1. Kansas Jayhawks (22-1)
Last Week: 1
The Jayhawks keep rolling along with wins over Colorado, Nebraska, and a big one over the slumping Texas Longhorns.
2. Syracuse Orange (23-1)
Last Week: 2
Talk about a team that’s on FIRE! Ever since the calendar turned to 2010, they’ve been on a tear. They’ve won their last 10 games and have recent wins over DePaul, Providence, and Cincinnati.
3. Kentucky Wildcats (22-1)
Last Week: 3
Ever since their loss to South Carolina, the Wildcats have bounced back well with wins over Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and LSU.
4. Villanova Wildcats (20-2)
Last Week: 4
The Wildcats suffered a setback this week with the loss to Georgetown, but this team is still looking strong after a bounce-back win over West Virginia.
5. Northern Iowa Panthers (21-2)
Last Week: 6
This team has been great and all, but these narrow wins are starting to become noticeable in a negative way. Their last three wins are only by a combined seven points.
6. Murray State Racers (22-3)
Last Week: 7
They might not have the strongest schedule in their world, but this 13-game winning streak is looking pretty good. This team deserves to go to the “Big Dance” regardless of if they win their conference tournament.
7. BYU Cougars (22-3)
Last Week: 5
I was so high on this team until I watched them play UNLV. The Rebels are a good team, I get that, but the Cougars need to pick it up a bit if they want be considered “national contenders” by more basketball junkies.
8. St. Mary’s Gaels (21-3)
Last Week: 9
Ever since their loss to Gonzaga, they’ve been rolling along smoothly. They haven’t lost a game since they went down to the Bulldogs. Their six-game winning streak is on the line Thursday night against…*drum roll*…GONZAGA!
9. Cornell Big Red (20-3)
Last Week: 12
This team is looking strong and is giving the Ivy League some attention, along with Harvard. But I’m still not sure if they can hang with the “big dogs” of the NCAA. They still have losses to Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Kansas.
10. Purdue Boilermakers (19-3)
Last Week: 10
A streak will be broken tonight, either Purdue’s winning streak or Michigan State’s losing streak.
11. West Virginia Mountaineers (19-3)
Last Week: 13
The team with the most immature fans looks to bounce back from their loss to Villanova with a win over rival Pittsburgh on Saturday.
12. Rhode Island Rams (19-3)
Last Week: 16
Rhode Island is looking to prove to themselves that they are a legit contender. Another step to believing that could be beating Temple on Saturday.
13. Duke Blue Devils (19-4)
Last Week: 17
The Dukies haven’t had a winning streak of more than three games since the beginning of January. They look to win their third in a row on Wednesday against the hated Tar Heels in Chapel Hill.
14. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (21-4)
Last Week: 18
The Chanticleers did a nice job of plastering Gardner-Webb and UNC-Asheville this week after suffering a set-back loss to Winthrop. Now they start a road trip against High Point, Radford, and UNC-Central this week.
15. Texas Longhorns (19-4)
Last Week: 8
Ever since the Longhorns were ranked No. 1, it’s been all down hill from there, losing five of their last seven. I guess it’s safe to say that the Longhorns probably won’t win a National Title if they keep playing like this.
16. Tennessee Volunteers (18-4)
Last Week: 20
Which team will we see for the rest of the season, the one that played in late January or the one we’ve seen in February?
17. Kansas State Wildcats (19-4)
Last Week: 22
The recent loss to Kansas wasn’t much of a surprise. This team is still looking pretty solid.
18. Siena Saints (20-4)
Last Week: NR
One of the true underdogs of the NCAA. They have won 15 games in a row and could have more eyes turned their way if they can beat Butler next weekend.
19. Virginia Tech Hokies (18-4)
Last Week: 24
I would put them higher but they haven’t impressed me over the past couple of months. Their losses to North Carolina, Florida State and Miami still stick out in a negative way. If they can win at least three of their next four AND beat Duke, then they could get close to a top 10 spot.
20. UNLV Rebels (19-4)
Last Week: NR
Ever since dropping a game against Utah, they have been on a nice roll behind Tre’Von Willis. The Rebels have won their last five and upset BYU in the process. Now let’s see if they can beat New Mexico again…
21. Gonzaga Bulldogs (19-4)
Last Week: NR
The Zags would love nothing more than to beat their conference rival St. Mary’s again and snap their six-game winning streak on Thursday night.
22. Butler Bulldogs (20-4)
Last Week: NR
This team is slowly starting to become a national contender. They haven’t lost in 2010 (13-game winning streak), and they have losses to Clemson and Georgetown by only a combined eight points.
23. UAB Blazers (19-4)
Last Week: 15
If this team continues to play defense and rebound the way they have, they could surprise some people in the tournament.
24. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (19-4)
Last Week: NR
The Bulldogs have gone from national underdog to less consistent over the past two weeks. Only two wins in their past five weeks isn’t too impressive. But you can’t blame Kyle Gibson for the losses. I’m sure they are glad they don’t have to face New Mexico State again…until the conference tournament at least.
25. Baylor Bears (17-5)
Last Week: 19
Ever since the middle of January, they haven’t really been as good. They started the season at 13-1, but are only 4-4 in their last eight games.
Carter’s NCAA National Player of the Year Race:
1. Omar Samhan (St. Mary’s)
2. Kyle Gibson (Louisiana Tech)
3. Jimmer Fredette (BYU)
4. Jon Scheyer (Duke)
5. Scottie Reynolds (Villanova)
6. Damion James (Texas)
7. Jacob Pullen (Kansas State)
8. Malcolm Delaney (Virginia Tech)
9. LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor)
10. Alex Franklin (Siena)
11. Ryan Wittman (Cornell)
12. Tre’Von Willis (UNLV)
13. DaSean Butler (West Virginia)
14. Luke Harangody (Notre Dame)
15. Aubrey Coleman (Houston)
Carter’s NCAA National Coach of the Year Race:
1. Bill Self (Kansas)
2. Jim Boehim (Syracuse)
3. John Calipari (Kentucky)
4. Jay Wright (Villanova)
5. Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa)