With Houston and also Kansas, the top-two groups in recently’s survey, both dropping in the house (and alsoNo 3 Purdue hardly running away) over the weekend break, college basketball has actually formally ratcheted up a notch as we get in the last week of January.
The Cougars’ loss was the 5th by the leading group in the country and also the 2nd by Houston alone. North Carolina likewise had a set previously in the period, and also Purdue had its very own fault previously this month after 4 successive weeks atNo 1. The Boilermakers are back in addition to, however, as you’ll check out, they’ll have a great deal of job to do to exist a week from currently.
This week’s slate has lots of vital games and also includes what must be just one of the very best Saturdays of the period. The Big 12/SEC Challenge will certainly supply a quick reprieve from seminar play for numerous of the country’s leading groups, however it’s no break from high-level competitors. Couple that with a number of large games somewhere else, and also it’s an essential week prior to we turn the scheduleto February Without additional trouble …
This week’s topgames
No 9 Kansas atNo 17 Baylor (Monday, 9 p.m. on ESPN)– With the NFL no more using Saturdays or Mondays, college hoops takes spotlight. That begins tonight with Kansas tacklingBaylor The Jayhawks have actually shed two directly and also just had a triad of three-game shedding touches under Bill Self considering that 2003-04. Avoiding their 4th will certainly be no simple job.
Baylor has actually been even more up-and-down this period than in the previous 3 projects, however Scott Drew’s team appears to be figuring points out throughout a four-game winning touch. The Bears have actually discovered extra equilibrium offensively, with 3 various leading markers– Adam Flagler, Keyonte George and also LJ Cryer– in their last 3 games and also the Big 12’s ideal offending performance. Defense, however, has actually been the secret: The Bears are down to 67.5 PPG enabled over their last 4 after enabling 87.3 in their initial 3 seminar games.
Kansas, on the other hand, requires somebody to assistance Jalen Wilson, which “someone” possibly has to beGradey Dick The fresher celebrity has actually gone 7 of 26 from the area and also 3 of 16 from 3 in the two straight losses.
No 5 Kansas State atNo 12 Iowa State (Tuesday, 9 p.m. on ESPNU)– The Big 12-leading Wildcats can get additional splitting up from the pack with a win in Ames, while the Cyclones might relocate right into a connection atop the standings if they can protect house court.
This one functions contrasting designs. Iowa State has the seminar’s ideal protective score in organization play. Kansas State sporting activities the organization’sNo 2 offending score. Iowa State’s formula is rather uncomplicated: Pound the glass, produce a lots of turn overs (it has theNo 1 forced turn over price in Division I) and also secure the edge with theNo 2 block price in Big 12 play. With Robert Jones and also Osun Osunniyi holding back the center and also qualified shooters Jaren Holmes, Caleb Grill and also Gabe Kalscheur outside, the Cyclones have lots of choices for factors. The problem is they do not have any kind of extremely eruptive choices, while Kansas State has two: Markquis Nowell and also Keyontae Johnson, that rate initial and also 3rd, specifically, in the Big 12 in factors off seclusion ownerships. Johnson specifically might offer competition concerns for Iowa State’s 3- and also four-guard schedules.
No 13 Xavier atNo 19 UConn (Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. on FS1)– Back on New Year’s Eve, after that-No 22 Xavier handed after that-No 2 UConnSince after that, the Musketeers are 4-1 with a single, confounding loss to DePaul while the Huskies are simply 2-4.
In the initial conference, Xavier damaged UConn’s protection with 77 half-court factors. For referral, just one various other group has actually racked up also 65 half-court factors versus the Huskies this period. The stimulant was the pick-and-roll; UConn enabled a season-high 12 factors to rollers.
This is precisely what Xavier desires to do– and also is developed to do. Of the 111 D-I groups that have actually gone for the very least 75 pick-and-roll ownerships with the roller, Xavier rates 2nd in factors per property and also reliable basket percent, just behindCreighton Jack Nunge (initial 3 clips) and also Zach Freemantle (last clip) are competition headaches that can rim run or bulge to the 3-point line, and also with the Musketeers’ outstanding flooring spacing– 5 gamers are firing over 39% from deep– they have space to wander.
