Sunday’s action gave us some intriguing matchups in the sport, granted it wasn’t a full slate of games. Oregon disappointed once again, while North Carolina seems to be back, all of this and more is to be broken down in the daily roundup.
Oregon continues to struggle in loss to bad Arizona State team
The Ducks had started slowly at 5-3 entering this game, but none of the losses had been to bad teams as the trio of BYU, St. Mary’s, and Houston are all NCAA Tournament-bound, but Arizona State was not a good team. The Sun Devils have talent, but were obliterated in the Battle 4 Atlantis three times, scored 29 points against Washington State, and were 2-6 entering this game, so naturally, they beat the Ducks. Eric Williams Jr was not in action which is somewhat of an excuse, but even still this team should have won comfortably and they didn’t. At this point, this Ducks team will be fortunate to get into the NCAA Tournament without winning the Pac-12 Tournament, which is a horrendous spot to be in.
North Carolina puts up another impressive defensive performance
After five straight games of being below average to best on the defensive end, North Carolina has turned it around over the past three games. Michigan and UNC Asheville could be thought of as one-offs, but Georgia Tech seemed to be a worthy offensive team, as they have a high-level scorer in Mike DeVoe. Sure DeVoe still had 15 himself, but did so rather inefficiently, while the Tar Heels forced Georgia Tech into shooting 46% from the field. We’ll see how they perform defensively when they play UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic next Saturday but for now the team looks decent.
Kansas State gets quadrant one win without Pack
Without Nijel Pack, it seemed unlikely that they would go into Wichita and beat the Shockers, but instead, the Wildcats were able to get a likely quadrant one win. Markquis Nowell got the start and took advantage of getting an opportunity to be the go-to option, scoring 16 points. Kaosi Ezeagu continues to be a revolution, scoring 14 while holding down the center spot. Kansas State has been way better than expected this season, they pushed both Arkansas and Illinois, while now having a big win to back it up. In a loaded Big 12, should the Wildcats go 8-10 in league play they’ll find themselves in the NCAA Tournament.
Minnesota remains undefeated
I still don’t think Minnesota will wind up making the NCAA Tournament or NIT, but this is one incredible start for the Gophers, as they move to 7-0 after an 81-76 win at Mississippi State. This is by far the most impressive win of the season for Minnesota, as Mississippi State is a Tournament contender. Ben Johnson did a good job of finding offensive pieces out of nowhere, Payton Willis has become an improved offensive piece, while Jamison Battle continues to be one of the most impressive transfers. Add in a rotation that fits well together and this is a much better team than expected.