12/13-12/19 Teams of the Week
This past week of college hoops was full of many ups and downs. Multiple programs are working through Covid pauses leading to cancelations and postponements throughout the country. Despite that, we still saw many exciting games over the last seven days that led to the following teams standing out above the rest. Check it out below!
Teams of the Week!
Xavier went 2-0 this past week, is currently on a 7 game winning streak and 11-1 on the year. The lone loss came to current undefeated Iowa State, so this is quite the impressive start for the Musketeers. This week, Xavier defeated Morehead State by 23, and followed it up with a quality 80-71 win over Marquette. In the victory over Marquette, Xavier won the rebound battle 45-39 and only committed 8 turnovers. This team continues to be a real threat in the Big East and national picture.
Xavier is not the only Big East team that is on a hot streak as of late. Providence has won 6 consecutive games, capped off by a road win over UConn this past Saturday. While the win wasn't pretty on the offensive end, finishing 57-53, the Friars found a way to grind it out. Providence has held each of its last four opponents to under 60 points, and less than 30% shooting from behind the three point line. If this defensive level continues, Providence has a real shot to finish near the top of a deep Big East.
Richmond went 2-0 on the week, defeating Old Dominion on Sunday, but highlighted by a 83-74 win over NC State in Charlotte, NC. Since going 0-2 at the Bahamas Championship, Richmond is undefeated, winning its last 5 games. Tyler Burton has been fueling the Spiders during the winning streak, averaging 19.2 points on 55% shooting from the field. Richmond is kicking into gear at the right time with A-10 play coming soon!
4. North Texas:
As is a theme with the teams of this week, North Texas is on an impressive winning streak in the month of December. They have won 5 straight, 2-0 this past week, and are 7-3 on the year. The Mean Green defeated Sam Houston on Tuesday, and followed it up with an impressive quality road win over Wichita State, 62-52, on Saturday. North Texas is allowing just 50.6 points per game during the 5 game streak, and just 55.1 for the entire season, one of the better marks in the entire country! Don't be surprised if North Texas battles for the Conference USA auto-bid in the coming months.
Monmouth continues to show that they are here to stay, legit, and a real threat to Iona in the MAAC. This week, Monmouth went 2-0, beating Yale and Colgate in the process. Yale and Colgate were picked to finish near the top of the Ivy and Patriot Leagues respectively. While the Hawks saw more balanced scoring in the few games prior, it was George Papas in full control in the win over Colgate. Papas finished with 30 points on 10/14 shooting from the field and 6/9 from three!
6. Grand Canyon:
On Saturday night, Grand Canyon did what no other team has done this season, defeat San Francisco. While there was not much offense to speak of, the final score was 49-48, this was far and away GCU's best win on the season. Jovan Blackshear Jr scored almost half of the Lopes points in the win, ending the night with 23 points. Blackshear has started every game he has played in his three seasons with Grand Canyon, and has continued to increase his scoring average year after year. GCU has won 7 of its last 8 games and should be viewed as one of the favorites in a revamped WAC.
7. Western Kentucky:
Saturday afternoon was special for Western Kentucky for a variety of reasons. The team showed support throughout the week for those affected by the Tornado that came through the region, and on the court the Toppers got its first ever win over Louisville in its home arena. If you have not seen pictures of WKU's atmosphere during the matchup, we highly recommend looking it up. In the 82-72 victory over Louisville, Camron Justice scored 25 points to lead all scorers, and WKU shot 50% from the three point line as a team. Western Kentucky is beginning to hit its stride, having won three straight games and is now 8-4 on the season.
8. Murray State:
The Racers keep on winning. After picking up a massive win over Memphis last week, Murray State went 2-0 over the last seven days, finished off by a 87-76 win over a Top-80 team in Chattanooga. The Racers are now 10-1 on the year and have won 7 consecutive games since its loss to East Tennessee State back at the Naples Invitational a month ago. Murray State is averaging over 86 points on the year, shooting over 50% from the field. A game versus Auburn looms next as the quest for multiple bids in the Ohio Valley rolls on.
Speaking of Memphis, the Tigers rebounded quite well from the aforementioned loss to Murray State last week. While Memphis only played one game, a 92-78 win over a hot Alabama side is quite the accomplishment. Not only is this the best win currently on the Tigers' resume, it also came at a much needed time. Prior to the win, Memphis had lost four straight games, and there was much speculation on if the season was already a bust. Defeating Alabama in the way Memphis did last week will quiet many of those discussions for the time being.
10. Virginia Tech
Like Memphis, Virginia Tech only played one game last week, and was on a bit of an inconsistent streak coming into the game. Also similar to Memphis, the Hokies did a lot to quiet some doubt when it defeated St Bonaventure 86-49 on Friday afternoon. Defense has been less of a problem for Virginia Tech during its recent struggles, so it is less surprising to see great defense on display once again during the win. What was more encouraging to see was the increase in shot making. VT connected on 13 threes (46%) and shot 55% overall from the field. The Hokies had only made double digit threes once over the last six games, but this may be a sign of improvements to come after shooting that well against a quality opponent such as St Bonaventure.
-UAlbany: upset Boston College 61-57 on Monday night
-Boise State: 2-0 week, defeated Santa Clara 72-60 on Tuesday
-Belmont: picked up 2 wins, beat a solid Chattanooga team 76-68 Wednesday
-Missouri State: 2-0 week, 75-63 victory over South Dakota State
-New Mexico State: 15 point comeback to stun Washington State 64-61 and on a 5 game winning streak
-NC A&T: upset East Tennessee State 69-67
-Pittsburgh: upset St Johns at the last second, 59-57
-Hofstra: stunned Arkansas on the road on Saturday, winning 89-81
-Canisius: upset in-state foe Buffalo, 65-64
-Creighton: picked up another quality win, defeating Villanova by 20, 79-59
-San Diego State: 2-0 week, quality win over Saint Mary's 63-53
-Auburn: 7 game winning streak, 2-0 last week, won at Saint Louis
-Iowa: defeated Utah State on a neutral floor in Sioux Falls
Lets keep the hoops momentum going! DM us @TBracketology if there is anyone else worthy of a shoutout! Thanks for reading!