The Cowboys jump into first place this week. They got wins over South Florida 93-67, Purdue 97-87, and Butler 69-67 last week. Their only loss came at the hands of #21 Memphis (5-1) in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic 68-73. OSU had already beat Memphis this season on November 19th when Marcus Smart had 39 points, last night Memphis held him to 12 points. Next up for OSU is South Carolina.
The Jayhawks lost in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis to severely underrated Villanova (7-0) who went on to win the whole thing. Earlier in the tourney they knocked off Wake Forest 87-78, but after the loss to Nova played poorly in a close win to UTEP 67-63. Against UTEP Andrew Wiggins only had 6 points, and against Nova he had 10 points. KU has dropped to 2nd in the Big 12 Power Rankings, but has a chance to retake the #1 spot before non-conference ends with games on their schedule like #15 Florida and Georgetown. Their next matchup is on Saturday against Colorado.
#3 Iowa State
The Cyclones had the pleasure of skipping out playing any stiff competition over the Thanksgiving break as they opted out of playing in a holiday tournament. ISU took on Missouri-Kansas City (1-5) last Monday and trampled them 110-51 to remain undefeated on the season. DeAndre Kane had 20 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. ISU will play Auburn (4-1) tonight, then Northern Iowa (3-3) on Saturday.
The Bears got to the championship game at the Maui Invitational with wins over Chaminade 93-77, and Dayton 67-66. Then #8 Syracuse took the trophy over BU with a 74-67 win. Baylor bounced back in a huge way in Waco with a crushing victory over Hardin-Simmons 104-59. Brady Heslip hit 5 downtown shots and scored 17 points with 5 others chipping in with double digit scoring. Now the huge test of facing #3 Kentucky on Friday will show how good Baylor really is, the game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Don’t miss it!
The Sooners were another team with the luxury of not playing tough competition in a holiday tournament. Last Friday they cruised to the win over Arkansas-Little Rock 101-81. All the OU starters scored 11+ points. They will be busy this week trying to get three wins against Mercer (5-3), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (3-6), and George Mason (5-2). It won’t be simple, but the Sooners could be 8-1 after this week.
#6 West Virginia
The Mountaineers made it to the Cancun Challenge championship game by creaming Presbyterian 88-55 and easily handling Old Dominion 78-60. #10 Wisconsin stayed undefeated and knocked off WVU 70-63, but it was a close game. Eron Harris made 7 treys and scored 27 points. WVU is looking better than anyone had expected this season and gets a chance prove to it when they take on undefeated Missouri (7-0) on Thursday. First they must knock off Loyola-Maryland tonight.
The Longhorns finally got a loss on their record against BYU in the semifinals of the CBE Classic last Monday 82-86. They went on in the consolation game of the tourney to beat DePaul 77-59. On Friday they had a late comeback win against Texas-Arlington 72-69. Next up tonight is Vanderbilt (4-2), then Saturday against Temple (3-3). Both games will show if Texas is a legit contender.
#8 Texas Tech
Our Red Raiders got embarrassed by an underrated Pitt team at the Legends Classic in Brooklyn, NY. From the start we had a hard time scoring and Pitt ran with the big lead to end the game winning 76-53. The consolation game in Brooklyn against Houston was a different story as we went on to dominate most the entire game (except the beginning minutes of the 2nd half). The 76-64 victory was much needed after the spanking by Pitt. Krista Pirtle of the Avalanche-Journal said our players called a team meeting after the Pitt loss because losing that way “isn’t acceptable”. It showed in the Houston game, and also in the Texas-San Antonio game as we whipped up 94-64. Now it’s time to face the tremendous task of hanging with #4 Arizona (7-0) who just beat #6 Duke in the NIT Season Tip-off tourney. The game is Tuesday in Tucson, it’s time to see what our team is made of. Wreck ‘em Tech!
The Horned Frogs made it to the Great Alaskan Shootout championship game with wins over Alaska-Anchorage 73-70 and Tulsa 72-65. They weren’t pretty wins, but they were wins and they did make it to the title game of the tourney. Harvard knocked off TCU in the title game fairly easily 71-50. This Thursday TCU gets the challenge to face Mississippi State.
#10 Kansas State
The Wildcats stay in the cellar even though they did cruise to a victory over Central Arkansas 87-54 last night. The way to start climbing out of the bottom ranking is to get an impressive win over undefeated Ole Miss (7-0) Thursday in Manhattan.
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