College Top 25 Recap: Rivalry Week
A recap of all the wild college hoops action that went down over the last week.
14. UNLV (21-4, 5-2)
The high-powered Rebels were stunned by Wyoming over the weekend losing 68-66 thanks to a staunch defensive effort from the Cowboys. UNLV doesn’t get a break and has to regroup fast as they take on San Diego State and look to avoid a season sweep by the Aztecs. The Rebels do everything at a high level. They rebound, score and share the ball better than almost every other team in the country and with Mike Moser and Chace Stanback they have the star power to hang with any team, anywhere.
15. Florida State (16-7, 7-2)
The Seminoles are currently in a three-way tie with Duke and Carolina for the lead in the ACC. I am just as shocked as you are. The ‘Noles survived against Virginia but may have been riding a bit too high as they fell to the lowly Boston College Eagles on Wednesday night—the Eagles first win over a ranked opponent in three years. FSU has a chance to rebound this weekend against in-state rival Miami, but has to be careful as the Hurricanes just upset Duke last week.
16. Saint Mary’s (22-3, 11-1)
The matchup between the Gaels and Murray State certainly lost some of its allure last night as both teams fell to conference rivals. Saint Mary’s lost by 14 to Gonzaga proving that the Zags aren’t ready to give up WCC supremacy yet. The Gaels should have no problem with Santa Clara this weekend but now face a must-win situation every game. If they drop out of the Top-25 and lose their conference to Gonzaga, an at-large bid is not guaranteed.
17. Creighton (21-4, 11-3)
The Bluejays have lost two games in a row and have fallen out of first place in the Missouri Valley Conference. After being upset by Northern Iowa at the buzzer over the weekend, Creighton lost to .500 Evansville in a let down game. Despite the two losses, Doug McDermott should be getting some looks for National Player of the Year. The 6-7 sophomore is averaging 23.3 points and 8.4 rebounds a game and is shooting a ridiculous 50 percent from the field. He may play in a small conference, but there is no doubting this guy’s talent and game. McDermott and Co. have a crucial matchup against conference leader Wichita State this weekend and they have to come ready as this is a perfect opportunity for the Shockers to prove they are the best team in the conference and sneak into the Top-25.
18. Marquette ( 20-5, 9-3)
After losing in South Bend to the rising Fighting Irish, Marquette won their rivalry game against DePaul on Monday. Marquette, who has been led by Darius Johnson-Odom all year, has a matchup with Cincinatti this weekend then has a week off before they take on UConn. The Golden Eagles are currently second in the Big East, two games behind the Orange.
19. Virginia (19-4, 6-3)
Showing no ill-effects from a tough loss against the Seminoles, Virginia cruised by Wake Forest, winning 68-44 at home. They have an interesting matchup with Carolina on Saturday and have to be careful not to get behind early as they are one of the worst performing offensive teams in the nation. If the Cavalilers have any shot in beating the Tar Heels it will be thanks to their stingy defense which has been their staple all year.
20. Mississippi State (19-5, 6-3)
Just how good are the Bulldogs? In Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney, they have one of the best frontcourts in the SEC and they have four players who average in double-figures. The problem with them seems to be inconsistency as two out of their three conference losses have come to Ole Miss and Arkansas (with the other coming against Florida). The Bulldogs also barely beat Auburn earlier this week, escaping 91-88. The Bulldogs made up for their earlier loss against Ole Miss by beating up on the Rebels 70-60 last night. Don’t be surprised if they give Kentucky a scare later this month. They have the length up front to matchup with the Wildcats and Kentucky has not faced them yet this season–should be an interesting matchup.
21. Wisconsin (19-6, 8-4)
The painfully boring Badgers lost a tough one to Ohio State last Saturday and got a scare from Minnesota last night, needing overtime to defeat them. The Badgers now have a week off before their matchup with Michigan State next week. I nearly fell asleep typing that.
22. Michigan (18-7, 8-4)
The Wolverines had no answer for Draymond Green inside and fell to Michigan State 64-54 on Sunday. The Wolverines have been inconsistent during Big 10 play, often losing the next game following a win. After beating Nebraska on Wednesday, they will look to buck that trend on Sunday against Illinois. Though, maybe they will want to take the loss as their next game comes against Ohio State.
23. Indiana (19-6, 7-6)
The Hoosiers have lost five of their last nine and if it wasn’t for a few big wins early in the season, they probably wouldn’t be ranked at all. Thanks to last night’s win against Illinois, they are now 7-6 in conference play and have been wildly inconsistent. The Hoosiers have a week off to regroup and get focused for the rest of the season. Behind Cody Zeller, they should win their next three games against Northwestern, Iowa and NC Central.
24. Louisville (19-5, 7-4)
After a tough stretch that saw them lose by 31 to Providence, Louisville has gotten back on track and won six out of their last seven, beating up on the bottom half of the Big East. The Cardinals are quietly playing some of the best basketball in the country right now and with Peyton Siva bringing experienced guard play into the post season, they may be one of those under the radar teams that makes noise in March. Louisville has a chance to get back on the national scene when they take on Syracuse next week at the KFC Yum! Center.
25. Harvard (20-2, 6-0)
This Harvard team is for real and are doing it with defense. They have not given up over 6o points in a game in over a month and held Yale to 35 points at the end of January. At 20-2, the Crimson are off to their best start in school history and will cause problems in whoever they matchup with in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.