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March 3, 2009
The List
Week of March 3, 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. Connecticut (27-2)
Last ranking: 3
Last week: Won at No. 13 Marquette 93-82, beat Notre Dame 72-65
This week: at No. 3 Pittsburgh on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard A.J. Price averaged 24.0 points and 5.0 assists against Marquette and Notre Dame.
Team fact: The Huskies will gain the top seed in the Big East tournament if they beat Pittsburgh.

2. North Carolina (25-3)
Last ranking: 2
Last week: Beat Georgia Tech 104-74
This week: at Virginia Tech on Wednesday, vs. No. 5 Duke on Sunday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough has scored in double figures in 124 of 132 games in his career.
Team fact: The Tar Heels leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech, 57-12.

3. Pittsburgh (26-3)
Last ranking: 1
Last week: Lost at Providence 81-74, won at Seton Hall 89-78
This week: vs. No. 18 Marquette on Wednesday, vs. No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Sam Young averaged 22.0 points and 9.5 rebounds against Providence and Seton Hall.
Team fact: The Panthers have their last four regular-season meetings against Marquette but have beaten the Golden Eagles in the last two championship games of the Big East tournament.

4. Memphis (26-3)
Last ranking: 4
Last week: Won at UAB 71-60, beat Southern Miss 58-42
This week: at Houston on Wednesday, vs. Tulane on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Robert Dozier had team bests of 18 points and seven rebounds against Southern Miss.
Team fact: The Tigers lead Conference USA in scoring defense, allowing 58.6 points a game. 5. Duke (24-5)
Last ranking: 5
Last week: Won at Maryland 78-67, won at Virginia Tech 72-65
This week: vs. Florida State on Tuesday, at No. 2 North Carolina on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Gerald Henderson has scored in double figures in 21 straight games.
Team fact: The Blue Devils have forced at least 15 turnovers in five straight games.

6. Louisville (23-5)
Last ranking: 7
Last week: Won at Georgetown 76-58, beat No. 13 Marquette 62-58
This week: vs. Seton Hall on Wednesday, at No. 19 West Virginia on Saturday
Player spotlight: Freshman center Samardo Samuels averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds and shot 64 percent from the field against Georgetown and Marquette to win Big East Rookie of the Week honors.
Team fact: The Cardinals held Marquette to a season-low 34 percent shooting from the field.

7. Kansas (24-5)
Last ranking: 11
Last week: Won at No. 9 Oklahoma 87-78, beat No. 10 Missouri 90-65
This week: at Texas Tech on Wednesday, vs. Texas on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior guard Sherron Collins averaged 25.0 points and shot 50 percent from the field and 64 percent from three-point range against Oklahoma and Missouri to win Big 12 Player of the Week honors.
Team fact: The Jayhawks have held 68 straight opponents to under 50 percent shooting from the field.

8. Michigan State (23-5)
Last ranking: 6
Last week: Beat Iowa 62-54, won at No. 21 Illinois 74-66
This week: at Indiana on Tuesday, vs. No. 16 Purdue on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 assists against Iowa and Illinois.
Team fact: The Spartans have gained a share of the Big Ten title, the 11th in school history, and can win it outright by beating either Indiana or Purdue.

9. Oklahoma (26-3)
Last ranking: 9
Last week: Lost to No. 11 Kansas 87-78, won at Texas Tech 78-63
This week: at No. 10 Missouri on Wednesday, vs. Oklahoma State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Taylor Griffin has shot at least 50 percent from the field in seven straight games and at least 60 percent five times in that span.
Team fact: The Sooners have won at least 12 games in the Big 12 in six of the conference's 13 seasons.

10. Missouri (24-5)
Last ranking: 10
Last week: Beat Kansas State 94-74, lost at No. 11 Kansas 90-65
This week: vs. No. 9 Oklahoma on Wednesday, at Texas A&M on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Leo Lyons has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 13 games.
Team fact: The Tigers have matched their best victory total from the last 15 seasons as they were 24-12 in 2001-02.

11. Wake Forest (22-5)
Last ranking: 14
Last week: Beat North Carolina State 85-78, won at Virginia 70-60
This week: at Maryland on Tuesday, vs. No. 17 Clemson on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward James Johnson has nine double-doubles this season and 21 in his career.
Team fact: The Demon Deacons have won 32 of their last 35 home games.

12. Villanova (24-6)
Last ranking: 12
Last week: Won at DePaul 74-72, lost to Georgetown 56-54
This week: Won at Notre Dame 77-60 on Monday, vs. Providence on Thursday
Player spotlight: Senior forward Dante Cunningham scored a team-high 13 points against Georgetown.
Team fact: The Wildcats were held to their lowest scoring total of the season by Georgetown.

13. Washington (22-7)
Last ranking: 20
Last week: Beat No. 15 Arizona State 73-70, beat Arizona 83-78
This week: vs. Seattle on Tuesday, vs. Washington State on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior center Jon Brockman averaged 20.0 points and 11.0 rebounds against Arizona State and Arizona to win Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
Team fact: The Huskies can capture their first outright Pac-10 title since 1953, when it was then known as the Pacific Coast Conference, with a win over Washington State.

