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March 10, 2009
The List
Week of March 10, 2009

by John Perrotto

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The List runs every Tuesday through the conference tournaments, using our own Ken Pomeroy's Pomeroy Rankings as a barometer to judge teams along with Jerry Palm's RPI rankings, Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings and Kyle Whelliston's Basketball State computer ratings among others. I also look at how the "mainstream" media votes in the Associated Press poll and the coaches (or SIDs) vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll. Finally, I factor my subjective look at teams through the eyes of someone who once was a member of the AP poll board.

1. North Carolina (27-3)
Last ranking: 2
Last week: Won at Virginia Tech 86-78, beat No. 5 Duke 79-71
This week: Plays Virginia Tech or Miami, Fla., on Friday in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in Atlanta
Player spotlight: Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough became the first player to be unanimously selected four times to the All-ACC team. He was joined on the first team by junior guard Ty Lawson.
Team fact: The Tar Heels won their 27th ACC title, and their 17th outright crown.

2. Pittsburgh (28-3)
Last ranking: 3
Last week: Beat No. 18 Marquette 90-75, beat No. 1 Connecticut 70-60
This week: Plays No. 20 West Virginia, Notre Dame or Rutgers on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at New York
Player spotlight: Senior forward Sam Young and sophomore center DeJuan Blair were selected to the All-Big East team.
Team fact: The Panthers finished 19-0 at home, the second time they have gone unbeaten at the Petersen Events Center in a season after also doing so in 2002-03.

3. Connecticut (27-3)
Last ranking: 1
Last week: Lost at No. 3 Pittsburgh 70-60
This week: Plays No. 17 Syracuse, Seton Hall or South Florida on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at New York
Player spotlight: Junior center Hasheem Thabeet was named the Big East's Defensive Player of The Year.
Team fact: The Huskies' loss at Pittsburgh was their first road defeat of the season after nine victories.

4. Memphis (28-3)
Last ranking: 4
Last week: Won at Houston 69-60, beat Tulane 74-47
This week: Hosts Tulane or East Carolina on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA tournament
Player spotlight: Freshman guard Tyreke Evans was selected to the All-Conference USA team.
Team fact: The Tigers' 22-game winning streak is the longest in the nation.

5. Duke (25-6)
Last ranking: 5
Last week: Defeated Florida State 84-81, lost at No. 2 North Carolina 79-71
This week: Plays Boston College or Virginia on Friday in the quarterfinal of the ACC tournament in Atlanta
Player spotlight: Junior guard Gerald Henderson was selected to the All-ACC team.
Team fact: The Blue Devils have won at least nine ACC games in 21 of Mike Krzyzewski's 29 seasons as coach.

6. Louisville (25-5)
Last ranking: 6
Last week: Beat Seton Hall 95-78, won at No. 19 West Virginia 62-59
This week: Plays Providence or DePaul on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at New York
Player spotlight: Senior forward Terrence Williams was selected to the All-Big East team.
Team fact: The Cardinals won their first Big East championship.

7. Michigan State (25-5)
Last ranking: 8
Last week: Won at Indiana 64-59, beat No. 16 Purdue 62-51
This week: Plays Minnesota or Northwestern on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas was selected the Big Ten's Player of the Year.
Team fact: The Spartans won their 11th Big Ten title.

8. Oklahoma (27-4)
Last ranking: 9
Last week: Lost at No. 10 Missouri 73-64, beat Oklahoma State 82-78
This week: Plays Oklahoma State or Iowa State on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Blake Griffin was selected as the Big 12's Player of the Year and guard Willie Warren won Freshman of the Year.
Team fact: The Sooners' 13 wins in the Big 12 tied the school record set in 2001-02.

9. Kansas (25-6)
Last ranking: 7
Last week: Lost at Texas Tech 84-65, beat Texas 83-73
This week: Plays Nebraska or Baylor on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City
Player spotlight: Sophomore center Cole Aldrich was selected the Big 12's co-Defensive Player of the Year.
Team fact: The Jayhawks won their fifth straight Big 12 title.

10. Wake Forest (24-5)
Last ranking: 11
Last week: Won at Maryland 65-63, beat No. 17 Clemson 96-88
This week: Plays Maryland or North Carolina State on Friday in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament in Atlanta
Player spotlight: Junior guard L.D. Williams was selected to the ACC's All-Defensive team.
Team fact: The Demon Deacons posted double-digit ACC wins for the first time since 2004-05 and the third time in the last 12 seasons.

11. Villanova (25-6)
Last ranking: 12
Last week: Won at Notre Dame 77-60, beat Providence 97-80
This week: Plays No. 25 Marquette or St. John's on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament at New York
Player spotlight: Senior forward Dante Cunningham won the Big East's Most Improved Player award and sophomore guard Corey Fisher won the Sixth Man award.
Team fact: The Wildcats have won 28 straight games at the Pavilion, their on-campus home.

12. Gonzaga (26-5)
Last ranking: 14
Last week: Beat USC Upstate 90-40, beat Santa Clara 94-59 in the West Coast Conference tournament at Las Vegas
This week: Beat Saint Mary's 83-58 in the championship game of the WCC tournament
Player spotlight: Senior guard Micah Downs was named the Most Valuable Player of the WCC tournament.
Team fact: The Bulldogs will be making their 11th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.

