2022-2023 Week 14 Teams of the Week
Saturday was one of the wildest days of the 2022-2023 college basketball season. This week, in general, was the toughest week to decide on teams to honor since the thanksgiving week tournaments two and a half months ago. We did our best to highlight some great accomplishments, but know there are more than just these. Check it out below!
Teams of the Week!
Northwestern has now won three consecutive games, went 2-0 this past week, and is tied for second place in the Big Ten with Indiana. On Thursday, Northwestern went on the road and defeated a reeling Ohio State side 69-63. It is Sunday afternoon, though, that makes Northwestern the top team of the week this week. For the first time in program history, the Northwestern Wildcats defeated an AP number one ranked opponent! In front of a great crowd, the Wildcats upset Purdue, their first win over the Boilermakers since 2014. Purdue led this game by seven at the half, and led by as much as 10 overall, but it was the incredible second half that gave Northwestern the massive win. Northwestern forces 13 Purdue turnovers in the second half alone, and Chase Audige scored all 15 of his points in the second half, included a massive three that gave Northwestern a two point lead late in the game. Boo Buie led all Wildcat players with 26 points on the game. It can not be stated highly enough how important this win is. Northwestern is not a lock yet, but this moves the needle and then some.
On January 11th, Creighton lost to Xavier, on the road by three. On its own, that is a great battle and not bad at all. But, Creighton fell to 9-8 on the season, and had lost six of their last nine games. After high preseason expectations and a great start to the year, the Bluejays were on the bubble, barely in the field. Since 1/11, Creighton has won eight straight games, four of which register as quality wins. Creighton is now just a win away from becoming a NCAA Tournament lock and are in a great spot! This week, Creighton picked up two of those wins, defeating Seton Hall on the road by 13, and defeating UConn by 3 on Saturday in a fantastic game. That win over Connecticut, along with the win streak, is really what gets Creighton here. This team is healthier, and finding its footing again at the perfect time. Depending on who you ask, the Bluejays fall anywhere from a 6 to a 7 seed today. That will be as dangerous a 6/7 group as we’ve seen in some time if it holds. Look out!
3. Southern Mississippi:
Southern Miss went 7-26 last season, and won just one game in conference play. Head Coach Jay Ladner, a Golden Eagle basketball player himself from 1984-1988, was very much on the hot seat. It’s safe to say, that seat has cooled off quite a bit now, for good reason! Southern Miss is 23-4 on the year, 12-2 in the Sun Belt Conference and in first place with a two game lead! The Golden Eagles have also won nine straight games after another 2-0 week. USM defeated Louisiana Monroe on Saturday but the win over the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns on Thursday night is the headliner. Coming into that game, the winner of USM versus ULL would be in first place in the Sun Belt. The Southern Miss faithful sure seemed aware of that, as they packed the Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with great energy all night! Both teams were riding big win streaks coming in as well, this was a fun, 82-71 game to watch! DeAndre Pinckney led all Golden Eagles scorers with 22 points on 6/9 shooting and USM shot 53% from the field, 44% from three! Southern Miss also held the Ragin Cajuns to just 37% shooting and 13% from three. Great combo! Let’s see if Southern Miss can keep this incredible turn around going into March and the NCAA Tournament!
Similar to Creighton above, Dayton came into the year nationally ranked, with high expectations. The season has not quite lived up to that hype level, but the Flyers may be beginning to figure things out. Dayton went 2-0 this week, defeating the number one and number two teams in the Atlantic 10 conference in the process. This moved the Flyers to 17-9 on the year and just a half game out of first place in the A10. On Tuesday, Dayton went on the road and upset VCU 62-58. Toumani Camara was extremely efficient, scoring 26 points on 75% shooting from the field. Early in the first half, Dayton trailed the Rams 17-6, but outscored VCU 56-41 the final 33 minutes to get it done. On Friday, Dayton continued that momentum, winning by 14, 70-56 over Saint Louis. Camara once again led all Dayton players in scoring with 17. Three other players also scored in double figures, and the Flyers connected on 41% of its three point attempts. If Dayton can continue to play like this, this group has a great shot to win the Atlantic 10 tournament.
While VCU may have had a tough time with Dayton, the top team in the state, the Virginia Cavaliers, did not have a tough week. Virginia got back on track after losing last weekend, going 2-0, both registering as quality wins. UVA defeated NC State 63-50 on Tuesday to get its week started. If you’ve followed college basketball, even a little, over the past few years, I’m sure it’s no surprise that the Cavaliers held a team to just 50 points. NC State is a solid offensive team too, so this is impressive, even if it is the standard. Virginia held NCST to just 33% from the field, forced 12 turnovers, and only committed ten fouls the entire game. Incredible. On Saturday the momentum continued, as Virginia topped Duke in overtime. Armaan Franklin was spectacular, scoring 23 points on 9/13 shooting including three triples. Franklin connected on one of his threes with just under 40 seconds remaining in OT to give Virginia the cushion it needed to pull out the win. UVA is now 19-4 on the year, a NCAA Tournament lock, and tied for first in the ACC.
