With football not having a ton going on (outside of Army vs. Navy, and the Heisman) and with the winter weather now upon us, maybe you've had the chance to watch some basketball. Perhaps not, but either way, you know when that white stuff falls from the sky, and the temperatures get in the single digits, that it's basketball season. I put this little thing together every week because I like talking college basketball as a whole, and so that somebody who likes the Cyclones but doesn't really follow basketball can get a high level summary of what the Cyclones did, how the Big 12 stacks up, what the good teams are nationally, and some idea of a game or two to watch if they feel like watching a game. So here we go!
Iowa State Recap
Iowa State went 3-0 this week, blowing out (as expected) Southeast Missouri State 85-58, then going to Carver-Hawkeye and getting one against Iowa in Iowa City for the first time in 2002, then finishing the week out with a 65-54 win over Texas Southern. Scott Christopherson dropped 59 points over the three games, including a 30-spot against Hawks (career high). Christopherson also now leads the nation in three pointers made (39 in 11 games), and is shooting about 55% from beyond the arc.
I was happy to see Iowa State gut out a big W against Iowa, being down 9 at the half. Especially after we saw how Iowa State faded against Cal and UNI. It seems like the group is learning from previous mistakes/experiences and that is a good sign.
The Cyclones now have a week off, before facing Dartmouth at home on Sunday, December 19, at 1pm CST. This is the time of year when the teams really wind down during finals week, play only a handful more games, before getting into conference play. In college football, this is that Week 3 or Week 4 game, before playing your conference opener.
Ken Pomeroy Rankings:
This week: #70, projected to go 18-12, 6-10
Last week: #72, projected to go 18-13, 6-10
Big 12 Power Ratings, Top 16, TV Picks After The Jump!
Big 12 Power Ratings:
1. Kansas (2-0 this week, 9-0 overall). Got big Ws over Memphis as part of the Jimmy V. Classic 81-68, and then took on Colorado State in Kansas City, downing them 76-55. There just are not a lot of weaknesses being exposed on the Jayhawks side. This week they've got USC at home on Saturday. A week from now, they should be sitting at 10-0.
2. Baylor (0-0 this week, 6-0 overall). Did not play this week. I'm still skeptical about them, but after KU #1, 2-5 seem to be wide open. The Bears take on Bethune Cookman and Gonzaga this week.
3. Kansas State (2-0 this week, 9-1 overall). Beat Alcorn St and won @ Loyola Chicago. Ho-hum. This week, they've got Florida and UNLV. We should see what the Wildcats are made of this week. Should be fun.
4. Missouri (2-0 this week, 8-1 overall). Big win over Vanderbilt in OT 85-82 earlier this week. Anytime you can beat a Top 25-30 type of a team in the non-conference play, it's great. They've got Oral Roberts and Central Arkansas, and should go 2-0 for the second consecutive week.
5. Texas (1-0 this week, 7-2 overall). Part of me thinks I still have them too high. That loss @ USC is just brutal. I realize it's basketball and things happen, but losing by 17 to that team is a head scratcher, coming from a group that is expected to go dancing this year. They've got North Florida and UNC this week.
6. Texas A&M (2-0 this week, 9-1 overall). I'm not mad at A&M at all. After beating Prairie View A&M 87-63, they beat Washington 63-62 at home. A&M is going to be a bubble team this year, in my opinion, and if you can beat a team that's supposed to finish at the top of a BCS conference, that helps the resume. The Aggies face Arkansas on Saturday.
7. Oklahoma State (2-0 this week, 9-1 overall). Got two nice victories this week over Tulsa (71-54) and Missouri State (84-70). Sneak peaking to the rest of the year, Oklahoma State has a nice little three game stretch against Alabama, Stanford, and Gonzaga. Should be an interesting couple of weeks for the Cowboys.
8. Iowa State (3-0 this week, 9-2 overall). The teams ranked below ISU have failed to win a game on the road. I don't know where ISU finishes, but they deserve to be right here for at least this week.
9. Nebraska (2-0 this week, 8-2 overall). Beat Alcorn St and TCU. The Huskers have failed to play a road game yet this year, although they have played a couple of netural site games in Puerto Rico (and lost). In fact, the Huskers won't play a road game until they go to Mizzou on Jan 12th. Something tells me they may have a tough year in conference play, as they aren't getting that road experience. Guess we will see. For now, they've got Eastern Washington on Saturday this week.
10. Colorado (1-0 this week, 5-3 overall). The Buffs took down instate rival Colorado State at home 90-83 in OT. Hey, it's not pretty, but at least they are above .500. Higgins and Burks are putting up 17 and 20 points per game respectively, but this team is just not getting enough help to be as dangerous as some expected. I thought this was an NIT team, but they aren't even playing like that right now. They've got The Citadel and Longwood this week. Sounds like 2 more Ws for this squad.
11. Oklahoma (2-0 this week, 5-5 overall). Beat Gardner Webb (71-58) and Oral Roberts (73-60). They've got Cincy on Saturday. Are things turning around for the Sooners? They had a good enough week to crawl out of the bottom spot... For now.
