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Duke's win over Maryland moves Devils into top spot

Posted: Monday January 15, 2007 10:49AM; Updated: Tuesday January 16, 2007 3:48PM
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There's a change at the top this week, so let's dig right in.

NCAA Basketball Power Rankings
Rank LW School
1 4
Duke Blue Devils (18-0)
The Blue Devils are terrific on defense. And when the top defensive player in the conference, Lindsey Harding, is also putting up big numbers on offense, you're going to be in good shape. It doesn't hurt to have Alison Bales patrolling the paint, either. The 6-foot-7 center looked every bit a player of the year candidate on Saturday against Maryland. Bales came close to a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks.
Next three: 01/18 at N.C. State; 01/22 at Tennessee; 01/25 at Florida State
2 2
North Carolina Tar Heels (19-0)
Despite the perfect start this season, head coach Sylvia Hatchell thinks her team needs to improve. That's a scary thought if you're a North Carolina opponent. The Tar Heels are already pretty darn good. They're averaging almost twice as much as their opponents on offense, while putting up 91.1 points a game and holding teams to 49.9.
Next three: 01/15 vs. Connecticut; 01/18 vs. Georgia Tech; 01/21 vs. North Carolina State
3 3
Tennessee Volunteers (16-1)
Like Maryland, Tennessee has lost just one game. But I'm giving the Lady Vols the higher spot because they've earned it by playing more ranked teams than anybody. They've already knocked off seven ranked opponents, and they're just getting started in the SEC. It certainly helps your cause when you have the best player in the country on your team.
Next three: 01/18 vs. Mississippi State; 01/22 Duke; 01/25 at Vanderbilt
4 1
Maryland Terrapins (18-1)
The Terrapins might have seen their 24-game winning streak come to an end, but their chance to repeat is still very much intact. Despite Saturday's loss to Duke, Maryland remains one of the most balanced teams in the country. The Terps just won't remain at the top of our rankings ... for now.
Next three: 01/19 vs. Virginia; 01/21 vs. Wake Forest; 01/25 at Clemson
5 5
Connecticut Huskies (14-1)
The Huskies have done just fine since losing to Tennessee. They've won two straight heading into Monday night's game at North Carolina. With five players averaging at least 11 points, the Huskies can score from any position. They're getting the job done inside on both ends of the floor, outrebounding opponents by 15.9 a game and averaging 6.2 blocks.
Next three: 01/15 at North Carolina; 01/17 at Providence; 01/21 at St. John's

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