6. Second Place in the Big 12 is Very Good:
Speaking of being tied, this next section is dedicated to the two teams tied for second in the nation’s best conference, the Big 12. Both are 8-4 in league play, and one game back of Texas. That is all great, but these two also get recognition for the wins each picked up this week specifically. Kansas dominated Oklahoma by 23 points on the road Saturday, but are here thanks to the 88-80 win over first place Texas on Monday. Allen Fieldhouse was rocking, per usual, and KU saw five players score in double figures. What’s even more impressive? None of those five players were All American Jalen Wilson, who was held to just two points. If the Jayhawks can get consistency from players outside of Wilson more often, oh my! The other second place team, Baylor, also went 2-0 this week. The Bears defeated OU on Wednesday, but picked up a gritty road win against TCU on Saturday to show up here. The Horned Frogs were down a few players, but this was still a great win for Baylor. Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer combined for 51 points to get it done. These two teams are very good, and they meet this Saturday, 2/18, at 4pm eastern time!
7. Oklahoma State:
We will stick in the Big 12 for the next team, one that is starting to show up here for us quite often. Oklahoma Stats has won five consecutive games, and has gone from a team outside of the projected field, to being a single digit seed in a short time span. The Cowboys continued their momentum from last week, going 2-0 over the last seven days. OKST held on to defeat Texas Tech by three points on Wednesday, but its Saturday’s performance that has them in a safer position today. Iowa State was a perfect 12-0 at home, in front of what is regarded as a Top 25 arena environment in the country. That undefeated record? No more! Oklahoma State went into Ames and upset Iowa State 64-56. John-Michael Wright played 38 minutes and led all scorers with 19 points. Oklahoma State even trailed this game by six at the half, but outscored the Cyclones 38-24 in the second to get the win. The Cowboys are now just a win or two away from feeling very safe in terms of its NCAA Tourney prospects.
8. Thanks Tennessee, at the buzzer!:
With big wins over top opposition on the mind, we next feature two teams that went 2-0 this week, and had a week headlined by upsetting Top 10 Tennessee! Missouri won both of its games this week, defeating South Carolina, and then upsetting aforementioned Tennessee. Mizzou led this game by as much as 17 points, Tennessee crawled all the way back to take a late 85-83 lead, and then madness occurred as the Tigers won at the buzzer! This shot is too cool to even describe, just watch the video of it here! Vanderbilt defeated Florida on the road on Saturday, but also upset Tennessee, just earlier in the week. The Commodores won 66-65, once again, AT THE BUZZER, as the fans stormed the court in Nashville. Again, you’ll need to see the video, check it out here! Both Missouri and Vanderbilt find themselves in different positions overall, but both had about as fun of weeks as one could have!
We head back to the conference where we started the article next, the Big East, to a state just north of Tennessee, Indiana. Butler has had an up and down season this year. The Bulldogs defeated Kansas State in the non conference, but have struggled a bit in conference play. Butler was able to get the best of St Johns on Tuesday night, winning 68-66. However, a different two point win on Friday is what has the Bulldogs recognized. Butler upset Top 15 Xavier 69-67! Jayden Tayler led all scorers with 20 points, and Eric Hunter Jr hit the game winner with just seconds remaining to get the win. This moved Butler back to .500 overall on the season, 13-13. The Bulldogs will need to win the rest of their regular season games to have any hope of an at-large berth, but this could be the momentum it needs to either do that, or make a run in the Big East tournament. Time will tell!
We stay in the state of Indiana, but head west to Bloomington, home of the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana has won three games in a row, eight of its last nine, and is now tied for second place in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana defeated number one Purdue at home last week, and continued that momentum into two more quality wins this season. IU defeated Rutgers at home on Tuesday 66-60. The Hoosiers led this game for most of the contest, leading by as much as 14, and holding on for the win. With Trayce Jackson-Davis’ 20 points and 18 rebounds, he became the first Indiana player to have 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds for their career. The Senior also added six assists in the win. On Saturday, Indiana went on the road and defeated Michigan for the first time since 2016. Once again IU relied heavily on the All-American big man in Jackson-Davis who recorded 28 points and 11 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. If Zach Edey was not putting up the astronomical numbers he is, Indiana’s star may have a player of the year case. This week also makes Indiana a NCAA Tournament lock, and one win away from its first 10 win Big Ten season since 2016, and just its second 10+ Big Ten win season in the last decade. It seems like second year head coach Mike Woodson has this program headed in the right direction.
10 (+1). 10+ Game Win Streaks Needing More Attention:
Our final team of the week section is dedicated to two under the radar win streaks of ten or more games. We usually cap our articles to ten spots, but needed to recognize these two worthy programs. This is something we have done before, and will continue to do as teams like this have incredible win streaks. First up, the Eastern Washington Eagles. If you keep up with our weekly articles you may be asking yourself, wait, EWU was featured just a few weeks ago for having won ten straight games, what’s up? You would be correct, and thanks for reading every week. However, EWU’s win streak has still not stopped! It’s now 15!!! consecutive wins for Eastern Washington, and the Eagles are a perfect 13-0 in the Big Sky! Both of Eastern Washington’s wins this week came on the road as well. Secondly, we have another Eagle, the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. This isn’t even the first Golden Eagle mascot in this article! ORU has now won ten straight games after another 2-0 week, and like EWU, both wins were on the road this week. Max Abmas continues to shine, leading all scorers in both Oral Roberts wins. This team is 23-4 overall folks. It’s not out of the question that the Golden Eagles could make another deep March run.
Thanks for reading hoops fans!