Every Monday during the season, Daniel Martin of CSNBaltimore.com and Greg Crawford of Alford/Crawford East West Hoops 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.
9. Louisville - No AAC school made last week’s list, so Russ Smith’s buzzer-beater to lift the Cardinals over Cincinnati deserves a mention here. That weak bottom of the conference is helpful in conference play, but we’ll see come tournament time.
8. Saint Louis - The big test for the Billikens was George Washington. They passed that test. Still haven’t lost since Dec. 1.
7. Creighton - A solid win over Marquette and another victory over Seton Hall keep Creighton in the Top 9. Fear the McDermott.
6. Virginia - The Cavaliers are the No. 1 team in the ACC. How does that sound on Feb. 24? Credit Tony Bennett for helping everything come together in Charlottesville.
5. Kansas - Andrew Wiggins is kicking it into high gear at the right time. He’s averaging 19 points per game over his last three and the Jayhawks are poised to win Bill Self another Big 12 regular season title.
4. Duke - The Blue Devils ended up 1-1 after having to play North Carolina and Syracuse in just a three-day span. Not bad. Next two games should be wins, then they meet UNC again to end the regular season.
3. Syracuse - Two losses--one that shouldn’t have happened against Boston College and another in a tough environment to Duke--drops the Orange two spots. They take on Maryland on Monday night.
2. Wichita State - The only remaining undefeated team in the country stays steady at No. 2.
1. Florida - Why does Florida leap over Wichita State? A win on the road at Kentucky and again away from home against Ole Miss help their cause.
9. Weber State - The Wildcats have had a solid season, pretty much dominating the Big Sky, thus being able to host the Big Sky postseason tournament. Probably one of Randy Rahe's best coaching jobs in Ogden.
8. Stanford - The Cardinal are the surprise team of the Pac-12, sitting in third place after defeating UCLA this past week. It is surprising, but in his sixth year, Johnny Dawkins has never taken Stanford to the NCAA tourney. Will this be the year?
7. New Mexico State - Making a big end of season run to tie Utah Valley for the WAC lead. A huge early season win over New Mexico on the road will certainly help the RPI of the Aggies, as they very well could be a bubble team come March.
6. BYU - The real BYU team seems to be showing up in February. Great home win over Gonzaga, but still will not be enough to get the number one seed in the WCC tournament. Coach Rose doing one of his best coaching jobs for the Cougars since being there.
5. Gonzaga - We all hold our breath as the Zags approach March. Probably the best regular season team in all of sports and a mysterious team come NCAA tournament time, with so many devastating losses.
4. San Diego State - It will be interesting to see how well the Aztecs can rebound from a big loss on the road to New Mexico. They get the Lobos at home in final week of the Mt, West regular season, in a game that is shaping up as a key national contest.
3. UCLA - A bad loss last Thursday night at Stanford, but the Bruins are truly a power team out west and almost certainly are a lock to be playing in the NCAA tournament, under first year coach Steve Alford.
2. New Mexico - Craig Neal has to be s strong candidate for national coach of the year. He has his Lobos in great shape, winning nine of the last 10, including the easy win on Saturday over a powerhouse San Diego State team.
1. Arizona - Two losses on the year and the Wildcats have rebounded well from the loss of star player Brandon Ashley for the season. Some drama remains, as we await what kind of a seed Arizona will get in the NCAA tourney, as right now they will strongly be considered as a number one seed.
Follow Greg Crawford on Twitter: @wchoops