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March 17, 2009
The List
Week of March 17, 2009

by John Perrotto

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This is the 2008-09 season's final edition of The List, 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 (28-4)
Last ranking: 1
Last week: Beat Virginia Tech 79-76, lost to Florida State 73-70 in the ACC tournament at Atlanta.
This week: Plays Radford on Thursday in the first round of the South Regional at Greensboro.
Player spotlight: Junior guard Ty Lawson is first in the nation in offensive rating (134.0), 15th in true shooting percentage (66.1), 20th in assist rate (35.2), 42nd in effective field goal percentage (61.2), 134th in steal percentage (3.5) and 166th in free throw rate (54.9).
Team fact: The Tar Heels are making their 41st NCAA tournament appearance and sixth in a row.

2. Pittsburgh (28-4)
Last ranking: 2
Last week: Lost to No. 20 West Virginia 74-60 in the Big East tournament at New York.
This week: Plays East Tennessee State on Friday in the first round of the East Regional at Boston.
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward DeJuan Blair is first in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (24.2), fifth in defensive rebounding percentage (28.8), ninth in offensive rating (127.8), 42nd in turnover rate (10.7), 80th in effective field goal percentage (59.6), 143rd in true shooting percentage (60.5) and 164th in steal percentage (3.3).
Team fact: The Panthers are making their 21st NCAA tournament appearance and eighth in a row.

3. Memphis (31-3)
Last ranking: 4
Last week: Beat Tulane 51-41, beat Houston 74-49, beat Tulsa 64-39 in the Conference USA tournament at Memphis
This week: Plays Cal State-Northridge on Thursday in the first round of the West Regional at Kansas City
Player spotlight: Junior center Shawn Taggart is 25th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (14.1), 102nd in block percentage (6.5), 167th in turnover rate (13.3), 170th in offensive rating (115.9), 211th in defensive rebounding percentage (19.3), 214th in free throw rate (52.2), 395th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (4.8) and 398th true shooting percentage (56.4).
Team fact: The Tigers are making their 22nd NCAA tournament appearance and fourth in a row.

4. Louisville (28-5)
Last ranking: 6
Last week: Beat Providence 73-55, beat No. 11 Villanova 69-55, beat No. 17 Syracuse 76-66 in the Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays Alabama State or Morehead State on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional at Dayton
Player spotlight: Freshman forward Samardo Samuels is 71st in the nation in free throw rate (63.8), 111th in true shooting percentage (61.3), 115th in effective field goal percentage (58.4), 143rd in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (4.7), 172nd in offensive rebounding percentage (11.3), 201st in block percentage (4.8), 487th in percentage of possessions (23.8).
Team fact: The Cardinals are making their 35th NCAA tournament appearance and their third in a row.

5. Connecticut (27-4)
Last ranking: 3
Last week: Lost to No. 17 Syracuse 127-117 in the Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays Chattanooga on Thursday in the first round of the West Regional in Philadelphia
Player spotlight: Senior forward Jeff Adrien is 128th in the nation in percentage of minutes (85.1), 160th in defensive rebounding percentage (20.0) and 189th in turnover rate (13.5).
Team fact: The Huskies are making their 29th appearance in the NCAA tournament and second in a row.

6. Duke (28-6)
Last ranking: 5
Last week: Beat Boston College 66-65, beat Maryland 67-61, beat Florida State 79-69 in ACC tournament at Atlanta
This week: Plays Binghamton on Thursday in the first round of the East Regional at Greensboro
Player spotlight: Junior guard Gerald Henderson is 169th in percentage of shots (28.5) and 192nd in percentage of possessions (26.7).
Team fact: The Blue Devils are making their 33rd NCAA tournament appearance and 14th in a row.

7. Michigan State (26-6)
Last ranking: 7
Last week: Beat Minnesota 64-56, lost to Ohio State 82-70 in the Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis
This week: Plays Robert Morris on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional at Minneapolis.
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas is 53rd in the nation in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.7), 102nd in assist rate (29.5) and 165th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (5.5).
Team fact: The Spartans are making their 23rd appearance in the NCAA tournament and 12th in a row.

8. Oklahoma (27-5)
Last ranking: 8
Last week: Lost to Oklahoma State 71-70 in the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City
This week: Plays Morgan State in the first round of the South Regional on Thursday at Kansas City.
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Blake Griffin is second in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (8.1), third in defensive rebounding percentage (32.9), 17th in effective field goal percentage (63.8), 23rd in percentage of possessions (31.9), 38th in free throw rate (71.1), 53rd in true shooting percentage (63.4), 71st in offensive rebounding percentage (13.0), 175th in percentage of shots (28.5) and 197th in offensive rating (115.0).
Team fact: The Sooners are making their 26th appearance in the NCAA tournament and second in a row.

