NCAA Basketball Power Rankings – 2/18/09

1. Pittsburgh Panthers

   After a tough win AT Uconn, no one deserves to be in this spot more than Pitt. They proved that they have the talent to beat anyone, anywhere, and at anytime. In addition to that, they final gave Uconn big man Hasheem Thabeet a reason to shut up.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels

   The Heels still haven’t lost since 1/11 and traveled down Tobacco Road to beat Duke handedly in front of the Cameron Crazies. You might as well pencil them into your Final Four already. Their depth is still an issue though.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

   They aren’t exactly facing the same competition that the Tar Heels and Panthers are facing in the ACC and Big East, but the Sooners are still undefeated in conference play. Look out for that showdown at Mizzou on March 4th, Boomer Sooner.

4. Connecticut Huskies

   Even after a tough loss to Pitt, the Huskies are one of the best overall teams out there. Hasheem Thabeet may talk a big game, but he can back it up. I want to see him square off against Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough before I name him the best big man in the nation.

5. Memphis Tigers

   Apart from a road win at Gonzaga, the Tigers have played NO ONE in 2009. I am still skeptical of how good this team really is. They are young. The tournament hasn’t always been nice to young teams.

6. Marquette Golden Eagles

   Marquette is a tough team that could make a run to the Final Four. They are 11-2 in the Big East and still have the best back court in the nation.

7. Michigan State Spartans

   They had a hard loss to a underrated Purdue team, but the Spartans are for real. They are one of the Top 5 best coached teams in the nation, even if their talent may not be Top 5.

8. Missouri Tigers

   I am reluctant to put my own school in the Top 10 yet, however they are the hottest team in basketball the past couple weeks. After a buzzer beater to beat Texas in Austin, the Tigers did the same against Kansas and then dominated Nebraska on their own court. They are exciting to watch and downright dangerous

9. Louisville Cardinals

   No one as really been talking about Louisville in a conference that has been dominated by Pitt and Uconn, but they are carving out a nice season with a 19-5 (10-2 in the Big East) record. Don’t think about that 33-point loss to Notre Dame, that’s old news.

10. Duke Blue Devils

   Duke is struggling lately in conference play, losing two ACC games since my last update. However, I cannot take them out of the Top 10 because they are as talented as anyone else and they have something no one else has: Coach K


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