NCAA College Basketball Top 25 Power Rankings Courtesy of Alex Smart, An Award-Winning Professional Basketball Handicapper Featured on Touthouse.com. If you are Betting on College Basketball this Season be Sure to Buy Alex’s Expert NCAA Basketball Predictions – Rankings updated on February 24th, 2009.
1.Pittsburgh- The Panthers after a convincing 80-61 win vs DePaul have now solidified their standing as this weeks top team. DeJuan Blair remains the catalyst behind this program going forward. Blair dominated future NBA lottery pick HasheemThabeet in their head-to-head meeting Feb. 16, finishing with 22 points and 23 rebounds.
2.Oklahoma -Oklahoma not only lost to Texas this past weekend, ending a 13 game winning streak, but are now without what is arguably College Hoops top player , Blake Griffin, after he suffered a concussion in the above mentioned loss. The NBA possible first pick overall , is a uncertain health concern going forward.
3.North Carolina – The Tar Heels in their last trip to the hardwod, fell asleep at the wheel and blew a 16 point lead vs Maryland, eventually losing a 88-85 heartbreaker. HC Roy Willaims has some troubling trends to deal with going forward as his team has struggled from the field in its last two away tilts. The Tar Heels shot only 37.7 percent (29-of-77) at Maryland after shooting just 38.8 percent (26-of-67) at Miami six days earlier.
4.Duke -The Blue Devils came out on Sunday with all guns blazing, holding on to a 101-91 win vs Wake Forest. Defense is the main stay behind HC K’s team, but the offense is proving to be one of the most dangerous in the ACC and the nation.
5 Connecticut – With Jerome Dyson out for the season, some concerns are beginning to arrise for the Huskies . His replacement Craig Austrie is averaging just 6 points per game, on a lowly 27% conversion rate from the field.
6.Michigan State -The Spartans get the job done, but it never seems very pretty. There is a great deal of depth here , and despite of some recent injuries a Big 10 Championship is looking more and more like a strong possibility.
7. Memphis – John Calapari and company went into a tough venue at UTEP, and came out with an impressive 70-63 win that extended the nations longest winning streak to 18 games . This young but very talented Tigers team is starting to jell. Not a good omen for their future NCAA tournament competition.
8.Clemson – The Tigers took out Gerogia Tech Sunday, for a sweep of the season series. HC Trevor Booker thinks his team can still grab a ACC championship. If North Carolina, does not stay focused that is a very distinct possibilty.
9. Villanova – The Wildcats were lucky to get past Syracuse last time out, by a score , 89-86 , but low behold they did, despite of turning the ball over 3 times in the last 3 ½ minutes. With four games left , HC Jay Wrights team look like they will secure a top 4 seed spot in the compettive big East, behind viable conference all stars Dante Cunningham and Scotte Reynolds.
10. Kansas -The Jayahwks took out Nebraska by a 70-53 count in their last trip the hardwood, for their 13 straight lucky win in this series. Sherron Collins super star exploits remain one of reasons why this young team hurdles toward a Big 12 championship.
11. Utah -The Utes despite of consistent slow starts, have proven to be explosive in the 2nd half of some recent outings. Utah has been behind at the half in 4 of their L/5 games, and ahead by just one point in the other and have found ways to ramp up the tempo for wins. Teams like the Utes , who have a capable enough coaching staff to make 2nd half adjustments, are extremely dangerous adversairies. Moutain West teams beware, Utes on the rise.
12.Louisville-The Cardinal looked good in a recent 72-63 road victory vs Cincinnati, which is a positive bost for their overall physcological well being after being embarrassed at Notre Dame in their last game by 33 point losing defcecit. Coach Rick Pitino was very happy with the bounce back. Quote: We made some excellent passes. We executed great against their fullcourt pressure. We just played a terrific game.”
13.West Virginia- The Moutaineers pounded Rutgers by a 74-56 count last time out. West Virgina continued its upward momentum in the these power polls, and in the Big East standing moving in to 6th place on the back of a 3 game winning streak.
14.Xavier -George Wsahington were whipped by the best mid major team in the nation by a lopsided 71-53 count. I know the Muskies , after a 8-0 start have lost 3 of their previous 4 games (all on the road). But even the best teams go into a funk, just ask North Carolina. Look for Xavier to surge going forward.
15.Missouri -The Tigers took out Colorado by a score of 66-53 last time out for their 6th straight win. The victory pretty well ensures Missouri with their first NCAA tournament birth since the 2003 season, HC Mike Anderson in his third year is quickly making former head man Quin Snyder a distant memory to campus faithful.
16.Illinois – The Illini were on the wrong end of a 70-68 loss vs Ohio State in their last tilt, which folowed up a ugly 33 point offensive output in their previous contest. Illinois will get tested this week in a big way vs Minnesota and Big 10 leader Michigan State .
17.Florida State-Toney Douglas scored 24 points and put down the game winner with 6 seconds remaining to beat Virginia Tech 67-65 on the road this past Saturday. Five wins in their L/6 outings has the Seminoles, looking like viable opponents against all comers, and are now close to being a lock for their first NCAA tournament apperance in 11 seasons.
18.Wake Forest – Wake Forest remains one of the most explosive offensive teams in college basketball, with the added advantage of owning a solid defense. I know they were blasted on Sunday by Duke in a 101-91 debacle, but previous to that effort, were still capable defenders allowing 37.9% shooting and 39.8% in conference action. Look for this group to rebound defensively going forward.
19.Washington -The Huskies took out the USC Trojans in PAC 10 play , in their last effort. Venoy Overton taunted the Trojan faithfull throughout the game, making him the most hated player to visit thisSouthern California venue. Now Overton will try to make himself one of the most loved players in Husky land by continuing to play top tier basketball. Conference opponents, the Bears and Bruins lost this past weekend, which makes a conference championship game a strong possibilty for Washington U.
20.Butler – The Bulldogs showed they are a under rated team that must be feared when they took out Stehpen Curry and Davidson by a DD margin this past weekend. The Horizon Leagues top team continues its quest for an upset NCAA tournament run.
21.Marquette – With four games left on the season, the Golden Eagles current status will be tested in a big way,as those above metioned contests feature 3 games against top 10 ranked teams . Im watching intently.
22.Purdue – The Boilermakers lost their first two games of conference play, but are now in top form , as they sit in second place behind Michigan State. With Robbie Hummel on the court and healthy, this team has the tools to excell. Honarable note must also be made in favor, of Sophomore center JaJuan Johnson who averaged 17.5 points during the Boilermakers’ L/6 games and has three double-doubles in the past five games.
23.Syracuse- The Orange looked a little lost at the end of their most recent trip to the hardwood,losing a 89-86 heartbreaker vs Villanova, that they had every chance to win. Are they going to the Big dance. I say, yes, many others would disagree after losing 5 straight to ranked opponents.
24. Tennessee – HC Bruce Pearl was very upset by his teams recent loss to Kentucky, as he was quoted as saying. I have never been so embarrassed by how I coached, or how my team played. Will his players respond. The talent is there , and time will tell.
25.Arizona State – The Sun Devils beat, their instate and PAC 10 rivals the Arizona Wildcats, by a 70-68 count in their last meeting, which vaulted them one step closer to a NCAA tournament appearance.