1.10.14: CSN College Hoops East/West Power Rankings

1.10.14: CSN College Hoops East/West Power Rankings
January 10, 2014, 12:15 pm
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Gary Williams on Maryland, Georgetown and GW

Every Friday during the season, Daniel Martin of CSNBaltimore.com and Greg Crawford of CSNNW.com will come together to give you the NCAA Hoops East/West Power Rankings, a ranked list of the nine best teams from the West and the nine best teams from the East and Midwest in college basketball. Below is this week’s edition.

EAST

9. Oklahoma State - Why not a team like Kentucky or Baylor here? Baylor just lost big to Iowa State and Kentucky still has too many problems to hash out to crack the Top 9. I’ll double down on Marcus Smart even with their narrow loss to Kansas State.

8. Florida - The Gators have won six in a row and that includes wins over Memphis and Kansas. Scottie Wilbekin’s play at point guard will be what helps to determine the Gators’ fate down the stretch.

7. Wichita State - How could Gregg Marshall’s squad not move up? Find me a better trio than Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet, and Tekele Cotton (especially at the mid-major level) and that’s without even mentioning Cleanthony Early.

6. Villanova - Aside from the lone double-digit loss to Syracuse, Villanova has kept rolling. Watch out for St. John’s on the horizon. Yes, they got blown out by Georgetown, but there’s something about playing in The Garden that makes them show up.

5. Ohio State - The Buckeyes dropped three spots because of their loss to Michigan State, but this is how the Big Ten is going to be all season. Everyone beats up on everyone else and we’ll have to wait until March and see who is for real.

4. Iowa State - The Cyclones keep cyclonin’. Their big test was supposed to be this week against Baylor and they blew the Bears out. The more I see of them, the more I like. A team that scores at the rate that they do and rebounds as well as they do is very tough to beat.

3. Michigan State - Nice win for Michigan State over Ohio State to pass the first test of conference play. They’ll take their bumps, though. This is the Big Ten, after all.

2. Wisconsin - After edging Iowa, the Badgers rolled over Illinois. They shot 56 percent from the floor in that game, thanks to 17 points from Sam Dekker. One Syracuse loss and the Badgers are No. 1 in the East.

1. Syracuse - Their win over Miami was ugly, but the Orange stay at No. 1 this week. Best point guard in the conference, but they should beware. Their next opponent, UNC, is weird. The Tar Heels beat good teams and lose to bad ones. Odd combination.

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WEST

9. Northern Colorado - The Bears are rolling and easily at present are the toast of the Big Sky. They have won 7 of 8, including the latest victory being a 19 point victory over perennial Big Sky powerhouse, Weber State.

8. New Mexico State - The Aggies continually play good basketball every year, this season they are playing great at present, winning six in a row. Big win early this year at New Mexico.

7. California - Mike Montgomery continues to shine as a basketball coach. Golden Bears are 11-4, including a huge win in Eugene on Thursday night over the Oregon Ducks, their 12th straight win over the Ducks.

6. Gonzaga - Despite losing on Thursday night in Portland, Oregon to the Pilots, the Zags are still tied for the WCC lead at 4-1 and have a powerful team, despite having many injuries including the loss of star guard Gary Bell with a broken hand.

5. New Mexico - Finally seem to have hit their groove, winning their last four games and should be the biggest challenger to San Diego State for the Mt. West title.

4. Arizona State - Have won 6 out of 7, face a big test this weekend against UCLA, after defeating USC on Thursday night in L.A. The Sun Devils have one of the best players in the country that few people talk about in Jahii Carson.

3. Colorado - Have passed every test so far this year, might be the second best team in the strong Pac-12 conference. Key game coming up on Saturday against the Washington Huskies in Seattle.

2. San Diego State - One loss all year to Arizona. Huge win over Kansas at Kansas makes them a bona fide national power team in 2013-14. Won first two games in the ever tough Mt. West Conference.

1. Arizona - Proved on Thursday night they can win a big game on the road, with the win at UCLA, the only time those two teams will play this season. They could now run the table in the Pac-12. Now I am starting to think the Wildcats will be a Final Four team.

Follow Greg Crawford on Twitter: @wchoops