NCAA Men’s Basketball Weekly Recap

NCAA Men’s Basketball Weekly Recap

Team of the week: Texas Tech

My team of the week this week is the Red Raiders. This team has looked immaculate since the beginning of January and beat Kansas and Baylor, both away games, in back-to-back games only three days apart.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Weekly Recap
Texas Tech has impressed recently and looks poised to be an NCAA college basketball sleeper come March.

Now they’ve had another tremendous week, beating the University of Texas in Austin as well as beating Baylor at home. The Red Raiders are also yet to drop a game at home this season, as well as becoming the only team this year to beat Baylor twice.

Exciting results

On Saturday we had plenty of exciting games, but a few stood out. Florida vs Auburn was an exciting back and forth game that saw Florida out to a lead, Auburn come back to take a nine-point lead, and then Florida power through in the last eight minutes and steal the game out of Auburn’s hands.

Tyree Appleby for the University of Florida scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half, mounting an amazing comeback by the Gators. This is their first win over a ranked team since beating 20th ranked Florida State at the beginning of the season.

Kentucky vs Tennessee was another intriguing result. The Kentucky Wildcats are perennial contenders for the NCAA Tournament. This year is no different, but they need to win games like this down the stretch. Losing to this Tennessee team is nothing to be ashamed of, they’re a solid team. But if Kentucky expects to make a run this year they cannot be losing games like this.

Kentucky has not made the Championship game since 2014 and has not won since 2012. These are tough standards to be held to, no doubt, but Kentucky has to be held to them if they expect to remain a top-tier program.

Teams I’m loving right now

The Arkansas Razorbacks have one of the coolest stories in basketball this season. After starting the season 9-0, Arkansas lost five of six, including its first three SEC games in a row. Since then the Razorbacks have gone 11-1, beating 12th ranked LSU, 16th ranked Tennessee, and number one ranked Auburn. Their only loss was a one-point loss in an away game against a very tough Alabama team.

This team has four SEC games left and I can’t wait to see them play in the tournament. I’ll be looking to see them as a five seed.

The Arizona Wildcats have been consistently dominant all year. However, similar to Gonzaga, the question is “Can they win it all?” Arizona has shown they have the ability to beat anybody in the country.

Arizona has only lost two games all year, and one was a close game with Tennessee. They also got blown out by UCLA before playing them around a week later and winning by 10.

The Wildcats should have an easy look at a one seed assuming they can win the rest of their games. I’m excited to see how they play in the tournament.

Power Rankings: Top Ten

I’m going to give you a power ranking of the best ten teams in college basketball.

1. Gonzaga– They’re the best team in the country without a doubt. They’ve won 16 straight and only lost to ranked teams. Will their strength of schedule hurt them? Or will they finally win the title they’ve been chasing the past few years?

2. Arizona– Arizona has also only lost to ranked teams, but is less clean on the boards and commits more turnovers. Has great potential to win this year.

3. Purdue– I love the Boilermakers ability to stay in games. Apart from a blowout loss to Michigan, Purdue has been playing clean basketball all season.

4. Auburn– Recency bias may be swaying me, but after watching Auburn lose to Florida it’s hard for me to put them in my top three. Still think this may be their year to win the tournament though.

5. Kentucky– This Kentucky team when fully healthy is possibly the best team in the country. They’ve already beaten Kansas by 18 and have only lost to ranked opponents this calendar year.

6. Kansas– Kansas is always a powerhouse, but this year they look to really strap in and make a run to the tournament finals. They now lead the Big-12 by a fair margin after Texas Tech defeated Baylor.

7. Duke– This Duke team is incredibly skilled but the way they play teams so closely makes me nervous. I genuinely don’t see this Duke team doing anything past the sweet 16 this year.

8. Texas Tech– The Red Raiders are a huge team who dominates the glass and can hit shots all over the floor. Texas Tech is undefeated at home, and I don’t expect that to change.

9. Villanova– After losing two of five to start the season, the Wildcats have now only lost two of their last 18. They sit in second in the Big East behind a Providence team they have already beaten.

10. Baylor– The Bears won their first 15 games of the season before dropping three out of six games. Since then they’re three and three with a win over number 20 Texas as well as losses to Kansas and Texas Tech.

 


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