15 Wolverines took care of business at home on Wednesday by defeating previously #7 Iowa, 75-67. John Beilein’s squad was not done there, though, as it traveled to East Lansing on Saturday and bested a previously #3 Michigan State squad (without two starters, of course). After its high quality week, Michigan is now all alone in first place in the Big Ten standings with a sterling 7-0 record. #17 Cincinnati also continued to look like a real contender in the AAC, as it remained undefeated in league play with victories over UCF and Temple. With the month of February set to begin next weekend, more teams will begin to distinguish themselves as contenders or pretenders. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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RTC Top 25: Week Ten

Posted by Walker Carey on January 20th, 2014

Another week of the college basketball season is in the books and with that came results that had a significant impact on this week’s RTC25. Previously unbeaten and third-ranked Wisconsin experienced the agony of defeat twice this past week, as the Badgers fell on the road to Indiana on Tuesday and were surprised at home by upstart #15 Michigan on Saturday. Staying within the Big Ten, Ohio State‘s losing streak reached three games with Thursday’s loss at Minnesota. Previously 11th-ranked Iowa State and previously 17th-ranked Baylor also had tough weeks. The Cyclones were bested at home by #8 Kansas on Monday before dropping another game at Texas on Saturday. The Bears suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of Texas Tech on Wednesday before returning home to Waco and blowing a late lead in a loss to Oklahoma. We are now in the thick of things in conference play, and if the past several weeks can serve as any indication, the excitement and surprises will continue throughout the remainder of the season. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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RTC Top 25: Week Nine

Posted by WCarey on January 13th, 2014

Another week of college basketball is in the books and with that was another week of noteworthy upsets. Previously undefeated and third-ranked Ohio State relearned the rigors of the Big Ten, as the Buckeyes fell twice this past week – at #4 Michigan State on Tuesday and at home to #8 Iowa on Sunday. Having lost its first ACC game to Notre Dame, #24 Duke rebounded nicely with a home win over Georgia Tech before suffering another conference loss – this time on the road to Clemson. Previously 13th-ranked Oregon and 17th-ranked Colorado discovered the perils of Pac-12 play, as the Ducks dropped home games to California and Stanford, and the Buffaloes were thoroughly outmanned in a loss at Washington on Sunday. If the first two weeks of conference play serve as any indication, the conference season will be full of excitement, surprises, and a rather fluid RTC25 the rest of the way. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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Quick n’ dirty Analysis.

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RTC Top 25: Week Eight

Posted by WCarey on January 6th, 2014

Conference play started with a bang last week, featuring a good number of upsets. Of last week’s top 10, the group of #6 Oklahoma State, #7 Oregon, #10 Duke, and #10 Kansas failed to avoid the upset bug over a very interesting weekend. On Saturday, the Cowboys and Blue Devils rediscovered just how difficult it is to win on the road in conference play, losing to suddenly hot Kansas State and Notre Dame, respectively. Oregon fell from the ranks of the unbeaten on Sunday when it lost to #17 Colorado in Boulder, while Kansas suffered its first non-conference home defeat since 2006 when it was outdone by #14 San Diego State. While these four teams were remain in this week’s RTC25, neither of previously #17 Connecticut and #20 Memphis were as fortunate. The Huskies’ foray into AAC play started out poorly by falling at Houston on Tuesday and at SMU on Saturday. The Tigers also suffered a setback in their first AAC contest as they dropped one to a surging Cincinnati squad. If last week serves as any indication, conference play this season will be full of great excitement, surprises and a rather fluid RTC25 each week the rest of the way. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 01.06.14 Quick n’ dirty Analysis.

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RTC Top 25: Week Seven

Posted by Walker Carey on December 30th, 2013

The last week of primarily non-conference play has wrapped up and both of its remaining premier match-ups took place on Saturday with top 10 Villanova taking its undefeated record to Syracuse and the Battle for the Bluegrass in Lexington between preseason top three teams Louisville and Kentucky. Both games saw the home team prevail, as Syracuse weathered an early Villanova run and dominated the second half to cruise to a 78-62 victory, while Kentucky’s youth movement gelled very well and treated Big Blue Nation to a 73-66 win. With conference play in many leagues set to begin this week, it will be interesting to see how quickly and substantially the impact of playing familiar foes has on future polls. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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RTC Top 25: Week Six

Posted by Walker Carey on December 23rd, 2013

Another week of the college basketball season is in the books and if there was a theme of this past week, it would have been the setbacks suffered by several undefeated teams. The first team to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten was Pittsburgh, which suffered its first loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday at the Jimmy V Classic. This theme continued Wednesday when previously eighth-ranked and unbeaten Connecticut suffered its first setback at home against Stanford. Then on Saturday, previously unbeaten and 19th-ranked Massachusetts tasted its first defeat of the season when the Minutemen lost to Florida State. Similarly, Missouri and Saint Mary’s — each a previously unbeaten team that received votes in the poll last week — had their perfect seasons come to an end against Illinois and South Carolina, respectively. With only nine unbeaten teams now left (#1 Arizona, #2 Syracuse, #4 Ohio State, #5 Wisconsin, #8 Villanova, #9 Oregon, #12 Wichita State, #14 Iowa State, and Toledo), it will be interesting to see which among this group will remain unbeaten the longest. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 12.23.13

Quick n’ dirty analysis.