Utah State at San Diego State (Wednesday, 11 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)– Don’t ignore the mid-major meetings. The Aztecs lead the Mountain West with a 6-1 seminar document and also Utah State is just one of 4 groups one video game back at 5-2. The Aggies have not won at San Diego State considering that 1998, however.
Utah State is shooting 42.7% on 3-pointers, ideal in Division I, and also Steven Ashworth blazes a trail at 48.6%. Ashworth has deep variety that he utilizes both as a spot-up shooter and also off the dribble, and also he has a bunch of drifters and also joggers inside the arc. Reigning MWC Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Mensah will certainly have his job eliminated for him when taking care of displays.
No 10 Texas atNo 4 Tennessee (Saturday, 6 p.m. on ESPN)– Like I discussed previously, college basketball is benefiting from no NFL on Monday and also Saturday, and also the Saturday part functionsThe crown gem right here is possibly Texas atTennessee Both teams flaunt great deepness, with 9 or 10 gamers seeing routine activity. There are subplots galore right here, however the leading one is Rick Barnes training versus his previous program, where he’s the all-time victories leader.
Barnes’ present number, however, looks the component of one point he could not come to be in Austin: National champs. The Volunteers’ protection lead Division I in basket percent, 3-point percent, aid-to- turn over proportion and also, unsurprisingly, performance. Tennessee protects the edge well, pressures turn overs at a high price and also assaults the offending glass hard.
One location to watch will certainly be turn overs. Tennessee is 243rd in turn overs per video game, and also Texas is excellent at not just requiring turn overs however transforming them right into factors. The Longhorns’ 1.165 factors per property in shift is nine amongst 160 Division I groups with a minimum of 250 shift ownerships. They do not simply run hard. They keep up a function, producing terrific spacing.
No 9 Kansas at Kentucky (Saturday, 8 p.m. on ESPN)– Is Kentucky lastly figuring points out? The Wildcats supported a win at Tennessee with gain Georgia and also Texas A&M, and also they can match their lengthiest winning touch this period if they defeat Vanderbilt onTuesday The magic number is 10: Kentucky is 6-1 when it devotes 10 or less turn over and also 7-5 when it does not.
Kentucky leads the nation in offending recoiling percent many thanks to the amazing Oscar Tshiebwe, that is balancing 16.6 PPG and also 14.0 RPG, and also Kansas is not especially experienced at protecting against offending rebounds. We’ll see if the Jayhawks include a bit extra dimension than regular. Either means, Jalen Wilson, KJ Adams and also Kevin McCullar demand to lead the fee on the glass.
Michigan State atNo 1 Purdue (Sunday, 12:15 p.m. on CBS)– Just a week earlier, the Spartans and also Boilermakers treated us to, with Zach Edey’s 32-point, 17-rebound work of art aiding Purdue getaway East Lansing with a triumph.
The Spartans’ absence of deepness has actually impended huge this period; their 13.7 bench factors per video game is 325th in Division I and also last in theBig Ten It’ll be up to Tyson Walker, that had 30 factors in recently’s conference, to lead the fee once more.
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- With injuries and also disease around him, Kyle Filipowski has actually contributed in maintaining Duke afloat, and also the 7-footer will certainly have two great chances to display his video game today. On Monday, he’ll have a challenging competition versusVirginia Tech The Hokies have actually shed 7 directly however area the flooring well, commonly releasing 5 qualified, prepared 3-point shooters. Filipowski’s capability to protect precede will certainly be checked. On Saturday, he encountersGeorgia Tech Filipowski is 16th in the possibility positions and also .
- Arkansas has actually slid just recently, however Anthony Black played a massive function in finishing the Razorbacks’ four-game losing touch with 17 factors and also a career-high 8 helps in a swayOle Miss He has actually racked up in dual numbers in 3 straight games for the very first time considering thatNovember He encounters battling LSU on Tuesday and after that obtains a terrific examination versus guard-laden Baylor– and also possible fellow lotto game choice Keyonte George–Saturday Black is 10th in the possibility positions.
- Jarace Walker’s up-and-down fresher period proceeded recently with a set of silentgames He’ll have two chances to get on the right track today: initially on Wednesday at UCF and after that on Saturday versus Cincinnati, versus whom he had 21 factors previously this month. The Houston fresher is 14th in the possibility positions.