Michigan looks to have regained the #1 spot in the country - USA TODAY Sports
Another crazy week of college basketball is in the books, bringing us one week closer to March Madness.
Last week was not a good week to be ranked in the Top 25, with 14 of the 25 teams losing at least once. Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio State were lucky enough to avoid the upset bug. After climbing into the Top 10 earlier this season, Minnesota might be in danger of falling out of the Top 25 with four straight losses. There is a lot to look forward to in basketball this coming week, most notably the showdown of probably number 1 Michigan and Indiana, who should be back in the Top 5, in Bloomington on Saturday night.
Washington (12-8, 4-3): LOSS @ Oregon State (74-66), LOSS @ #16 Oregon (81-76): Last week Washington dropped a pair of games in the Beaver State to extend their losing streak to 3 games after starting off Pac-12 play 4-0. Oregon State came into Wednesday's game 0-5 so far this season in the Pac-12 but jumped out to a 20-point lead against the Huskies. Washington was able to cut the lead to 1 with about 10 minutes left in the 2nd half but that was as close as they got. Saturday's contest against Oregon was filled with turnovers, with Washington committing a season-high 21 turnovers and Oregon committing 23. Oregon led by 4 points at half and didn't allow the Huskies to get any closer in the 2nd half. Washington will attempt to snap their losing skid this week with Arizona coming to town on Thursday followed by Arizona State on Saturday.
#1 Duke (17-2, 4-2): LOSS @ #25 Miami (90-63), WIN v. Maryland (84-64): Only a couple days after regaining the #1 ranking in the country, Duke was throttled for their worst regular season loss since 1984. The 27-point loss by the Blue Devils was the third-worst loss ever for a team ranked #1 in the country. Miami used a 25-1 run in the 1st half to take a 42-19 lead into halftime break. Duke returned to Cameron Indoor and took out their frustrations from the Miami loss on Maryland behind a season-high 25 points from freshman Rasheed Sulaimon. After going 4-23 from 3-point range in the Miami game, Duke found their stroke against the Terrapins, going 11-22. Coach K's crew heads back out on the road this week, with matchups against Wake Forest on Wednesday and Florida State on Saturday.
#3 Kansas (18-1, 6-0): WIN @ #11 Kansas State (59-55), WIN v. Oklahoma (67-54): Kansas extended the longest active winning streak in the country to 17 games with two wins last week. Kansas State gave their in-state rival everything they had, but it wasn't enough to topple the Jayhawks. Smothering defense is what propelled Kansas to the win on Tuesday night, holding the Wildcats to 35% shooting from the field. Kansas used more of that defense to down Oklahoma on Saturday in the 800th game played at Allen Fieldhouse. Ben McLemore scored 18 points for the Jayhawks, while Jeff Withey filled the stat sheet with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals. Kansas will try and extend their winning streak this week in Morgantown against new conference foe West Virginia on Big Monday before returning to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Nebraska (11-10, 2-6): LOSS v. Illinois (71-51), WIN v. Northwestern (64-49): The shooting from the Cornhuskers on Tuesday night might have been colder than the temperatures that most of the country endured last week. Nebraska shot 32% from the field, including 2-14 on 3-pointers, in the loss to Illinois. The shooting slump that plagued Nebraska on Tuesday was short lived though, as they quickly rebounded to shoot 45% against Northwestern. Dylan Talley had a game-high 20 points for Nebraska and Brandon Ubel contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds in his best game since missing 2 games due to injury earlier this month. Tim Miles will need his team's solid shooting from Saturday to carryover to this week with a tough contest at Minnesota on Tuesday night and a home matchup Saturday night versus the Buckeyes.
Illinois (15-6, 2-5): WIN @ Nebraska (71-51), LOSS v. #2 Michigan (74-60): John Groce recorded his 100th career win as a head coach on Tuesday night as Illinois had little problem with Nebraska. D.J. Richardson gave the Fighting Illini all the offense they needed, going for a career-high 30 points in the victory. Sunday's game against Michigan at Assembly Hall didn't go quite as well for Illinois, with the step-up in competition proving to be too much for them. Illinois didn't shoot particularly well, which has been the case for the last month, shooting only 37% from the field and going 6-26 from 3-point range. John Groce will try and secure win number 101 and beyond this week at Michigan State on Thursday before hosting Wisconsin on Sunday.
Purdue (11-9, 4-3): LOSS @ #2 Michigan (68-53), WIN v. Iowa (65-62 OT): Purdue led by as many in 7 in the first half but Michigan was too much for the Boilermakers in Thursday night's matchup. The Boilermakers shot 7-13 from 3-point range in the 1st half but missed all 9 of their attempts in the 2nd half. Terone Johnson paced Purdue to the overtime win over Iowa on Sunday, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Next up Purdue has in-state rival Indiana coming into Mackey Arena on Wednesday before traveling to Northwestern on Saturday.
