Can Kansas, Houston regroup this weekend after the week’s losses?

  • Myron Medcalf, ESPN Personnel WriterJan 12, 2024, 10:09 AM ET Close Covers college basketball

  • Joined in 2011
  • Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato

It’s obvious the groups at the top of college basketball are real competitors. But simply as that group of elite groups had actually started to separate itself from the pack, their weaknesses were revealed.Purdue has the best college basketball player in the nation and a great supporting cast, however after Tuesday’s loss at Nebraska, every Boilermakers fan marvels if Zach Edey’s nasty problem will cost them a shot at a national title. Houston scored just 53 points in a loss at Iowa State on the same night. Who could score for the Cougars if L.J. Cryer and Jamal Shead have a difficult night in the NCAA tournament? Kansas simply lost to a UCF team that had actually formerly lost to … Stetson. And Tennessee gave up more points in a loss to Mississippi State (77)than Southern scored in their win over the Bulldogs last month (60). Editor’s Picks 2 Related Arizona is rolling once again, but the Wildcats surrendered 100

points in a loss

at Stanford– the exact same Cardinal that couldn’t cross 80 in a loss at USC days later on. Auburn, which has a perplexing loss at Appalachian State on its résumé, has been unstoppable lately, but we do not understand if the Tigers are for real until the toughest part of their conference schedule begins next month.Kentucky? The Wildcats look good, however the history of groups ranked outside the leading 30 in adjusted protective performance (the Wildcats are 44th)reaching the Last 4 isn’t

strong. UConn, Baylor, Duke? All groups with Last 4 capacity. But they, like the rest of their peers, still have space to grow.Let’s see what the weekend will bring for these and other title contenders.All chances from ESPN Bet. Friday, 9:30 p.m. ET, BTN During the 1957-58 season, Jerry Bush led the Cornhuskers to a win over then-No. 1 Kansas State. His grand son, Fred Hoiberg, guided Nebraska to a win over No. 1 Purdue on Tuesday. When Hoiberg’sgrandfather was head coach, nevertheless, the NIT was still the supreme postseason occasion in the sport. If Keisei Tominaga(19 points, 5-for-9 from the 3-point line versus Purdue )and his teammates can get a roadway win over the Hawkeyes on Friday, the Cornhuskers will include another Quad 1 success to their résumé and boost their odds of earning an at-large berth for just the 2nd time because 1998. Medcalf’s choice: Nebraska, 88-85; Against the spread: Nebraska (+4.5) Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+T op stories of the week from Get unique access to countless premium posts a year from leading writers. – Guide for every eliminated NFL team”- Predicting Premier League second half”- Why is Lakers’offense this

bad?”More ESPN +material” Houston’s loss to the Cyclones on Tuesday could affect the last standings in the Huge 12– the league’s title has actually been either shared or won by a team with a one-game lead in the standings in three of the last 5
years. The winner of this Saturday afternoon fight might have an edge when the race is chosen in March. And after KU’s loss Wednesday, the sense of urgency is high for both teams. However the Jayhawks have home-court benefit. The Sooners meanwhile featured a top-10 national ranking, a loss at TCU and no real roadway wins going into the week. Kevin McCullar Jr. (20.1 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 4.5 APG)appears like a first-team All-American and a first-round choice in the 2024 NBA draft right now, so the Sooners will have to play their best game this year to leave Lawrence with the victory.Medcalf’s pick: Kansas, 78-72; Versus the spread: Unavailable sometimes of publication Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Rick Pitino is getting comfortable again in the Big East, which

should stress the league. His group

got in the week on a three-game winning streak(Hofstra, Butler, Villanova ), with success in five of its last six– all of that before Wednesday’s triumph over Providence. The Johnnies have actually led the league in turnover portion, per KenPom, and made 52 %of their shots inside the 3-point line. Plus, Daniss Jenkins balanced 18.3 PPG and 6.7 APG throughout that three-game streak. On the other side, Ryan Kalkbrenner( 15.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.4 BPG )is the factor the Bluejays lead the Big East in performance inside the 3-point line on offense (61.6 %)and defense( 40.1 %enabled ). Medcalf’s choice: Creighton, 82-75; Versus the spread: Unavailable at time of publication Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN A roadway loss in

among the most energized structures

in America isn’t a reason for anybody to doubt Houston’s title hopes. But the efficiencies of 2 essential players in that 57-53 loss might be a concern going forward. Jamal Shead is a strong candidate to win All-America honors, but his 5 turnovers were critical in that loss, and L.J. Cryer, Houston’s leading scorer this season, had just five points. It’s unlikely we’ll see that duo combine for a comparable off-night the remainder of the way. However a mad TCU team, which simply beat top-10 Oklahoma, is still thinking about that controversial loss at Kansas from last weekend.Medcalf’s pick: Houston, 72-66; Against the spread: Unavailable sometimes of publication SEASON overalls Medcalf’s picks directly: 23-11 Against the spread: 17-17

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