14. Gonzaga (23-5)
Last ranking: 18
Last week: Won at Santa Clara 81-73, won at San Diego 58-47
This week: vs. USC Upstate on Tuesday, vs. Loyola Marymount, San Diego or Santa Clara in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament at Las Vegas on Sunday
Player spotlight: Senior center Josh Heytvelt and sophomore guard Matt Bouldin were named to the All-WCC first team.
Team fact: The Bulldogs became the first team to post three undefeated conference records since the WCC went to an eight-team alignment in 1980-81.

m 15. UCLA (22-7)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Won at Stanford 76-71, won at California 72-68
This week: vs. Oregon State on Thursday, vs. Oregon on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Darren Collison is the career assist leader among active Pac-10 players with 555.
Team fact: The Bruins leads the nation with a 50.1 field goal percentage and are trying to become the first Pac-10 team to shoot better than 50 percent since Stanford in 2000-01.

16. Purdue (22-7)
Last ranking: 17
Last week: Lost at Michigan 87-78, beat Ohio State 75-50
This week: vs. Northwestern on Wednesday, at No. 8 Michigan State on Sunday
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Robbie Hummel averaged 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals against Michigan and Ohio State.
Team fact: The Boilermakers have clinched a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament.

17. Clemson (22-6)
Last ranking: 8
Last week: Lost to Virginia Tech 80-77, lost at No. 25 Florida State 73-66
This week: vs. Virginia on Tuesday, at No. 11 Wake Forest on Sunday
Player spotlight: Junior forward Trevor Booker is shooting 56.5 percent from the field and is trying to become the first Clemson player to lead the ACC in that category since 1993-94.
Team fact: The Tigers are 9-1 this season when Booker records a double-double.

18. Marquette (23-6)
Last ranking: 13
Last week: Lost to No. 3 Connecticut 93-82, Lost at No. 7 Louisville 62-58
This week: vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh on Wednesday, vs. Syracuse on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Wesley Matthews scored a team-high 19 points against Louisville.
Team fact: The Golden Eagles have lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

19. West Virginia (20-9)
Last ranking: 16
Last week: Lost at Cincinnati 65-61, won at South Florida 64-50
This week: vs. DePaul on Wednesday, vs. No. 6 Louisville on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Alex Ruoff averaged 17.0 points against Cincinnati and South Florida.
Team fact: The Mountaineers have had five straight 20-win seasons.

20. Xavier (23-5)
Last ranking: 22
Last week: Won at St. Joseph's 68-54
This week: vs. Dayton on Thursday, at Richmond on Saturday
Player spotlight: Junior forward Derrick Brown is the 46th member of Xavier's 1,000-point club.
Team fact: The Musketeers have won 23 straight Atlantic 10 Conference games at home.

21. Arizona State (21-7)
Last ranking: 15
Last week: Lost at No. 20 Washington 73-70, Lost at Washington State 51-49
This week: vs. Stanford on Thursday, vs. California on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard James Harden is tied with California's Jerome Randle for the Pac-10 lead in 20-point games this season with 14.
Team fact: The Sun Devils have won four straight games against Arizona since winning nine in a row from 1980-83.

22. LSU (25-4)
Last ranking: 24
Last week: Beat Florida 817-75, won at Kentucky 73-70
This week: vs. Vanderbilt on Wednesday, at Auburn on Saturday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Marcus Thornton averaged 27.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists against Florida and Kentucky to win SEC Player of the Week honors.
Team fact: The Tigers clinched their 10th SEC championship and their first since 2006.

23. Illinois (23-7)
Last ranking: 19
Last week: Beat Minnesota 52-41, lost to No. 6 Michigan State 74-66
This week: at Penn State on Thursday
Player spotlight: Senior guard Chester Frazier leads the Big Ten in assists with 5.3 a game.
Team fact: The Fighting Illini have won nine more games than they did a year ago, the second-biggest turnaround behind LSU (10 more win) among schools from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC.

24. Brigham Young (22-6)
Last ranking: NR
Last week: Won at San Diego State 69-59, beat Utah 63-50
This week: at Wyoming on Wednesday, vs. Air Force on Saturday
Player spotlight: Sophomore guard Jimmer Fredette averaged 26.5 points, 3.5 steals and 3.5 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field and 93 percent from the foul line against San Diego State and Utah to win Mountain West Conference Player of the Week honors.
Team fact: The Cougars' eight road wins tie the MWC single-season record set by Air Force in 2003-04 and matched by UNLV in 2006-07, Brigham Young in 2007-08 and New Mexico in 2007-08.

25. Butler (25-4)
Last ranking: 23
Last week: Beat Youngstown State 78-57, beat Cleveland State 58-56
This week: vs. Loyola (Ill.), Valparaiso, Wisconsin-Milwaukee or Wright State in the semifinals of the Horizon League tournament on Saturday at Indianapolis
Player spotlight: Sophomore forward Matt Howard was named Horizon League Player of the Year and freshman guard Gordon Hayward was chosen as Newcomer of the Year while both were also named to the All-Horizon League first team.
Team fact: The Bulldogs lead Division I with 11 road wins this season.

Dropped out: No. 25 Florida State

Others considered: Florida State (22-7), Georgetown (15-12), Miami, Fla. (17-10), Syracuse (21-8), Tennessee (18-10)

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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