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Jeff Eisenberg

Week 2 of the Blogger Power Poll (Feb. 8-14)

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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There's no doubt who our eight bloggers believe the nation's two strongest conferences are heading into mid-February.

Just like last Monday's inaugural edition of our weekly blogger power poll, the Big East and Big Ten dominated the second installment this week with four teams apiece ranked in the top 12.

Kansas maintained its grip on the No. 1 spot, receiving six of eight possible first-place votes. No. 2 Syracuse and No. 3 Kentucky split the remaining first-place votes, while Villanova slipped only to fourth despite a blowout loss at Georgetown on Saturday.

Dropping the furthest in the poll was Texas, which fell from 8th to 14th after its fourth loss in six games on Saturday against Oklahoma. Michigan State lost twice this week but did not drop out of the top 10, voters perhaps taking into account that injured star Kalin Lucas did not play against Illinois.

Only previously No. 14 Temple fell out of the poll entirely this week after a lopsided loss to Atlantic 10 foe Richmond on Saturday. Gonzaga replaced the Owls at No. 15 on the strength of a convincing victory over Portland and a narrow road win at Memphis.

1. Kansas (126)

Comment: Survived upset bids from Big 12 bottom feeders Colorado and Nebraska to enter Monday night's showdown with Texas undefeated in conference play.

2. Syracuse (120)

Comment: A 28-5 game-ending run at Cincinnati helped the Orange overcome a six-point deficit on Saturday and avoid the upset.

3. Kentucky (114)

Comment: Yes, John Wall is great, but fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 19.5 points and 12.2 rebounds in his last six games.

4. Villanova (104)

Comment: Jay Wright, ever the master of understatment, on surrendering 103 points to Georgetown on Saturday: "That was not one of our better performances."

5. West Virginia (90)

Comment: Lost amid the hubbub over West Virginia's misbehaving fans is that the basketball team has quietly emerged as a Final Four contender.

6. Purdue (87)

Comment: That whooshing sound you heard last week was Boilers fans sighing with relief at finally beating Indiana at Assembly Hall for the first time since 2000.

7. Georgetown (80)

Comment: What better way to bounce back from a disappointing home loss to South Florida than to hand Villanova its first Big East loss.

8. Michigan State (65)

Comment: It was certainly excusable to lose at Wisconsin and Illinois, but the Spartans' cushion in the Big Ten race has disappeared as a result.

9. Kansas State (63)

Comment: Road wins at Nebraska and Iowa State were the type of games previous Kansas State teams would have found a way to split instead of sweep.

10. Duke (62)

Comment: Duke shouldn't have to get excited about winning at Boston College by three, but a road win, any road win, is cause for celebration these days in Durham.

11. Wisconsin (42)

Comment: Don't let all the Kalin Lucas injury talk overshadow what Wisconsin accomplished last week: The Badgers had Michigan State beat anyway.

12. Ohio State (36)

Comment: Quietly, Brandon Roy-clone Evan Turner continues to gain ground on John Wall in what should be a fun player of the year race.

13. Tennessee (32)

Comment: A 26-point win over South Carolina and the reinstatement of center Brian Williams made for a good weekend for the Vols.

14. Texas (18)

Comment: It's a testament to how good Texas was early in the season that the 'Horns are still ranked even after losing four of six.

15. Gonzaga (15)

Comment: Memphis may be down this season, but that was still a heck of a win on Saturday for the Zags going cross-country on short rest to beat the Tigers.

16. BYU (14)

Comment: Let's see how the Cougars respond to getting blitzed at UNLV on Saturday, a loss that created a three-way tie atop the Mountain West.

Others receiving votes: New Mexico (6), Butler (5), Temple (4), UNLV (2), Wake Forest (2), Northern Iowa (1)

Voters:

Jeff Eisenberg, Chris Chase and Matt Norlander, The Dagger

Zach Hayes, Rush The Court

Scott Procious, NBE Basketball Report

Gary Moore, The College Hardwood

Chris Kulenych & Craig Gately, Bracketology 101

Rob Dauster, Ballin' is a Habit

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