#2 Michigan (19-1, 6-1): WIN v. Purdue (68-53), WIN @ Illinois (74-60): Two wins last week should propel Michigan to the number 1 ranking in the country this week after Duke's loss. After trailing Purdue 33-32 at half, Michigan used a 14-2 2nd half run to dispatch the Boilermakers. The win at Illinois didn't come without a price though, as forward Jordan Morgan left the game early with a sprained ankle. Trey Burke led Michigan in both games, posting 15 points and 8 assists in the Purdue game, followed by 19 points and 5 assists in the win over Illinois. Michigan has a tune-up against Northwestern on Wednesday before a big showdown in Bloomington versus Indiana on Saturday night.
#13 Michigan State (17-4, 6-2): WIN @ Wisconsin (49-47), LOSS @ #7 Indiana (75-70): In a typical Big Ten defensive battle, the Spartans have now won four straight games against the Badgers. Keith Appling and Branden Dawson provided almost all the offense for the Spartans, scoring 19 points and 18 points respectively. Michigan State couldn't make it a sweep of road games this week though, falling just short at Indiana. Gary Harris, last year's Mr. Basketball in Indiana, had 21 points and center Adreian Payne hit three 3-pointers but Indiana was too much. Sparty will look to rebound from having their 6-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday when they host Illinois.
Iowa (13-7, 2-5): LOSS @ #14 Ohio State (72-63), LOSS @ Purdue (65-62 OT): The Hawkeyes will be ready to return home after dropping both of their road games last week. Not only could the Hawkeyes not recover from the 24-point deficit that the Buckeyes put them in early in the 2nd half, but they also dropped Sunday's game versus Purdue in overtime. The iron at Mackey Arena was especially unkind as Iowa scored only 16 points in the 1st half and shot 31% from the field for the game. Iowa will try and get back on track this Wednesday at home versus Penn State before a road trip to Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
Penn State (8-12, 0-8): LOSS @ #7 Indiana (72-49), LOSS v. #14 Ohio State (65-51): Penn State had no answer for two of the best teams in the Big Ten last week. The Nittany Lions were able to hold Cody Zeller and Deshaun Thomas in check, but it wasn't nearly enough. Jermaine Marshall and D.J. Newbill scored in double figures in both games for Penn State, but no other Nittany Lion did so last week. The loss of Tim Frazier early in the season has been magnified in Big Ten play, as aside from Marshall and Newbill there has been no offensive threats for Penn State. This week Penn State will try and secure their first win in Big Ten play this season when they travel to Iowa on Thursday.
Wisconsin (14-6, 5-2): LOSS v. #13 Michigan State (49-47), WIN v. #12 Minnesota (45-44): Wisconsin fans were treated to some true Badgerball in the two games at the Kohl Center last week with no team reaching 50 points in either game. Dreadful shooting on Tuesday night did in the Badgers, as they shot only 30% from the field. Mike Bruesewitz was the only Badgers in double figures with 10 points in the loss. The Michigan State loss was Wisconsin's first under Bo Ryan when scoring less than 50 points at home. Including the win versus Minnesota, the Badgers are now 57-1 under Ryan when allowing less than 50 at home. Wisconsin won't get the chance to improve on that record this week when they travel to Columbus on Tuesday and Champaign on Sunday.
#7 Indiana (18-2, 6-1): WIN v. Penn State (72-49), WIN v. #13 Michigan State (75-70): It was a unusually quiet week for Cody Zeller, as he scored only 11 points in the two games the Hoosiers played last week. Luckily for Indiana Victor Oladipo was there to pick up the scoring slack for Zeller in the two victories. Oladipo scored 19 points against Penn State and 21 points in the close victory against Michigan State. Indiana travels to Purdue on Wednesday before coming home and trying to knock probable number 1 Michigan from the top spot on Saturday night.
Northwestern (12-9, 3-5): WIN v. #12 Minnesota (55-48), LOSS @ Nebraska (64-49): Coming into last week if you had figured that Northwestern was going to split their games during the week, you would have probably figured they would have won the game they lost and vice versa. The Wildcats were outrebounded 45-31 by Minnesota but they benefitted by the fact that Tubby Smith's team was horrendous shooting from the field. This game probably shouldn't even have been as close as it was, but Northwestern only went 17-32 from the free throw line. Northwestern must have caught Minnesota's bad shooting before they left Evanston, as the Wildcats only shot 32% in Saturday's loss to the Cornhuskers. This week pits Northwestern against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Wednesday before Purdue vists Evanston on Saturday.
#12 Minnesota (15-5, 3-4): LOSS @ Northwestern (55-48), LOSS @ Wisconsin (45-44): After starting the season 15-1, Minnesota is now in the midst of a 4-game losing streak. The obvious problem with Minnesota is they pretty much can't make a basket to save their life. Minnesota shot 33% against Northwestern and 35% versus Wisconsin. Trevor Mbakwe is trying his best to rebound all the misses that the Golden Gophers are throwing up, grabbing 16 rebounds in the loss to Northwestern and 10 boards against Wisconsin. Tubby Smith openly questioned his team's attitude and effort following the Northwestern game and couldn't feel much better after the loss to Wisconsin. The Golden Gophers will try and halt their skid with a couple home games this week, Tuesday night against Nebraska and Sunday versus Iowa.