College Basketball Report: Week 16

The Baylor Bears' 23-game winning streak comes to an end against Kansas

Shaka Smart and Texas are fading fast. Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (17-11), (7-8)

Last week: (3-0): W - TCU 70-56, W - Kansas State 70-59, W - West Virginia 67-57

This week: Saturday vs. Texas Tech

The Texas Longhorns ended their four-game losing streak in a 70-56 home victory over the TCU Horn Frogs on Wednesday. Sophomore guard Andrew Jones recorded a career-best 21 points (7-14 FG, 3-5 FG), while freshman center Will Baker added a career-high 20 points in the win.

Up next, the Longhorns will prepare for an in-state match against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, after picking up two more victories against Kansas State (70-59) and West Virginia (67-57).

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (14-12), (8-6)

Last week: (2-0): W - Alabama 74-68, W - Mississippi State 87-75

This week: Tuesday vs. Kentucky, Saturday vs. LSU

The Texas A&M Aggies have found their stride with four games left before the start of the SEC Tournament. Last week, the Aggies won back-to-back games, picking up wins against the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

In both games, Texas A&M received great production from their frontcourt duo of Quenton Jackson and senior Josh Nebo. Jackson led the way averaging a team-high 19.0 points 1.5 blocks and 1.5 steals, while Nebo averaged 17.5 points and 5.0 rebounds over the past week.

Up next, the Aggies will look to extend their winning streak on Wednesday, in a home match against No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats.

Houston Cougars (27-7), (11-4)

Last week: (1-1): W- Tulsa 76-43, L - Memphis 60-59

This week: Sunday vs. Cincinnati

After handing the Tulsa Golden Hurricane their worst loss of the season, the Houston Cougars dropped a heartbreaking defeat to the Memphis Tigers in a 70-69 loss Saturday afternoon.

In one of his best performances of his collegiate career, Houston's freshman guard Caleb Mills scored a game-high 21 points (7-14 FG, 2-4 3PT), while Marcus Sasser added in 18 points for the Cougars.

After a slow start to the game, the Cougars played from behind for a majority of the game, as they trailed 27-23 entering the halftime break. Although Houston won the second period by three (36-33), Memphis closed out the game in the final seconds, as forward Precious Achiuwa hit two go-ahead free throws with 28.2 seconds left.

With only one game on the schedule, the Cougars will return to the court on Sunday in a home match against the Cincinnati Bearcats.

RICE OWLS (13-15), (5-10)

Last week: (0-1): L- UTEP 68-62

This week: Sunday vs. Middle Tennessee

Despite leading by 13 points at the half, the Rice Owls were outscored 49-30 during the second period, as the UTEP Miners took a comeback 68-60 victory on Saturday.

The Owls held a 32-19 lead at the half which extended to 19 after a hot start to the second half. Unfortunately, Rice missed their next 13 shots as UTEP went on a 19-0 run to ignite a comeback victory over. The Owls also had no answer for UTEP's senior guard Daryl Edwards registered a career-best 34 points (11-22 FG, 8-12 3pt) in 40 minutes of action.

Following their most disappointing loss of the season, the Owls will take on Middle Tennessee on Sunday, inside Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.

BAYLOR BEAR (24-2), (13-1)

Last week: (1-1): W - Oklahoma 64-54, L - Kansas 64-61

This week: Tuesday vs. Kansas State, Saturday vs. TCU

After extending their winning streak to 23 in a victory over Oklahoma, the No. 1 Baylor Bears dropped their first game since Nov. 8 in a 64-61 loss to the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks, Saturday afternoon in Waco. Kansas' Udoka Azubuike determined to be too much for the Bears to handle, as the senior big man recorded a double-double of 23 points and a career-high 19 rebounds in the win.

With 6:30 left in the second half, the Jayhawks held a 10-point lead before Baylor embarked on a late-game surge. The Bears connected on back-to-back 3-point field goals and came within one (62-61) with 18 seconds left in the game. After two made free-throws by Isaiah Moss (who added in 13 points), Baylor's Jared Butler missed a potential game-tying 3-point field goal for a chance to send the game into overtime.

Up next, the Bears will look to return to their winning ways on Tuesday, in a home match against Kansas State.

TCU Horned Frogs (15-12), (6-8)

Last week: (1-1): L - Texas 70-56, W - West Virginia 67-60 OT

This week: Tuesday vs. Iowa State, Saturday vs. Baylor

After suffering a blowout loss at the hands of the Texas Longhorns, the TCU Horn Frogs picked up a much-needed victory in a 67-60 overtime win over West Virginia on Saturday. The win over West Virginia marked TCU's largest comeback of the season, as the Horn Frogs trailed by 10 early in the second period.

Only two players scored in double-figures with Kevin Samuel leading the way with 19 points (7-7 FG), eight rebounds, five blocks and two steals, while Both RJ Nembhard scored 16 points apiece on 50% shooting from the field. After the win, TCU will return to action on Tuesday in a match against Iowa State.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (18-9), (9-5)

Last week: (2-0): W- Kansas State 69-62, W - Iowa State 87-57

This week: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma, Saturday vs. Texas

Prior to picking up their largest win of the season in a 30-point victory over the Iowa State Cyclones on Saturday, the Texas Tech Red Raiders survived a 69-62 win over the Kansas State Wildcats on Tuesday. Texas Tech did so by out-shooting the Cyclones, as they connected for 50.0% of their shots from the floor.

With four triples on the night, Davide Moretti scored a team-high 18 points, while Jahmi'us Ramsey went for 17 points and Kyler Edwards added in 14 in the win. Texas Tech will return to the court on Tuesday for a BIG 12 match against the Oklahoma Sooners, before taking on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday.

SMU Mustangs (18-8), (8-6)

In what could have been an easy week for SMU, the Mustangs dropped back-to-back disappointing loss to the Tulsa Golden Hurrican and Tulane Green Waves.

In both games, the Mustangs defense was a no-show, as their opponents shot a combined 52.9% from the field and a sizzling 41% from behind the arc. In the loss against Tulane, four players scored in double-figures with Teshaun Hightower leading the way with a career-best 26 points on the night. Up next, SMU will look to end their two-game skid on Tuesday, in a match against the Memphis Tigers.

LSU Tigers (19-8), (10-4)

Last week: (1-1): L - Kentucky 79-76, W - South Carolina 86-80

This week: Wednesday vs. Florida, Saturday vs. Texas A&M

The Tigers came three-point shy from pulling off an upset, as the Kentucky Wildcats came away with a 79-76 victory over LSU. Despite a well-rounded team performance from LSU, the Wildcats' hot shooting gave them the advantage. Kentucky shot 74% from the floor while connecting on seven out of eight 3-point field goals during the second half.

After the tough loss, the Tigers bounced back with an 86-80 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks. In the win, sophomore guard Javonte Smart led LSU in the win with 18 points, while freshman forward Trendon Watford notched a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Up next, LSU will return to the court on Wednesday to face off against the Florida Gators.

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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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