- T3 Bracketology
2022-2023 Week 11 Teams of the Week
We are just seven weeks away from the NCAA Tournament field being announced. How exciting is that? Until then, we will continue to enjoy some great regular season basketball. The below ten (+1) teams stood out to us above the rest and are featured below. By no means an exhaustive list, but all impressive. Check it out!
Teams of the Week!
1. Loyola Marymount:
In almost all cases this time of year, for a team to make our teams of the week list, they need to pick up multiple good wins. Loyola Marymount is a great exception. The Lions only won one game this week, but it was a massive upset over Gonzaga, on the road no less! This was LMU’s first win over Gonzaga in 13 years, since 2010! It also snapped the nation’s longest home winning streak of 75 games that Gonzaga held prior to this loss. All of that and more signifies how special this win is for the program. Cam Shelton was spectacular all night for Loyola Marymount, scoring 27 points to help fuel the upset. What a special night for this school indeed! Keep an eye on Loyola Marymount going forward.
Our next team of the week is in a position where it is almost impossible for them to upset anyone. Why? Because Purdue finds themselves as our number one overall seed, 19-1 on the year, and the current clear favorite to win the Big Ten Conference. Purdue has now won six consecutive games, including three coming this week alone. The Boilers dominated Minnesota midweek, and held on despite a tough battle from Maryland on Sunday. But, the result that stands out the most was the incredible spectacle on Monday afternoon. Purdue and Michigan State played a classic, finishing in Purdue’s favor 64-63 thanks to a clutch late bucket from Zach Edey. I’m sure you are all very familiar with Edey by now. He is the National Player of the Year favorite, has more blocked shots than fouls, and is very talented around the basket. In that aforementioned game against MSU, Edey had 32 points, and also added 24 points in Sunday’s win over Maryland. Fantastic player on an elite team.
We stay in the state of Indiana, and in the same conference, to Purdue’s rival for our next team of the week. Coming in to last Saturday, Indiana had lost three consecutive games, and clearly looked off after losing two starters to injuries. They seemed to figure some things out against Wisconsin last week, and carried it into this week, going 2-0. Thursday night, Indiana dominated Illinois on the road, an Illini side that came into the game hot. Then, on Sunday, the Hoosiers went back and forth with Michigan State before pulling away half way through the second half to win by 13 points. That marks a three game win streak, all three wins by 13+ points. Also similar to Purdue, Indiana is fueled by it’s All American big man. Trayce Jackson Davis has been outstanding on this win streak, averaging 28 points, 12 rebounds and over 4 blocks in that span. Sophomore Tamar Bates was also impressive in the MSU win, connecting on five of his six three point attempts. Good recent stretch for the Hoosiers that has IU headed in the right direction.
4. New Mexico:
Stop if you’ve seen this team before. It feels like every other week we include New Mexico as one of our teams of the week. If they keep picking up big wins, they’ll keep showing up! New Mexico dominated an improved San Jose State team on Tuesday, winning by 20. Then in a late night instant classic at The Pit, New Mexico defeated Boise State in overtime. Easily one of the five best games of the week, it seems like the Mountain West delivers often. Jamal Mashburn Jr dropped 25 for the Lobos, once again leading the team in scoring, but it’s freshman Donovan Dent we want to highlight. Dent had 10 points and 3 assists on 4/5 shooting, but it felt like each big play he made was very significant to the outcome. He’s got a pure jump shot and is a great athlete. Remember this name for the future! Another great week moves New Mexico to 18-2 on the season, and gives them a lot of breathing room in the projected NCAA Tournament field.
5. Kansas State:
Speaking of teams we have featured quite often, we head north of New Mexico to Manhattan, Kansas, home of Kansas State! It seems like K-State is featured here often, but again, for good reason! The Wildcats came from behind and hung on to defeat Texas Tech on Saturday, but make this list because of Tuesday night. Kansas State defeated in-state rival Kansas 83-82. Similar to the New Mexico/Boise State game above, this contest went into OT, and was also one of the five best games of the week. Keyontae Johnson led all Wildcat scorers with 24 points in the game, and it was clear he was who KSU wanted to rely on to make big plays. Markquis Nowell threw a great lob Keyontae’s way for the game winning bucket in overtime. It was a very similar back cut action that led to a dunk that gave them a win a few weeks prior. Great play design! Kansas State was picked by many to finish last in the Big 12, but instead it appears they’ll have a major say in who wins the conference.
