College Basketball Week In Review

A&M struggling; Baylor heating up

Billy Kennedy's Aggies are struggling. Getty Images

TEXAS LONGHORNS (12-10) 4-5 Big XII

Last week (1-1):
W- Kansas 73-63, L- @ Iowa State 65-60

This week: Wednesday vs. Baylor, Saturday @ West Virginia

Texas knew they needed a big week to remain in contention for a tourney bid, and it started off on the right foot with a 73-63 win over Kansas. The Horns hadn't won a game against Kansas since 2014. Defense carried the Horns in the first half, and offense in the endgame. Dylan Osetkowski put up 16 in the win, and Kerwin Roach added 15. Jace Febres hit 4 3-pointers, all seemingly at a point where Kansas was poised to make a real run to get back in the game. Texas followed that up with a strong effort at Iowa State, but fell short, 65-60. Roach led the way offensively, scoring 19 in the loss. Texas struggled from distance, hitting only 6-23 from long range. Texas, down by as many as 14 points, cut the Cyclone lead to 1 with under 2 minutes left, but couldn't get over the hump. The Horns get Baylor and West Virginia this week.

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (8-12) 1-7 SEC

Last week (0-2):
L- LSU 72-57, L- Tennessee 93-76

This week: Wednesday @ Ole Miss, Saturday @ Mizzou

The woes continue for Texas A&M, with a two-loss week. They started off getting blown out 72-57 by LSU. The Aggies struggled to put anything together offensively outside of TJ Starks, who scored 21 points despite going 2-10 from 3. The Aggies shot 14% from distance as a team, and only 33% from the field. Those numbers, compounded by 16 turnovers, made for a long night. The Aggies then took on the number 1 team in the country, falling 93-76 to Tennessee. Different story, same result in this one as the Aggies woes came on the defensive end in this one. Tennessee shot 65% from the field and 45% from 3-point range in the game. Wendell Mitchell had 18 for the Aggies in defeat. Texas A&M gets Ole Miss and Mizzou on the road this week.

HOUSTON COUGARS (21-1) 8-1 American

Last week (1-0): W- Temple 73-66

This week: Wednesday @ UCF, Saturday vs. Cincinnati

Houston got its revenge. The Cougars got back their only loss of the season, taking down Temple 73-66. Defense won the day for UH, holding Temple to just 34 percent shooting. Corey Davis, Jr. led the offensive attack for the Cougars with 24 points in the win. There was a massive discrepancy in free throws, with Temple shooting 14 and UH taking 36. The coming week is clearly the toughest run of schedule for Houston, with a road game against third place UCF and a home game against the conference co-leader Cincinnati.

RICE OWLS (9-14) 4-6 CUSA

Last week (1-1): W- @ Charlotte 65-61, L- UAB 89-86

This week: Wednesday vs. Western Kentucky, Sunday vs. Marshall

Rice did something they haven't done much this season, winning a game on the road, 65-61 at Charlotte. The Owls weren't great, shooting just 38% from the field and turning the ball over 15 times, but the 3-point shooting puled them through. Rice hit 11-22 from distance, including 3 from Ako Adams, who led the Owls with 16 points. They followed that up with a valiant effort that came up just short, falling to conference-leading Old Dominion 80-76. This time it was the opposition getting hot from deep. ODU shot 57 percent from 3-point range in the game. Adams struggled, shooting just 3-10 from the field. The Owls were paced by freshman Chris Mullins' 14 points. Rice is back at home this week for games against Western Kentucky and Marshall.

BAYLOR BEARS (15-6) 6-2 Big XII

Last week (1-0): W- TCU 90-64

This week: Wednesday @ Texas, Saturday vs. Kansas State

Baylor is making their case for being the team to beat in the Big XII. They only played one game this week, but made a statement, destroying TCU 90-64. Makai Mason had a career night, scoring 40 points in the victory. Mason was 14-20 from the field, and hit 9-12 3-pointers. The Bears pulled away early and never looked back. Rebounding was a key factor for Baylor, as they had a 40-26 advantage on the boards. The win was Baylor's 6th straight. Baylor has Texas and Kansas State this week.