12. Texas Tech (0-1 this week, 5-5 overall). Lost to TCU 81-77 (a team Nebraska beat). The Red Raiders go to UTEP on Saturday, as will probably drop to 5-6. Does anybody in Lubbock care? Do they even know they have a basketball team?
1. Duke (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #1 last week). This past week was apparently "whoop up mid-major at home" week. The Blue Devils blew out Bradley 84-48, and Saint Louis 84-47. They have the week upcoming off, before resuming on the 20th
2. UConn (1-0 this week, 8-0 overall, #2 last week). The Huskies beat up on Farleigh Dickenson 78-54. If you don't know the same "Kemba Walker" now, familiarize yourself. He's probably the best player in the country right now. Will UConn finish the second best team? Probably not, but for right now, I've got them at #2.
3. Ohio State (2-0 this week, 8-0 overall, #4 last week). The Buckeyes kept rolling downing IUPUI and Western Carolina.The two freshmen Deshuan Thomas and Jared Sullinger are leading the way for the Buckeyes right now. They've got Florida Gulf Coast and South Carolina this week.
4. Kansas (2-0 this week, 9-0 overall, #6 last week). Josh Selby is going to be eligible to play now. The best team in the Big 12, gets that much more dangerous
5. BYU (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #10 last week). Rolled Arizona in Salt Lake City, to show that they are for real. The Jimmers keep doing their thang. They've got UCLA this week.
6. Tennessee (1-0 this week, 7-0 overall, #13 last week). The Vols haven't played much, and have gotten more attention for their coach's behaviors off the court than what is happening on the court. But what's happening on the court is very nice. They went to Pitt and got a big win 83-76. Wins over over Missouri State, VCU, Villanova, and now @Pitt is very impressive. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it going, especially with Bruce Pearl sitting out the first part of that SEC schedule... Then again, it is the SEC and basketball, not football. Up next, they've got Oakland and @Charlotte.
7. Kentucky (2-0 this week, 7-2 overall, #11 last week). Got back on track by owning the state of Indiana, beating Notre Dame and Indiana. I guess neither was in the state of Indiana though, ha ha ha! They got Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.
8. San Diego State (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, #9 last week). Won @Cal 77-57, and against San Diego 77-49. Got Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara this week. I'm willing to throw it out there that they will be 12-0 when I'm typing this up next week.
9. Georgetown (1-1 this week, 9-1 overall, #3 last week). Lost @Temple 68-65 in what was a heck of a game. Kind of weird the Temple fans stormed the court in that one, however, as Temple has had some good squads, and I'm sure they've beat a Top 10 team at home before. The Hoyas bounced back with a win over Appalachain State 89-60, and they've got Loyola MD this week.
10. Syracuse (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, NR last week). I've been sleeping on the Orange a little, but whenever you can beat Michigan State (72-58 by the way), you've got the basketball world's attention. With three Big East teams in my Top 10, it's easy to see this conference is going to be a national powerhouse yet again. Just some great basketball teams. Up next is Iona for the Orange.
11. Pittsburgh (1-1 this week, 10-1 overall, #5 last week). Yeah, they stumbled to Tennessee, but guess what? They've got Maryland Eastern Shore next weekend! For real!
12. Illinois (2-0 this week, 10-1 overall, #12 last week). This week was par for the course for the Illini, beating Oakland and Northern Colorado. They've got Illinois Chicago next weekend.
13. Louisville (2-0 this week, 10-0 overall, NR last week). Pitino's back ya'll. The Cardinals picked up a huge win over UNLV at home, 77-69. They've got Drexel and Gardner Webb this week.
14. UNLV (1-1 this week, 9-1 overall, #7 last week). Yeah, they lost @Louisville, but that's a tough tough place to play. They've got UC Santa Barbara and Southern Utah at home this week.
15. Baylor (0-0 this week, 6-0 overall, #15 last week). Not much to add. More of an upside pick here.
16. Wisconsin (2-0 this week, 8-2 overall, #16 last week). Picked up a very nice win @Marquette 69-64 after beating UW-Milwaukee earlier that week 61-40. Up next is UW-Green Bay for the Badgers.
Drop Outs: Michigan State, Notre Dame
Also Considered: Michigan State, Purdue, Kansas State, Missouri
Notable Games On TV:
During the week, it is terrible for sports in my opinion. College Basketball has practically anything going on, college football is on hold until Saturday where we get our first bowl game, so I suppose for sports fans like me, I'm not going to be watching much TV this week.
The only day this week I recommend watching any games is on Saturday, but even then the best game (K-State vs. Florida) does not appear to be on TV outside of those fanbases. Bummer.
I'll probably check out Texas vs. UNC on CBS at 3pm CST. I'd like to see Barnes play some more, and to see what kind of Texas team shows up.
I may watch some of USC vs. Kansas on ESPN at 11am CST, and maybe check out those awesome freshmen at Ohio State with the South Carolina vs. Ohio State game at 1pm CST on CBS. I'm not going to lie.
This week's college hoops schedule is bare. The good news is after this upcoming week, it picks up again, and a lot more appointment games hit the airwaves. Can't wait!