6. Oklahoma State:
Sticking in the premier conference in college basketball, the Big 12, we find ourselves in Oklahoma. Oklahoma State was in need of significant wins to get themselves back into the bubble picture for the NCAA Tournament. The Cowboys did that this week, going 2-0 in conference play. Oklahoma State defeated fellow bubble mate and in-state rival Oklahoma by 16 at home midweek, and made a statement upsetting Top 12 Iowa State at home 61-59 on Saturday. Iowa State led this game by 10 points at the half, but OKST outscored the Cyclones 36-24 in the second half to get the win. Avery Anderson III led all scorers with 18 points on an efficient 5/9 shooting in this defensive battle. Oklahoma State is now back to 3-4 in conference play, and just barely on the outside of the projected NCAA Tournament field. Plenty more opportunities upcoming!
Coming off a blowout loss last Saturday, and losing two of their last three, Arizona was in need of some new momentum. The Wildcats defeated a solid USC team by 15 points on Thursday night at home, but arrive here thanks to its home result against the other Pac 12 team in LA. Arizona defeated UCLA 58-52 Saturday afternoon, thanks in large part to its defense, and ability to get to the free throw line. Neither team was able to get hot or efficient shooting the ball in this one, as the Wildcats and Bruins were locked in defensively. But, Arizona’s focus on playing inside out, and creating free throw opportunities was the difference. Center Oumar Ballo was the best at that, leading all scorers with 16 points, and getting to the line eleven times. This week’s results has Arizona moving back in the right direction with many winnable games upcoming on its schedule to try and stay hot.
8. Kennesaw State:
Can we get a major shoutout for the Kennesaw State Owls? Kennesaw State joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in Division One in 2005. In that span of 2005-2022, Kennesaw State never finished above .500 on the year, and had a win total high of 14 wins. This season? Kennesaw State has already reached its highest D1 win total ever with 15 wins, and is 15-6 on the year thanks to a 2-0 week! It is becoming truly one of the best stories in all of college basketball. That’s not all though. This week’s two wins were impressive, as the Owls went on the road for both, defeating Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast, two teams near the top of the league. It also extends Kennesaw State’s win streak to five games, and moves them to 7-1 in conference play, tied for first with Liberty. Knowing the history about where this program has been, that’s absolutely incredible. Will be fun to see where this team ends up come mid March. Look out!
We go to another school known as the Owls for our next team. Temple went 2-0 this week and is 6-2 in American Conference play. However, the Owls find themselves here thanks to its first victory over a number one ranked team in 23 years, since the year 2000! That number one ranked team is Houston, a group that only had one loss coming into the game. Temple's defensive game plan was outstanding all game, forcing Houston into tough shots and making them very uncomfortable. The defense was especially on display during Houston's second to last possession. With just over 8 seconds left, the Cougars drove to the bucket down one, Temple made an incredible chase down block, (and avoided goaltending). Then, after Houston corralled the offensive rebound, Temple blocked the layup attempt AGAIN. Incredible! What a great win for this team and this program. Something to build on as the season continues.
10. Ten Game Win Streaks Needing More Attention:
Our final team of the week spot is held for two programs that have now won ten straight ball games, but are falling slightly under the radar. Kent State won two games this week by an average of 18 points to keep its win streak alive and stay undefeated in the MAC. The Flashes are now 16-3 on the year and one of the best defensive teams in the country. Their only three losses were close ball games to Houston, Gonzaga and Charleston. They are legit! Eastern Washington has also seen its win streak reach ten after an undefeated week. EWU got three wins this week, with victories over Montana, Northern Colorado, and Northern Arizona. Also like Kent State, Eastern Washington is undefeated in its conference, the Big Sky. The Eagles look like a 14 or 15 seed today, and could be a sleeper upset pick come March.
Thanks for reading hoops fans!