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College Basketball Week 13 Takeaways

Boise State

Boise State had two big back-to-back victories over Utah State and has a strong case for the NCAA Tournament. Furthermore, they have a star in Derrick Alston Jr. who has the ability to take over any game with his three-level scoring ability. Additionally, Mladen Armus is a very effective big who brings good touch around the basket and can defend some of the best bigs in the country. Also, the guard play of Marcus Shaver Jr. will be imperative with his tempo and ability to make key shots. Next, the frontcourt has good depth to it with Abu Kigab being very efficient on both ends with his reliability. Continued, the depth of Emmanuel Akot, Devonaire Doutrive and Max Rice can be big factors at any moment which will be key in the Mountain West tournament and NCAA Tournament. Leon Rice has this team playing very well with a massive game against San Diego State on Thursday.

West Virginia’s Comeback

Mountaineers, Huskies to Meet Tuesday Afternoon at the WVU Coliseum - West Virginia University AthleticsWest Virginia had a massive comeback in their win against Texas and shows the foundation of the program under Bob Huggins. Further, this is a program that is built around grit and toughness and that was on full display Saturday. Additionally, the ability of Miles McBride to be their go guy when everything breaks down will be crucial in the NCAA Tournament. Having a big in Derek Culver who can be a focal point of the offense and be a great presence on defense and on the boards is important as well. The marksmanship of Sean McNeil will be massive as these games get tighter. Now, the most important factor for West Virginia will be Taz Sherman who can make plays like McBride as that dominant go-to guy when needed. The additional frontcourt of Emmitt Matthews and Jalen Bridges will be important especially when foul trouble occurs for Derek Culver. West Virginia is capable of delivering on both ends to make an NCAA Tournament run.

Kansas

Kansas has shown its ability to battle back and continue to be a factor atop the Big 12. Furthermore, since the West Virginia game where they allowed 91 points in a loss, they have not allowed more than 66 points and have won every game. Therefore, the growth on the defensive end has sparked a resurgence for Kansas. The play of David McCormack sets the tone for Kansas establishing his interior presence on offense and his rim protection on defense. Also, Marcus Garrett is a good defensive player in the country and his on-ball defense sets the tone for the Kansas defense. Additionally, Ochai Agbaji has had a strong season on both ends with the ability to make shots and get to the rim with his length and size defensively as well. As for Kansas, to take the next step and really be a factor in the NCAA Tournament they will need consistency from Christian Braun and Jalen Wilson to be at their best and Kansas will have a chance to be a 2nd-weekend team.

Wichita State

After the tumultuous start to the season with the firing of Gregg Marshall and the uncertainty of Issac Brown taking over, the Shockers have exceeded all expectations being 13-4 on the season showing the ability to close out tight games. The play of Alterique Gilbert has been impressive giving Wichita State a leader who has been through this before. Tyson Etienne has been tremendous with his scoring ability and overall effectiveness leading the Wichita State team with 17.2 points a game. Dexter Dennis makes plays with his size and coming up in the clutch. Having a frontcourt who does their job consistently with Morris Udeze and Trey Wade is key with their toughness. The overall fight of this team has put them in a position to make a run towards getting an NCAA Tournament bid.

Michigan State & Duke’s Opportunity

After all, there could be life for Michigan State and Duke to get into the NCAA Tournament. For Michigan State, being in the Big Ten, they will have plenty of chances to get quality wins. Additionally, they finish the season by getting Illinois, Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana and Michigan two times. This gives them a great chance to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. They will need the veteran play of Aaron Henry and Joshua Langford to be really good. They also need front-court production with Marcus Bingham and Gabe Brown. As for Duke, they will have more work done today with the ACC not being as strong as the Big Ten. Now, if they can win out against Syracuse, Louisville, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. To go into the ACC Tournament they will then have a shot. Therefore, they will need Matthew Hurt to keep playing like an All-American giving Duke consistent offense. As well, DJ Steward being a go-to scorer with his shot-making ability. Along with the emergence of Jaemyn Brakefield off the bench. This will be a tall task for Michigan State and Duke but the opportunity is there.

Images Courtesy of, KIVI, The Wichita Eagle, West Virginia University Athletics

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