May 25, 2024

Monday Madness: March is here, madness has been here

Check out this week’s Monday Madness from staff writer Dalton King for what’s happening in college basketball as the NCAA Tournament approaches.

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College basketball fans, rejoice. We are one day away from the month of March.

While the month of March is finally here, the madness part has been around all season.

Eight of the top 10 teams lost this week. Top 10 teams have now lost 73 games this season, the most in a single regular season in the AP Poll era.

And when this week’s AP Poll is released, we will likely have ANOTHER new No. 1 team.

anotherone

Let’s recap this past week in college basketball and preview the last week of the regular season:

Winners

Kansas: Once again, Kansas finds itself among the winners of the week.

The Jayhawks are on a nine game win streak and are currently two games ahead of West Virginia in the race for the Big 12 with only two regular season games remaining.

But their next two games are no walk in the park, coming against No. 25 Texas tonight and No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday. With at least one win, the Jayhawks will clinch sole possession of their 12th consecutive Big 12 regular season title.

Texas: Once being on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, the Longhorns are now a lock for a March appearance. In new head coach Shaka Smart’s first season in Austin, the Longhorns have not disappointed.

After barely falling short in its first bout with the Oklahoma Sooners, Texas made a statement on Saturday with a 76-63 victory against the third-ranked Sooners. This win further solidifies the Longhorns’ David vs. Goliath-like play this season.

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With four, Texas has the most wins against top-10 opponents in college basketball this season.

Tonight, the Longhorns will look to continue taking down giants in their primetime matchup with the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks at 9 p.m. You don’t want to miss it.

Miami: With two wins against top 25 teams this week and a North Carolina loss to Virginia on Saturday, the Hurricanes are on top of the ACC (tied with UNC at 12-4).

After a big win against No. 3 Virginia last Tuesday and a comeback win on Senior Day against No. 11 Louisville on Saturday, the Hurricanes have regained their stride at exactly the right time.

Heading into the end of the regular season, the Hurricanes finished 9-0 at home and just won consecutive games against top 15 teams for the first time in program history.

May the ACC and rest of the NCAA be on notice, March might mark the early start of hurricane season.

LOSERS 

(With Super Tuesday coming tomorrow, I thought I would put “losers”  in all caps in honor of Donald Trump’s terrifying reign as the frontrunner of the Republican primary race)

Duke: Just when you thought Duke had turned it all around, they drop a terrible loss to Pittsburgh yesterday, 76-62.

Xavier: After losing only one of its last 10 games, Xavier had climbed all the way to the top of college basketball, in contention for a coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But in a matchup with a Seton Hall team desperate to capture their first tournament appearance in a decade, they were upset and kicked out of the elite group of No. 1 seeds.

By no means is this loss a devastating blow to the Musketeers’s fantastic season, but it is a disappointing end.

With one game remaining (vs. Creighton), Xavier is one game away from tying its school record of 26 regular season wins. The last time the Musketeers won 26? They reached the Elite 8 in 2008.

Even though they failed to capture a No. 1 seed, a No. 2 seed would still be the best in school history.

This week, they were among the losers. But as for this season, the Musketeers are winners.

This Week in College Basketball: 

In the last week of the regular season, teams on the bubble will give it their all to make their case to the tournament committees. The teams at the top will seek to finish strong, to lock up their top seeds. And the teams seeking a rare tournament appearance will be anxiously handing in their resumes, hoping they are good enough for the Big Dance.

We are a day away from March, it’s time for college basketball’s students to face their final exams.

Questions for the final week: 

Will wins against Mizzou and No. 16 Kentucky this week be enough for Ben Simmons and LSU to continue in March? Or will the Tigers need to take the SEC Tournament by storm to receive an automatic bid?

With Xavier falling out of contention, can UNC beat Duke on Saturday and potentially lock up a No. 1 seed? 

And will Donald Trump ACTUALLY win every Super Tuesday state?

Games of the week: 

No. 2 Kansas at No. 25 Texas, Tonight, 9 p.m.

No. 18 Indiana at No. 8 Iowa, Tuesday, 9 p.m.

LSU at No. 16 Kentucky, Saturday, 2 p.m.

No. 7 North Carolina and No. 15 Duke, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

No. 11 Louisville at No. 3 Virginia, Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

 

And that’s all for Monday Madness, your source for what’s happening in college basketball. Enjoy this full-week of college hoops.

Featured image by Dalton King

Edited by Cody McClure

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Dalton, a firm believer that sporting events are best spent on Twitter, is an Assistant Sports Editor for TNJN and a sophomore studying Journalism at the University of Tennessee. Two of his favorite pastimes include beating his roommates at 2k and remaining in awe of the amount of stories fellow editor David Bradford writes. Twitter: @dk_writes