1. Drexel Dragons (25-5) LW: 2
Drexel has won 17 games in a row and 23 of their last 24 contests. They have won outright the Colonial Title and have passed the 'eye-test' of many analysts. If Drexel fails to win the CAA Tournament and do not find themselves in the tournament come Selection Sunday I am calling shenanigans. It was too difficult for me to place Drexel lower in the rankings without them losing.
To the victor go the spoils. The Hawks redeemed their shalacking at Temple earlier in the season. Last night on Hawk Hill St. Joe's defeated Temple 82-72--enough for the Hawks to move up in the rankings ahead of Temple, and more importantly for Hawk fans St. Joe's won a share of the Big 5 title. After an embarrassing loss to Richmond at home on Wednesday St. Joe's proved that the Hawks belong in the Tournament conversation. I think the Hawks are going to have to beat St. Bonaventure in the last regular season game and win at least one game in the Atlantic 10 tournament to get a bid.
3. Temple Owls (22-6) LW: 1
It pains me to put the Owls this low because they lost last night after two intense rivalry games on the road this week. La Salle took the Owls down to the final possession in overtime on Wednesday and then had to visit the Hagan Arena against a team that was looking for revenge. Worry not Owls fans, this team has the talent and the coaching prowess to make a Sweet 16 and possibly Elite 8 tournament run.
4. Penn Quakers (17-11) LW: 6
The Quakers are playing their best basketball at the right time of the year. It is a realistic possibility that Philadelphia will see 4 teams in the NCAA tournament. Penn has won 10 of their last 12 and find themselves .5 game behind Harvard in the Ivy league standings. When it looked just a few weeks ago the Quakers season was over it is filled with potential now; however, they have two very difficult games to close out the season home against Yale and visiting Princeton.
5. La Salle Explorers (18-11) LW: 4
The Explorers' are going the wrong way. A few weeks ago they were in first place in the Atlantic 10, but have hit what seems to be a wall. Losers of 5 of their last 6, La Salle can finish anywhere from 4th place in the A-10 to 12th place. A heartbreaking loss as two good looks from three didn't go against Temple was followed up by an embarrassing defeat at Fordham. Even more embarrassing for the Explorers--the Rams' student section rushed the floor. Dr. John Giannini needs to right the ship if this team has any chance of the post-season NCAA, NIT, or CBI.
6. Villanova Wildcats (11-17) LW: 5
Who would have thought that Villanova would be the only team in the City to finish the regular season with a winning record. The Wildcats are young and gaining crucial experience, but it seems to be a crawl to the finish for Nova. Two games remain: at Rutgers and home verse Cincinnati--I will reiterate my statement from last week: it is very possible the Wildcats finish the season 11-19.
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