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RTC Top 25: Week Five

Posted by WCarey on December 16th, 2013

Another week of the college basketball season is in the books, as the full start of conference play is right around the corner. While things were mostly status quo this past week, three teams in particular – #11 North Carolina, #15 Kansas, and #18 Kentucky – played game(s) that factored greatly in this week’s poll. Youthful Kentucky was able to fight off a solid Boise State squad on Tuesday in Lexington, but the previously eighth-ranked Wildcats fell in Chapel Hill Saturday to a North Carolina team that now owns victories over Kentucky, Louisville, and Michigan State along with its losses to Belmont and UAB. Kansas had a rough trip down to Gainesville where it was thoroughly dominated by Florida on Tuesday night, but the previously 10th-ranked Jayhawks shook off that tough defeat Saturday when they were able to defeat a strong New Mexico squad at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

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RTC Top 25: Week Four

Posted by WCarey on December 9th, 2013

Michigan State‘s early season stronghold on the top spot in the rankings has come to an end, as the Spartans were upset victims last Wednesday at home against North Carolina. The Spartans were not the only top 10 team to suffer a loss last week, as previously third-ranked Kentucky fell to Baylor on Friday in a game played at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Previously sixth-ranked Kansas returned to action for the first time in a week on Saturday and was promptly defeated via a buzzer-beater from Colorado. As upsets of top teams has been a trend thus far, new #1 Arizona was able to remain on the winning track with a blowout win over Texas Tech and a narrow home victory over UNLV. Considering all the ranked teams that have fallen so far this season, it is safe to say that this week’s Top 25 should be on the lookout for upset-minded squads seeking a highly-ranked scalp. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 12.09.13

 Quick n’ dirty analysis.

  • There Is No Clear #2 Team. Arizona earned every vote for the #1 spot this week, but there was no such consensus when it came to the next team. #2 Syracuse, #3 Louisville, and #4 Ohio State all received votes for the #2 team in the country with the Orange ultimately receiving the nod with an average ballot placement of 3.0. This is quite different from last week when Arizona received every #2 vote from our pollsters. This has been quite the uncertain year thus far in college basketball and the lack of consensus after #1 serves to illustrate that.

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RTC Top 25: Week Three

Posted by Walker Carey on December 2nd, 2013

Feast Week usually marks the start of the craziness in the college basketball season and this past week was no different. While the week was kind to #1 Michigan State, #2 Arizona, #3 Kentucky, and #4 Syracuse at or near the top of the poll, #6 Kansas, #9 Oklahoma State, and #10 Duke, among others, experienced the agony of defeat. Arizona shot up to #2 following its victories over Drexel and Duke to take home the Preseason NIT title, while Syracuse remained undefeated out in Maui with wins over Minnesota, California, and #22 Baylor to claim the tournament crown there. Kansas suffered its first setback of the young season on Friday night as the young Jayhawks fell to fast-rising #16 Villanova in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis. Oklahoma State, which had throttled #21 Memphis by 21 in Stillwater back on November 19, fell to the same Tigers’ squad Sunday evening in the final of the Old Spice Classic. As they say, college basketball is where the unexpected becomes the ordinary. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 12.02.13

 Quick n’ dirty analysis:

  • Michigan State Remains At #1 For A Third Consecutive Week. The Spartans took care of business in their only game of the week by topping Mount Saint Mary’s on Friday. They did overcome a bit of adversity though, as star guard Gary Harris sat out of that contest dealing with an ankle injury. Tom Izzo’s squad will be tested this Wednesday, however, as a North Carolina squad that has already defeated Louisville will invade the Breslin Center for what should be a hotly-contested affair.

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RTC Top 25: Week Two

Posted by rtmsf on November 25th, 2013

We’re now two weeks into the season and there’s not a whole lot more clarity in the poll than there was last week. Michigan State is a strong #1, but #2 Kansas is nipping on the Spartans’ heels and #3 Kentucky and #4 Arizona are not far behind. Then things start to get muddled. Louisville put doubt into everyone’s minds with its no-show versus North Carolina, while Oklahoma State is soaring as a result of its fantastic beatdown of Memphis. Duke‘s close call versus Vermont led pollsters to devalue the Blue Devils, while Connecticut‘s close win over Indiana pushed the Huskies to the edge of the Top 10. And then there are a bunch of teams that people still haven’t gotten a great handle on — the good news is that for schools like Syracuse, Gonzaga and Creighton, we’ll know a lot more about them at this time next week — Feast Week will make sure of it. The quick n’ dirty analysis of this week’s poll is after the jump.

rtc25 11.25.13

Quick n’ Dirty Analysis:

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