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NCAA Power 16 Rankings

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 9:07am

The “real season” – the NCAA Tournament, naturally – gets underway when the Field of 68 begins to be whittled leading into the April 6 national championship game in Arlington, TX.
In the meantime, here are my “regular season” All-America honors, plus updated Power 16:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Doug McDermott (6-7/Sr./Creighton)
COACH OF THE YEAR – Tony Bennett (Virginia)

FIRST TEAM
Shabazz Napier (6-3/Sr./Connecticut)
Doug McDermott (6-7/Sr./Creighton)
Jabari Parker (6-8/Fr./Duke)
TJ Warren (6-6/So./North Carolina State)
Kyle Anderson (6-8/So./UCLA)

SECOND TEAM
Marcus Smart (6-3/So./Oklahoma State)
Scotty Wilbekin (6-0/Sr./Florida)
Nick Johnson (6-3/Jr./Arizona)
Russ Smith (6-0/Sr./Louisville)
Melvin Ejim (6-6/Sr./Iowa State)

THIRD TEAM
Andrew Wiggins (6-7/Fr./Kansas)
Gary Harris (6-4/So./Michigan St.)
Nik Stauskas (6-6/So./Michigan)
Marcus Paige (6-1/So./North Carolina)
Cameron Bairstow (6-9/Sr./New Mexico)

Rank (Last Week)
Record
Comment
1. Florida (1)
29-2
Almost frittered away 15-point, second-half lead over Kentucky Sunday. The No. 1 overall seed in the tourney field opens vs. Albany or Mt. St. Mary’s Thursday.
2. Wichita State (2)
34-0
Takes on Cal Poly or Texas Southern in its open – then the going gets really difficult.
3. Arizona (3)
30-4
The Wildcats get Gonzaga or Marcus Smart in the Round of 32 in San Diego Sunday.
4. Michigan St. (NR)
26-8
The Spartans seem to be just rounding into “they’re good enough to win the national championship” -form.
5. Louisville (12)
25-6
How did the Cardinals get just a No. 4 seed? A sub-par non-conference slate and little Committee respect for the American Conference were apparent reasons.
6. Virginia (5)
24-6
The Cavaliers left little doubt as to the identity of the best team in the ACC this season. A Sweet 16 game with Michigan State in Madison Square Garden would be nails.
7. Duke (4)
26-8
The Blue Devils may get to the Elite Eight (vs. Wichita or Louisville) before it sees anything the defense they faced Sunday in Greensboro.
8. UCLA (NR)
26-8
Win over AZ Saturday no fluke, especially impressive considering embarrassing lack of fan support in Vegas. UCLA's 4 guard rotation can match up with anyone's. Sweet 16 match up with Florida looms.
9. Villanova (7)
23-8
A Round of 32 game vs. Connecticut would have an “old-time Big East” feel to it, right?
10. Kansas (9)
24-9
It’s kind of difficult to get a handle on just how deep into the tourney the Jayhawks will travel.
11. Syracuse (8)
27-5
Scoring has been an issue of late; will that trend continue? The once undefeated team comes into the tourney as a "sleeper" 3 seed.
12.Michigan (11)
25-8
The Wolverines are just one of the many elements in the absurdly tough Midwest Regional.
13. Creighton (6)
26-7
Guys other than Doug McDermott are going to have to perform at an elite level if this deep is going to play in the second week of the tournament.
14. New Mexico (16)
27-6
The Lobos hope to make a much deeper post-season run than they did last year, of course. Stanford is the first obstacle to that happening.
15. Wisconsin (14)
26-7

The Badgers should be awfully comfy in Milwaukee.

16. Iowa St. (NR)
26-7
Can you be a 3 seed and still be a “sleeper”? In the case of the Cyclones, possibly.

THE NEXT 16: Baylor 24-11, Cincinnati 27-6, Connecticut 26-8, Gonzaga 28-6, Green Bay 24-6, Harvard 26-4, Kentucky 24-10, Memphis 23-9, Nebraska 19-12, North Carolina 23-9, Ohio State 25-9, Oklahoma State 21-12, Oklahoma 23-9, Pittsburgh 25-9, Saint Joseph’s 24-9 and San Diego State 29-4.

Frank Burlison has been covering hoops for 30+ years for a variety of publications.

Follow Frank on twitter @FrankieBur. Also make sure to follow his website at www.burlisononbasketball.com. College coaching staffs interested in Burlison’s scouting service should contact him at [email protected]

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