TCU HORNED FROGS (15-6) 3-5 Big XII

Last week (0-1):
L- @ Baylor 90-64

This week: Wednesday vs. Oklahoma State, Saturday @ Iowa State

Like Baylor, the TCU-Baylor matchup was the only one this week for the Frogs. Baylor dominated TCU 90-64. TCU shot just 4-14 from 3, and were dominated statistically in basically every metric. Senior JD Miller had 17 to pace the Frogs. Desmond Bane, who the Horned Frogs need to get a boost from, was on the floor for 30 minutes, but held to just 5 points and 2 rebounds. TCU will look to get things back on track with a game against Oklahoma State followed by a road trip to Iowa State.

TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (18-5) 6-4 Big XII

Last week (1-1): L- @ Kansas 79-63, W- West Virginia 81-50

This week: Saturday @ Oklahoma

Texas Tech continued its struggles away from Lubbock, dropping a 79-63 decision at Kansas. Tech was down by 20 at halftime, and never recovered from the slow start. Tech's defense wasn't itself, as the Jayhawks shot 46% from the field and 43% from 3-point range. Davide Moretti led the Red Raiders with 14 points in the loss. Tariq Owens had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Things got better back at home, with an 81-50 drubbing of West Virginia. The defense was back on track, with WVU shooting only 23% from the field (9-39). The Raiders also forced 26 turnovers. There was an ugly moment where WVU reserve Logan Routt tripped Matt Mooney from the bench and was ejected. Brandone Francis led the Red Raiders in scoring with 16. Texas Tech has just one game this week, a road game against Oklahoma.

SMU MUSTANGS (12-9) 4-5 American

Last week (0-2): L- @ Wichita State 85-83, L- @ Cincinnati 73-68

This week: Wednesday vs. USF, Sunday vs. UCF

SMU dropped a heartbreaker at Wichita State, 85-83. Samajae Haynes-Jones hit a game winning layup for Wichita with 1 second to play in a game that SMU led for the majority. Isiaha Mike led the Mustangs with 25 in the loss. All 5 starters for SMU were in double digits, which was good because their bench was outscored 15-0. The Ponies then went to Cincinnati, where they lost a tightly contested 73-68 game to the Bearcats. Again, the Mustangs got good output from their starting lineup, but saw their reserves outscored 20-1. Jahmal McMurray led the way for SMU, scoring 21 in defeat. SMU is back at home this week against South Florida and Central Florida.


LSU TIGERS (17-4) 7-1 SEC

Last week (1-1):
W- @ Texas A&M 72-57, L- Arkansas 90-89

This week: Wednesday @ Mississippi State, Saturday vs. Auburn

LSU started off with a dominant road win over Texas A&M, 72-57. It didn't exactly come easy for the Tigers, who shot just 37% from the field. Naz Reid, Marlon Taylor and Skylar Mays shot just 6-31 combined, but Tremont Waters dominated. Waters had 38 points and 5 rebounds for the Tigers, essentially carrying them single-handedly to a win. LSU then dropped their first SEC game of the season, 90-89 against Arkansas. LSU missed 3 chances at a game winner. LSU dominated the boards 44-20, but Arkansas hit 58% from the field and 54% from 3. LSU turned the ball over 21 times. Nad Reid led the Tigers with 19 in the loss. LSU has a road game at Mississippi State and a home game against Auburn this week.

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12. RICE

They did it, they actually did it! They beat someone, a Division I program at that, and even better an in conference rival. This is great news for the Rice Owls, and just as much for Mike Bloomgren who has to feel a massive weight come off his shoulders for getting a win this year. He needs one more to tie last year's win record and two more with two games left to show progress. Wow this program has a long way to go, remember a few years back when they were conference champs with 10 wins? I know it was a while back now but man, this program is thrilled to a get a win right now and there was a time not too long ago when they were one of the better teams in this conference. They host The Mean Green this week and they need to win out if they want to show growth from last year.

