College Basketball Winners, Losers From Week 17

    College basketball winners and losers from Week 17 of the 2015-16 season. The regular season has come to an end, but the repercussions from the weekend’s games are still being felt.

    March 8, 2016


    College basketball winners and losers from Week 17 of the 2015-16 season.


    The regular season has come to an end, but the repercussions from the weekend’s games are still being felt. The conference tournaments crank up this week, so there is still hope for every team to go on a run and take away the anxiety from Selection Sunday.

    Still, there can be only one winner in each conference, and the scramble for at-large bids continues to be a part of the equation. Here’s a look at two teams that helped their NCAA Tournament resume when it needed it most and and three teams that wish they had the weekend back.


    Winners

    Cincinnati Bearcats

    Cincinnati has been dancing with the bubble for the past couple of weeks, but it took some huge strides to get on the “in” side of the equation by knocking off SMU at home. The loss earlier in the week to Houston, an ugly, 13-point loss that made the Bearcats look less-than-ready for prime time, wasn’t good. Beating a highly regarded Mustang squad may have proven otherwise. Cincy still needs to win a game or two in the conference tournament to take away all doubt on Selection Sunday, but for now, the Bearcats have done what they needed to do to put themselves in a better position.

    Texas Tech Red Raiders

    Texas Tech has been wobbling a bit following losses at Kansas and West Virginia, and the loss to the Mountaineers was a brutal, 22-point affair that showed all the flaws in the TTU attack. That’s the bad news. The good news is neither of those losses were that bad considering the caliber of KU and WVU this year, and Texas Tech avoided the nightmare of losing to a so-so Kansas State team Saturday. The Red Raiders scored an 80-71 win to close out the regular season on a high note, and although the win wasn’t a resume builder, it did right the ship at least temporarily. Texas Tech can’t afford a hiccup vs. TCU the next time out, but it did shore up its case with an important win over the Wildcats.


    Losers

    Syracuse Orange

    Syracuse stumbled to the finish line in the regular season, dropping four of their last five. That includes a 78-73 loss at Florida State Saturday, a team that ranked No. 68 in the RPI and hasn’t exactly been a powerhouse. Syracuse is likely still in the field for now, but there’s no question the Orange are a mess right now. This team also has a losing record (8-9) vs. RPI top 100 teams, and ‘Cuse is going to need a win in the ACC Tournament to get to the 20-win milestone. The Orange were swept by Pitt this season, which means scoring a victory won’t be easy.

    Vanderbilt Commodores

    It isn’t that Vandy lost to a bad team over the weekend—Texas A&M has been very good this year—it’s that with just two wins over RPI top 50 teams this season, the Commodores don’t have a lot of resume building wins. That said, those two victories came vs. Kentucky and that very same Texas A&M team, but both of those wins came at home. Vandy has been inconsistent this season, and opinions on whether or not they should be in vary. The Commodores could have made a statement by sweeping TAMU, but they couldn’t do it, and now they have some work to do in the SEC Tourney.

    USC Trojans

    The Trojans are one of the more intriguing teams on the bubble. They own 20 wins and boast wins over Arizona, Colorado and Oregon State. The downside is they are 0-5 vs. RPI top 25 teams and just 5-8 vs. the RPI top 50. They finished the regular season winning just five of their final 12 games, and they blew a chance to make a statement at home vs. Oregon. USC lost by double digits to the Ducks, and now they might need a couple of wins in the Pac-12 Tournament to avoid sweating on Selection Sunday. Even then, it might not be enough.

    MORE: Projecting NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 Seeds

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