13. Missouri (25-6)
Last ranking: 10
Last week: Beat No. 9 Oklahoma 73-64, lost at Texas A&M 96-86
This week: Plays Texas A&M or Texas Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City
Player spotlight: Junior guard J.T. Tiller was selected the Big 12's co-Defensive Player of The Year and senior guard Matt Lawrence shared the Big 12's Sixth Man Award.
Team fact: The Tigers were 18-0 at home, the sixth time in school history they were undefeated in a season at Columbia.

14. Washington (24-7)
Last ranking: 13
Last week: Beat Seattle 87-60, beat Washington State 67-60
This week: Plays Oregon State or Stanford on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament at Los Angeles
Player spotlight: Guard Isaiah Thomas was selected the Pac-10's Freshman of The Year and senior guard Justin Dentmon won the Most Improved Player award.
Team fact: The Huskies won their first Pac-10 title since 1985.

15. UCLA (24-7)
Last ranking: 15
Last week: Beat Oregon State 79-54, beat Oregon 94-68
This week: Plays Washington State or Oregon on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles
Player spotlight: Senior guard Darren Collison was selected to the All-Pac-10 team.
Team fact: The Bruins led the Pac-10 in scoring margin with plus-13.5.

16. Clemson (23-7)
Last ranking: 17
Last week: Beat Virginia 75-57, lost at No. 11 Wake Forest 96-88
This week: Plays Georgia Tech on Thursday in the first round of the ACC tournament in Atlanta
Player spotlight: Junior forward Trevor Booker was selected to the ACC's All-Defensive team.
Team fact: The Tigers had back-to-back winning seasons in the ACC for the first time since 1965-66 and 1966-67.

17. Syracuse (23-8)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Beat Rutgers 70-40, won at No. 18 Marquette 86-79
This week: Plays Seton Hall or South Florida on Wednesday in the second round of the Big East tournament in New York
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Jonny Flynn averaged 15.5 points and 8.0 assists against Rutgers and Marquette.
Team fact: The Orangemen take a four-game winning streak into the Big East tournament.

18. Xavier (24-6)
Last ranking: 20
Last week: Beat Dayton 76-59, lost at Richmond 80-75
This week: Plays La Salle or Saint Louis on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament at Atlantic City
Player spotlight: Senior guard B.J. Raymond was selected to the All-Atlantic 10 team.
Team fact: The Musketeers won their third straight Atlantic 10 title.

19. Butler (26-4)
Last ranking: 25
Last week: Beat Wright State 62-57 in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament
This week: Hosts Cleveland State on Tuesday in the championship game of the Horizon League tournament
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Matt Howard had a game-high 24 points, including making 14 of 15 free throws, in the win over Wright State.
Team fact: The Bulldogs are trying to become the first team to win back-to-back Horizon League tournaments since Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

20. West Virginia (21-10)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Beat DePaul 82-63, lost to No. 6 Louisville 62-59
This week: Plays Notre Dame or Rutgers on Wednesday in the second round of the Big East tournament at New York
Player spotlight: Senior guard Alex Ruoff won the Big East's Sportsmanship Award.
Team fact: The Mountaineers have won at least one game in the Big East tournament in each of the last two seasons.

21. Brigham Young (24-6)
Last ranking: 24
Last week: Won at Wyoming 78-68, beat Air Force 54-49
This week: Plays Colorado State or Air Force on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament at Las Vegas
Player spotlight: Senior guard Lee Cummard and sophomore guard Jimmer Fredette were named to the All-Mountain West Conference team.
Team fact: The Cougars set a Mountain West Conference record with nine road wins this season.

22. Arizona State (22-8)
Last ranking: 21
Last week: Lost to Stanford 74-64, beat California 83-66
This week: Plays Arizona on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 tournament in Los Angeles
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard James Harden was selected the Pac-10's Player of The Year.
Team fact: The Sun Devils led the Pac-10 in three-point field goal defense at .317.

23. Purdue (22-8)
Last ranking: 16
Last week: Lost to Northwestern 64-61, lost at No. 8 Michigan State 62-51
This week: Plays Penn State or Indiana on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward JaJuan Johnson was selected to the All-Big Ten team.
Team fact: The Boilermakers have won at least 20 games in three of Matt Painter's four seasons as coach.

24. Illinois (23-8)
Last ranking: 23
Last week: Lost at Penn State 64-63
This week: Plays Michigan or Iowa on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis
Player spotlight: Senior guard Chester Frazier was selected to the Big Ten's All-Defensive team.
Team fact: The Fighting Illini have seven more wins than last season when they went 16-19.

25. Marquette (23-8)
Last ranking: 18
Last week: Lost at No. 3 Pittsburgh 90-75, lost to Syracuse 86-79
This week: Plays Georgetown or St. John's on Wednesday in the second round of the Big East tournament in New York
Player spotlight: Senior guard Jerel McNeal was selected to the All-Big East team.
Team fact: The Golden Eagles were second in the Big East in scoring offense at 79.1 points a game.

Dropped out: No. 22 LSU

Others considered: Dayton (25-6), Florida State (23-8), Utah (21-9), Utah State (27-4) Wisconsin (19-11)

John Perrotto is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact John by clicking here or click here to see John's other articles.

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<< Previous Article
The Sloan Conference (03/10)
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The List (03/17)
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Conference Check (03/10)

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