COLLEGE BASKETBALL REPORT: WEEK 18
Let the madness of March begin: It's conference tournament time
TEXAS LONGHORNS (19-12), (9-9)
Last week: (1-1): W - Oklahoma 52-51, L - Oklahoma State 81-59
This week: Thursday Texas Tech
Before dropping a 22-point game in their season finale against the Cowboys, the Texas Longhorns came away victorious in a 52-51 win over the Oklahoma Sooners on Tuesday. In addition to scoring a game-high 21 points, junior guard Matt Coleman III knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer to seal the deal for the Longhorns.
Up next, the Longhorns will open their Big 12 tournament against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Thursday in Kansas City.
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (16-14), (10-8)
Last week: (2-0): W - Auburn 78-75, W - Arkansas 77-69
This week: Thursday Missouri
After dropping two straight, the Texas A&M Aggies are riding a two-game winning streak after picking up wins against No. 17 Auburn (78-75) and Arkansas (77-69) last week. In both games, senior forward Josh Nebo led the way averaging 19.5 points, while recording 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
The Aggies will return to action on Thursday against the Missouri Tigers to open their SEC Tournament in Nashville.
Houston Cougars (23-8), (13-5)
Last week: (1-1): L- UConn 77-71, W - Memphis 64-57
This week: Friday SMU/Temple
The Houston Cougars captured their second straight American Athletic Conference championship following a 64-57 win over the Memphis Tigers inside the Frittata Center in Houston. Sophomore guard Quentin Grimes scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half to lead the Cougars to the comeback win.
Following the win, the Cougars will return to the court on Friday to take part in the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Fort Worth. Houston earned a bye into the quarterfinals and will play the winner of SMU vs. Temple.
RICE OWLS (15-16), (7-11)
Last week: (1-1): W - Southern Miss 72-57, L - UTEP 77-72
This week: Wednesday vs. FIU
The Rice Owls closed out their regular season in a 77-72 loss to the UTEP Miners. While shooting 35.9% from the field (25.7% from deep), the Owls could not match the production of UTEP. The Miners shot 43.9% from the floor as Souley Boum led the way with 25 points.
Following the win, the Owls will take on the FIU Panthers on Wednesday to begin the USA Conference Tournament.
BAYLOR BEARS (26-4), (15-3)
Last week: (0-1): L - West Virginia 76-64
This week: Saturday vs. West Virginia
After what was a remarkable season that included a 23-game winning streak, the Baylor Bears dropped three of their previous five games following a 76-64 loss to West Virginia. The Bears defense was a no-show against West Virginia, as Baylor allowed the Mountaineers to score 55 points on 57.6% shooting from the floor during the second half.
Following the loss, the Bears will return to the court on Thursday to take part in the Big 12 Championship Tournament in Kansas City. As the No. 2 seed, Baylor earned a bye into the quarterfinals and will play one of the following three teams: Kansas State, TCU, or Oklahoma.
TCU Horned Frogs (16-15), (7-11)
Last week: (0-2): L - Kansas 75-66, L - Oklahoma 78-76
This week: Wednesday Kansas State
After picking up their most impressive victory of the season, the TCU Horned Frogs could not strike gold twice. TCU dropped a close one to the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks on Wednesday.
The Frogs held their own against the Jayhawks during the first half, in which TCU held a two-point led before losing the momentum in the second half. During the final period, Kansas outscored Baylor 40-29 while Udoka Azubuike registered 31 points (13-14 FG), 14 rebounds, and five blocks in the win for the Jayhawks — senior guard Desmond Bane led the way with 20 points shooting 60% from behind the arc for the Horned Frogs.
Up next, TCU will open their Big 12 Conference Tournament on Wednesday against Kansas State.
Texas Tech (18-13), (9-9)
Last week: (0-1): L - Kansas 66-62
This week: Thursday vs. Texas
The Texas Tech Red Raiders dropped their four consecutive game in a 66-62 loss to the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks. In the loss, Texas Tech never got going on the offensive end, as the Red Raiders only connected on eight of their 26 attempts from behind the arc. Junior forward Davide Moretti scored a game-high 18 points in the loss.
With the hopes of ending their four-game losing streak, Texas Tech will open their Big 12 tournament against the Texas Longhorns on Thursday in Kansas City.
SMU Mustangs (19-11), (9-9)
Last week: (0-2): L- UCF 61-58, L - USF 61-60
This week: Thursday Temple
After a disappointing loss to the UCF Knights, the SMU Mustangs ended their regular season in a tough defeat to the USF Bulls on Saturday. After an entertaining second half separated by four points, USF's senior Laquincy Rideau sealed the deal for the Knights with a game-winning 3-pointer to close out the game. It was another frustrating loss for SMU, as Ethan Chargois led the way with 20 points on the night Mustangs.
While riding a three-game losing streak, the Mustangs will return to action on Thursday against the Temple Owls to open the American Athletic Conference Tournament in Fort Worth.
LSU Tigers (21-10), (12-6)
Last week: (1-1): L - Arkansas 99-90, W - Georgia 94-64
This week: Saturday vs. TBD
The LSU Tigers ended their regular season with a 94-64 win over the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday. In the win, four players scored in double-figures for LSU, as Marlon Taylor scored a career-high 30 points (10-17 FG, 3-7 3PT), to go along with seven rebounds, while Skylar Mays added in 19 points and six boards.
In the midst of ending the season as the No. 3 seed, the Tigers will open their SEC Tournament on Friday.