I've actually held off from posting this lately due to CBS' picture editor being messed up. I'm just tired of waiting so here's the new power 16:
1. Connecticut Huskies (22-1) : The Huskies lone loss was to Georgetown, but I think the Huskies got the upper hand in the loss. How? Since that loss Connecticut is 11-0 with wins over Louisville, Michigan, and West Virginia. Georgetown is 3-8 with losses to Seton Hall, Cincinnati, and Notre Dame. Thanks Georgetown?
2. North Carolina Tar Heels (21-2): This is ridiculous isn't it? How is a two loss North Carolina ranked above a one loss Oklahoma? The Tar Heels have won seven straight games and has wins at Florida State & Michigan State. OU has not proven to me that they can win on the road just yet.
3. Oklahoma Sooners (23-1): Speaking of the Sooners, does anyone realize they haven't even PLAYED a top 25 team on the road just yet? Outside of Missouri, which may or may not be ranked by March 4th (my birthday) the Sooners don't have a single road game against a ranked team ahead of them either. I'm not taking anything away from OU, but winning on the road is just part of college basketball. In the NCAA Tournament you have to win games outside of the friendly confines of Norman, Oklahoma.
4. Pittsburgh Panthers (22-2): The Panthers just keep winning and honestly they appear to be one of the most well rounded teams in the entire country. Is it possible that a team ranked in the top five isn't getting enough national attention?
5. Duke Blue Devils (20-3): Number five!? How dare he? Why is Duke #5? Mainly because Duke has wins over Purdue, Michigan, Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Miami FL which are all tournament teams in my latest projection. The game against North Carolina will show whether or not Duke is ready for the big stage.
6. Michigan State Spartans (19-4): The Big Ten is loaded with NCAA Tournament teams, but there's only one most agree can actually win the national championship. Michigan State is that team. The Spartans have wins over Minnesota, Ohio State (won twice), Kansas, Penn State, and Illinois since January.
7. Louisville Cardinals (18-4): The Cardinals have rebounded very well since their rocky start. At 9-1 their lone loss in Big East play is to #1 Connecticut, which is pretty impressive. Regardless of seeding (1, 2, 3, or 4) nobody wants to play this team in the NCAA Tournament.
8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (18-3): The recent losses are discouraging but this stat still holds true. The Demon Deacons have wins over Clemson, Duke, and North Carolina this season, which is a very nice profile.
9. Memphis Tigers (20-3): I was more critical of Memphis than any other team I've seen this season earlier in the year. Now I am slowly coming around on this multi talented team. Still not a believer in Memphis? They have 14 straight wins and 50 straight Conference USA wins in a row.
10. UCLA Bruins (19-4): The Bruins are 8-2 in Pac 10 play, which is good enough for first place. Since their loss to Washington UCLA has won four straight games including their blowout win over Notre Dame on Saturday.
11. Marquette Golden Eagles (20-3): A lot people think the loss to South Florida showed the true identity of this Marquette team. I disagree. What will show their true identity is how they bounce back. Going to Villanova won't be easy coming off of their first Big East loss.
12. Clemson Tigers (19-3): The Tigers are a team I go back and forth on. How good are they? Well they beat Duke by 27 before allowing Florida State to come back from 19 points down for a win on Saturday.
13. Xavier Musketeers (20-3): Why is everyone so shocked by Xavier's loss to Duquense? The Musketeers make it easy to run through the A-10 like it's easy, but it's a lot harder than people think.
14. Villanova Wildcats (19-4): The Wildcats have won five straight games, a stretch where they have won games over Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Providence. Their NCAA Tournament seed keeps rising higher and higher.
15. Missouri Tigers (21-4): What a comeback for Missouri to knock off Kansas in the Border War. The Tigers are for real and I called it in the preseason. I'm proud of that. Mike Anderson is one of the most under-appreciated coaches in the entire country.
16. Butler Bulldogs (21-2): The Horizon League isn't take it easy on Butler, but the Bulldogs keep taking the poundings and aside from the loss to UW-GB they keep winning. I can't figure out if the selection commitee is going to give a top 20 ranked Butler team a low seed like it did last season, or whether they will get more credit this time around.