11. UTEP


UTEP lost to the UAB Blazers and now are on the road to New Mexico State University. Rice won so the pressure is officially on. Previously a loss to Rice next week meant only a tie for worst team in Texas but now a loss would actually make The Miners the 12th worst team in Texas. Someone please have some pride and play to win that game next week. And this week too, please, seriously.

10. NORTH TEXAS

If there was ever a team to have on the schedule post a bad loss then a bye week on a schedule it would be Rice University, right? You would take Rice as one of the worst teams in the country this year and you'd say yes right away if someone offered you them on a silver platter. Like if the waiter brought the wrong dish to your table but it looked better is how excited you would be to see Rice on the schedule after the last few weeks, EXCEPT, Rice just won their first game of the year and may be feeling themselves a little bit.

9. TEXAS STATE

Troy crushing Texas State is a massive blow to the season for The Bobcats. It probably isn't going to get much better as they face Appalachian State Mountaineers who are ranked No. 24 right now and are looking to keep on winning. All of the losing is why they dropped down to ninth place and there's probably going to be a little more dropping before it's all said and done.

8. UTSA

The Roadrunners need to stay focused and just keep an eye on the goal of finishing strong and not quitting on this year. Florida Atlantic comes to town and they are looking to rub salt into any wounds UTSA brings into this game.

7. TEXAS TECH

In a stunning loss to TCU, Texas Tech was yet again close to winning a big game but this time late in the fourth quarter gave up the lead. This will be the season that got away and should be both a statement of perseverance and "almost." Football is a game of inches and Al Pacino speeches and this is just another example of that. Imagine the scenario where Tech won those close games Baylor, Kansas and TCU, where would they be both nationally and here on this list? Tough to say. Kansas State comes to town and the close calls are likely to continue.

6. HOUSTON

Memphis put a hurting on Houston and it was a bad one. Memphis came to town and did what a lot of teams have done this year, punched Houston in the mouth and they failed to respond in any real way. The losses are piling up and now Houston is going on the road to visit the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. They are likely to lose this game being on the road against a team that's about as good as they are, so The Cougars are struggling.

5. TCU

A close win is better than a close loss and TCU came out of Lubbock with a close win. With three different loss differentials being a touchdown or less, TCU's whole season much like Tech's will be measured by the close losses rather than the wins. But you can't go backwards and TCU has to travel to Oklahoma and find a way to win if they want to stay bowl eligible.

4. TEXAS

Texas is now officially in trouble. They've lost all kinds of games they shouldn't have and now are going to Baylor after losing to Iowa State University. It's hard to imagine a scenario where this team pulls it together and actually beats Baylor, but they need to. They need to get it together and start playing good football or they'll go into next weekend.

3. TEXAS A&M

Coming off a great win against South Carolina, Texas A&M now tries its hat in the role of spoiler as they travel to Georgia and try and ruin the Bulldogs season. Ultimately there's a real chance they could pull off a sneaky win here and derail Georgia's shot at an SEC championship game but it isn't the best bet in the world. A&M has struggled this year in big games having lost to Clemson, Alabama and Auburn.

2. SMU

The Mustangs were in the stables this week with a bye but it gave the President of the AAC time to complain that the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has undervalued his entire conference since it was created. He's right, they have been undervalued but not by enough to whine about it and not by enough to actually make a stink. A few weeks ago I was feeling bad about having A&M as low as I did because yes they were losing but they were playing better teams and I looked up all the rankings, strengths of schedules etc. The fact is simply this, SMU doesn't play the kind of competition that A&M did and even though they were winning, they weren't beating anyone of merit. They still haven't and there's no getting around that really. However this week they go to Navy and they need to win to even stay ranked.

1. BAYLOR

They had been playing close games and coming out on top and usually that makes a team happy to get a big lead, and usually a team that's been winning and gets a big lead knows what to do with it and usually a team in a must win knows they can't mess up. All of that being said, they were up early, they were up big and they blew it. There's no getting around it, this kills any chance of back dooring the playoffs, with wins over Oklahoma and then hypothetically beating Texas this week would have made Baylor a real force with only a few weeks left on the whole thing. Instead they let Oklahoma post a record comeback and then when it's all said and done they have Texas this week. The season is slipping through their fingers like sand in an hourglass.

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