The last regular-season week for the “Power Conferences” will dictate some conference winners (of the regular-season variety).

And, in the process, it will also set up No. 1 seeds in conference tournaments that will be held next week prior to the March 13 unveiling of the NCAA Tournament bracket in New York City.

*In the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M (No. 11 in the updated Power 16) and Kentucky share the lead – at 11-5 – with LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt just a game behind in the standings.

*In the Atlantic Coast Conference, No.’s 6 and 10, North Carolina and Miami, respectively, share the lead at 12-4, with Virginia (No. 3) and Louisville (No. 14) a game behind at 11-5.

*No.’s 10 (Texas A&M) and 15 (Kentucky) are knotted at the top in the Southeastern Conference, at 11-5, with LSU, South Carolina and Vanderbilt at 10-6.

*No. 7 Indiana holds a two-game lead over four Big Ten opponents that are 11-5 so needs just a win at Iowa or at home to Maryland this week to win the title outright.

*No. 12 Oregon holds a half-game lead on No. 8 Utah and a full-game edge over Cal going into the final week of Pac 12 play.

The updated Power 16 . . .

Rank (Last week’s rank)
1. Kansas (2)
The freshly minted Power 16 No. 1 takes a nine-game winning streak into Austin Monday night then closes regular season with another Big 12 game vs. Iowa State at home Thursday night.
2. Michigan St. (3)
As far as the Big Ten standings go, the Spartans remain two games behind the team (Indiana) they beat by 19 points in East Lansing on (Denzel) Valentine’s Day.
3. Virginia (5)
The Cavs got just a split last week (losing at Miami/winning at home vs. UNC) but, in the process, senior Malcolm Brogdon (27.0 points and 4.5 rebounds while hitting seven of 12 shots from behind the arc) became the ACC POY front runner.
4. Villanova (1)
A No. 1 Big East tourney seed would mean no Xavier or Seton Hall until final.
5. Xavier (4)
The giddiness of the win over Villanova was dulled by the loss at Seton Hall.
6. North Carolina (7)
The Tar Heels’ six losses have come by a combined margin of 22 points.
7. Indiana (12)
Considering the injuries the program has endured this season, the 13-3 conference record (no worse than a share of Big Ten regular-season title) would seem to put Tom Crean in Big Ten COY driver’s season.
8. Utah (14)
The Utes, along with No. 12 Oregon and On the Cusp Cal (seven-game winning streak), are one of three Pac 12 clubs playing very well right now.
9. Maryland (8)
The Terps, who have dropped their past three Big Ten road games, close regular season Sunday in Bloomington, IN.
10. Miami (NR)
The Hurricanes were 9-zip in ACC games played in Miami this season. That’s “protecting your home court” in impressive fashion, indeed.
11. Texas A&M (16)
The Aggies responded to their four-game SEC losing streak by winning their next four contests.
12. Oregon (NR)
The Ducks can win the Pac 12 regular-season crown (and No. 1 tourney seed in Las Vegas) with a sweep on its Southern California trek this week.
13. Oklahoma (10)
Four losses in the past seven games for the Sooners cost them a shot at a regular-season Big 12 crown and have likely dulled their NCAA tourney seed.
14. Louisville (13)
The Cardinals and SMU, led by Hall of Fame coaches, would likely meet in the NIT final in New York City if their respective programs weren’t banned from all post-season action this season.
15.  Kentucky (11)
The Wildcats would certainly be in strong contention to win any national “3 on 3” tournament.
16.  Purdue (NR)
The Boilermakers have also struggled on the Big Ten road (losses in four of five games).

ON THE CUSP: Alabama-Birmingham 24-5, Arizona 22-7, Arkansas-Little Rock 26-3, Baylor 21-8, Cal 21-8, Cincinnati 21-8, Duke 21-8, Iowa 20-8, Kentucky 21-8, Monmouth 25-6, St. Joseph’s 24-5, Saint Mary’s 24-4, Seton Hall 21-7, SMU 24-4, West Virginia 22-7, Wichita State 23-7 and Wisconsin 19-10.


*Jaylen Brown (California): The freshman from Georgia made a nice move in the Pac 12 POY race while averaging 17.0 points (on just 22 shots from the field), 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in home wins over UCLA and USC.

*Damian Jones (Vanderbilt): The 7-foot junior from Baton Rouge averaged 21.0 points and 7.5 rebounds as the Commodores picked up key SEC wins over Florida and Kentucky

*Davon Reed (Miami-Fla.): The junior from New Jersey took just a collective 15 shots in the team’s ACC wins over Virginia and Louisville but hit 11 of them – including eight of 10 from behind the arc – while averaging 19.0 points and 3.5 rebounds on the week.

*Denzel Valentine (Michigan State): The 6-5 senior sprinted ever close to Big Ten and John R. Wooden POY accolades while averaging 18.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists in wins against Ohio State and Penn State.

*Isaiah Whitehead (Seton Hall): The sophomore from Brooklyn continued an under-the-radar run at Big East POY honors while averaging 23.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 4.0 blocked shots in wins over Providence and Xavier.

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



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