9. Missouri (28-6)
Last ranking: 13
Last week: Beat Texas Tech 81-60, beat Oklahoma State 67-59, beat Baylor 73-60 in the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City This week: Plays Cornell on Friday in the first round of the West Regional in Boise.
Player spotlight: Senior forward DeMarre Carroll is 87th in the nation in offensive rating (119.5), 92nd in turnover rate (12.0), 109th in effective field goal percentage (58.5), 132nd in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (5.7) and 161st in true shooting percentage (60.2).
Team fact: The Tigers are making their 22nd NCAA tournament appearance, but first since 2003.

10. Gonzaga (26-5)
Last ranking: 12
Last week: Idle
This week: Plays Akron on Thursday in the first round of the South Regional in Portland.
Player spotlight: Junior forward Matt Bouldin is 70th in the nation in offensive rating (120.8), 85th in true shooting percentage (62.2), 95th in effective field goal percentage (59.2) and 157th in fouls called per 40 minutes (2.0).
Team fact: The Bulldogs will be making their 12th appearance in the NCAA tournament and their 11th in a row.

11. Kansas (25-7)
Last ranking: 9
Last week: Lost to Baylor 71-64 in the Big 12 tournament at Oklahoma City
This week: Plays North Dakota State on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Minneapolis.
Player spotlight: Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is 10th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (27.8), 24th in offensive rating (125.7), 31st in true shooting percentage (64.5), 35th in block percentage (9.1), 65th in effective field goal percentage (60.1), 138th in offensive rebounding percentage (11.8) and 174th in turnover rate (13.4).
Team fact: The Jayhawks are making their 38th appearance in the NCAA tournament and their 20th in a row.

12. Villanova (26-7)
Last ranking: 11
Last week: Beat No. 25 Marquette 76-75, lost to No. 6 Louisville 69-55 in Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays American on Thursday in the first round of the East Regional at Philadelphia.
Player spotlight: Senior forward Dante Cunningham is 200th in the nation in block percentage e(4.8) and 270th in percentage of shots (27.0).
Team fact: The Wildcats are making their 30th appearance in the NCAA tournament and their fifth in a row.

13. Syracuse (26-9)
Last ranking: 17
Last week: Beat Seton Hall 89-74, beat No. 3 Connecticut 127-117, beat No. 20 West Virginia 74-69, lost to No. 6 Louisville 76-66 in the Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays Stephen F. Austin on Friday in the first round of the South Regional in Miami.
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Jonny Flynn is 27th in the nation in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.6), 49th in percentage of minutes played (89.2) and 71st in assist rate (31.1).
Team fact: The Orange are making their 32nd appearance in the NCAA tournament but first since 2006.

14. Wake Forest (24-6)
Last ranking: 10
Last week: Lost Maryland 75-64 in the ACC tournament at Atlanta
This week: Plays Cleveland State on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Miami.
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Jeff Teague is 40th in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.5), 71st in true shooting percentage (62.6), 115th in free throw rate (59.3), 194th in percentage of possessions (26.7) and 196th in steal percentage (3.2).
Team fact: The Demon Deacons will be making their 21st appearance in the NCAA tournament, but first since 2005.

15. Washington (25-8)
Last ranking: 14
Last week: Beat Stanford 85-73, lost to No. 22 Arizona State 75-65 in Pac-10 tournament at Los Angeles
This week: Plays Mississippi State on Thursday in the first round of the West Regional in Portland.
Player spotlight: Senior forward Jon Brockman is sixth in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage (16.6), 18th in defensive rebounding percentage (25.2), 136th in fouls drawn per 40 (5.7) and 151st free throw rate (56.2).
Team fact: The Huskies are making their 14th appearance in the NCAA tournament and first since 2006.

16. UCLA (25-8)
Last ranking: 15
Last week: Beat Washington State 64-53, lost to USC 65-55 in the Pac-10 tournament at Los Angeles
This week: Plays Virginia Commonwealth on Thursday in the first round of the East Regional at Philadelphia.
Player spotlight: Senior guard Darren Collison is 45th in the nation in offensive rating (122.2), 52nd in true shooting percentage (63.2), 94th in fouls called per 40 minutes (1.9), 104th in assist rate (29.2), 135th in effective field goal percentage (57.6) and 198th in steal percentage (3.2).
Team fact: The Bruins are making their 43rd appearance in the NCAA tournament and fifth in a row.

17. Purdue (25-8)
Last ranking: 23
Last week: Beat Penn State 79-65, beat No. 24 Illinois 66-56, beat Ohio State 65-61 in the Big Ten tournament at Indianapolis
This week: Plays Northern Iowa on Thursday in the first round of the West Regional in Portland.
Player spotlight: Sophomore center JaJuan Johnson is 49th in the nation in block percentage (8.6) and 96th in turnover rate (12.2). Team fact: The Boilermakers are making their 23rd appearance in the NCAA tournament and third in a row.

