11/29-12/5 Teams of the Week
Week four of the young college basketball season was a great one. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge provided many exciting matchups, many of which went into OT, (or 4OTs in one case). On top of that, there were once again many upsets throughout the week and other enticing non-conference matchups. All of this action made it tough to narrow in on a few teams of the week, but we were able to find a few to focus on below. Check it out!
Teams of the Week!
1. Ohio State:
Just days after defeating Gonzaga in a neutral court classic, it looked like Duke was poised for another solid win when it led OSU by 13 at the half. The Blue Devils extended the lead to as much as 15, before the comeback began. Ohio State fought back, and upset Duke 71-66 in what was a massive statement for the Buckeyes. There are very few ways better to get over a buzzer beating loss to Florida in the Fort Myers Tip-Off tournament than the result Ohio State got on Tuesday. Ohio State followed up the win by beating Penn State on the road by 12 to go 2-0 on the week.
2. Wake Forest:
When the ACC needed wins from unexpected sources who did they call? Wake Forest apparently! The Demon Deacons went 2-0 on the week, securing an ACC/Big Ten Challenge win in OT against Northwestern, followed up by a 19 point road win against Virginia Tech. The momentum Wake Forest gained in its second half comeback effort against LSU in the Emerald Coast Classic clearly leaked into this past week. Wake shot over 40% from the three point line in both of its wins. A sleeper in the ACC this season?
Purdue just keeps on rolling. The Boilermakers appear to be the clear number one team in the country as of December 6th, and showed that in two wins over the last week. Purdue defeated Florida State by 28 earlier in the week, followed up with a competitive 77-70 victory over a then undefeated Iowa side. Purdue is now 8-0 on the year and looks like the clear favorite in the Big Ten.
Syracuse went through a tough four game stretch, (record: 1-3), in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament and game leading up to it. There were questions about how the Orange would respond, but they clearly answered the bell. Syracuse led by as much as 18 on Tuesday in its ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup against Indiana, and was able to hold on for a 112-110 double OT thrilling victory despite quite the response from IU. Syracuse continued its momentum this weekend with a road win over Florida State on Saturday. Cuse had four of its five starters score in double figures in both wins.
While Alabama stole the in-state headlines with its win over Gonzaga over the weekend, UAB continued to build what is looking more and more like a sleeper at-large resume. UAB went 2-0 on the week, beating East Tennessee State by 14 points, and securing a true road win over Saint Louis. East Tennessee State had just come off winning the Naples Invitational tournament, while Saint Louis had won the Cancun Challenge during the same time period, only adding to the prestige of these victories for the Blazers. UAB is averaging over 80 points per game on the season, is 7-2, and its two losses are by a combined 5 points. Don't be surprised if the Blazers hang around all season.
6. North Carolina:
North Carolina, like a few other high profile programs, had been off to a bumpy start to the season, especially defensively. That all changed this past week as UNC defeated Michigan and Georgia Tech by an average margin of victory of 19 points. The key, of course, was on the defensive end. North Carolina allowed less than 63 points in each win this week, both of which were wins by 17+ points.
7. Underrated Undefeateds:
Is "undefeateds" a word? Probably not, but nonetheless, these few teams have managed to avoid a loss without gaining enough recognition yet from the national media. Minnesota is now 7-0 on the season, capped by an impressive road win over Mississippi State on Sunday. Weber State is up to 8-0, and had two more double digit victories this past week. Wyoming moved to 8-0, outdoing Weber State with three double digit wins in the last seven days. Finally, San Francisco is now 9-0, highlighted this week by a 21 point win over UNLV. We have a feeling these teams are not done winning. Keep an eye on them!
-Oklahoma: upset Florida 74-67 to move to 7-1 on the season
-Providence: defeated Texas Tech and Rhode Island and are now 8-1
-Utah Valley: upset in-state and top-15 foe BYU in OT 72-65
-Coastal Carolina: shocked South Carolina with a 24 point win and followed it up by beating Winthrop
-Norfolk State: went 2-0 and won the CP3 HBCU Challenge while also beating UNC Wilmington on Wednesday
-Iowa: defeated Virginia, and battled #1 Purdue to further legitimatize its 7-1 record
-Colorado State: beat Saint Mary's 74-58 and is now 9-0 on the year
-Miami: got back on track with wins over Clemson and Penn St
-Ole Miss: upset Memphis 67-63 on Saturday
-Wisconsin: went 2-0 on the week, beating Georgia Tech and Marquette
-Auburn: sneaky quality victories, in dominating fashion, over UCF and Yale
-Alabama: picked up arguably the best win of the week, upsetting Gonzaga Saturday night
This season keeps getting better and better! Looking forward to another awesome week! DM @TBracketology on Twitter if we left any teams out that deserve a shoutout!