18. West Virginia (23-11)
Last ranking: 20
Last week: Beat Notre Dame 74-62, beat No. 2 Pittsburgh 74-60, lost to No. 6 Louisville 74-69 in the Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays Dayton on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Minneapolis.
Player spotlight: Senior forward Alex Ruoff is 93rd in the nation in offensive rating (118.6) and 147th in percentage of minutes (84.4).
Team fact: The Mountaineers are making their 22nd appearance in the NCAA tournament and second in a row.

19. Arizona State (24-9)
Last ranking: 22
Last week: Beat Arizona 68-56, beat No. 14 Washington 75-65, lost to USC 66-63 in the Pac-10 tournament at Los Angeles
This week: Plays Temple on Friday in the first round of the South Regional in Miami.
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard James Harden is 13th in the nation in percentage of possessions (33.0), 31st in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.7), 84thin true shooting percentage (61.8), 95th in assist rate (29.6), 97th in percentage of shots (30.2), 121st in free throw rate (58.3) and 170th in effective field goal percentage (56.8).
Team fact: The Sun Devils are appearing in their 13th NCAA tournament and first since 2003.

20. Florida State (25-9)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Beat Georgia Tech 64-62, beat No. 1 North Carolina 73-70, lost to No. 5 Duke 79-69 in the ACC tournament at Atlanta
This week: Plays Wisconsin on Friday in the first round of the East Regional in Boise.
Player spotlight: Senior guard Toney Douglas is 25th in the nation in percentage of minutes (90.7), 67th in percentage of shots (31.2), 120th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (5.8), 155th in percentage of possessions (27.3) and 173rd in offensive rating (115.4).
Team fact: The Seminoles are participating in their 11th NCAA tournament and first since 1998.

21. Xavier (25-7)
Last ranking: 18
Last week: Beat Saint Louis 66-47, lost to Temple 55-53 in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament at Atlantic City
This week: Plays Portland State on Friday in the first round of the East Regional in Boise.
Player spotlight: Junior forward Derrick Brown is 81st in the nation in offensive rating (119.3), 119th in true shooting percentage (60.9) and 154th in effective field goal percentage (57.1).
Team fact: The Musketeers are making their 20th appearance in the NCAA tournament and fourth in a row.

22. Clemson (23-8)
Last ranking: 16
Last week: Lost to Georgia Tech 86-81 in the ACC tournament at Atlanta
This week: Plays Michigan on Friday in the first round of the South Regional in Kansas City.
Player spotlight: Junior forward Trevor Booker is 45th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage (23.4), 60th in offensive rating (120.6), 111th in block percentage (6.3), 116th in true shooting percentage (61.0), 117th in effective field goal percentage (58.1) and 139th in offensive rebounding percentage (11.7).
Team fact: The Tigers are making their ninth appearance in the NCAA tournament and second in a row.

23. Marquette (24-9)
Last ranking: 25
Last week: Beat St. John's 74-45, lost to No. 11 Villanova 76-75 in the Big East tournament at New York
This week: Plays Utah State on Friday in the first round of the West Regional at Boise.
Player spotlight: Senior guard Jerel McNeal is 83rd in the nation in percentage of minutes (86.6), 896th in percentage of shots (30.5), 112th in percentage of possessions (27.9) and 133rd in steal percentage (3.4).
Team fact: The Golden Eagles are making their 27th appearance in the NCAA tournament and fourth in a row.

24. Butler (26-5)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Lost to Cleveland State 57-54 in the championship game of the Horizon League tournament at Indianapolis
This week: Plays LSU on Thursday in the first round of the South Regional in Greensboro.
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Matt Howard is eighth in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (7.4), ninth in free throw rate (83.4), 54th in offensive rating (121.3), 63rd in true shooting percentage (62.6), 94th in block percentage (6.6) and 129th in offensive rebounding percentage (11.8).
Team fact: The Bulldogs are making their ninth appearance in the NCAA tournament and third in a row.

25. Utah (24-9)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Beat TCU 61-58, beat Wyoming 68-55, beat San Diego State 52-50 in the Mountain West Conference tournament at Las Vegas.
This week: Plays Arizona on Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional in Miami.
Player spotlight: Senior center Luke Nevill is 15th in the nation in true shooting percentage (66.0), 16th defensive rebounding percentage (25.2), 44th in effective field goal percentage (60.7), 50th in block percentage (8.5), 70th in free throw rate (65.3), 84th in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (6.0) and 123rd in offensive rating (117.1).
Team fact: The Utes are making their 27th appearance in the NCAA tournament and first since 2005.

Dropped out: No. 21 Brigham Young, No. 24 Illinois

Others considered: Brigham Young (25-7), Illinois (24-9), Siena (26-7), USC (21-12), Utah State (30-4)

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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