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Friday, December 01, 2006

Tigers a #4 Seed in First's Power 16's Power 16
It's back.'s Power 16 makes its debut, with UCLA a nearly unanimous No. 1 and Butler settling in at a much-deserved 10th.

The Power 16 is voted on each week by a panel of experts. Power 16 comments are written by college hoops editor Andy Glockner. Comments/questions? E-mail him.

No. 1 Seeds
UCLA 5-0 So far, the question of whether Darren Collison could replace Jordan Farmar at the point has been answered with a resounding "Yes." That and Josh Shipp's return have been two big early pluses for the Bruins.

Pittsburgh 6-0 Mike Cook has been a nice under-the-radar scoring boost to the Panthers, about whom we'll find out much more after four road games -- including at Wisconsin and Oklahoma State in Oklahoma City -- in their next five games. Look good so far.

Florida 7-1 Didn't seem to play terribly well for the first 30 minutes against a very good Kansas squad, but still was right there, despite some possible health concerns. Would be fun to see a rematch in March. There are no concerns, though, about Florida's talent.

Kansas 6-1 Home loss to ORU not as bad as many thought, but what better way to redeem things than by downing the defending champs on a "neutral" floor. Julian Wright had his star turn, if you were up late enough on the East Coast to see it.

No. 2 Seeds
North Carolina 5-1 Did what it needed to in win over Odenless but very game Ohio State. Freshmen are living up to billing, especially explosive forward Brandan Wright.

Ohio State 6-1 May have earned more respect with gritty performance at the Dean Dome than with inherited No. 1 ranking. Buckeyes look likely to be very, very dangerous come March.

Marquette 7-0 Nova 2.0 has had a couple of very close calls, but Dominic James is the real deal. Golden Eagles are a legit upper-tier Big East team.

Alabama 6-0 Tide remains perfect despite Jermareo Davidson's personal tragedies. Ronald Steele's knee may be a bit of a concern, but when healthy, watch out.

No. 3 Seeds
Texas A&M 6-0 So far, so good for one of the preseason's trendiest top-10 picks. Jones-Law tandem is punishing foes for a combined 30 a game, but contributions from sophomore Josh Carter have made the Aggies even more potent.

Butler 8-0 It's worth noting that Butler (after Xavier) was one of last season's most underrated teams statistically. Bulldogs easily won at Valpo right after the Crusaders nearly stunned Marquette.

Maryland 8-0 If you had some lingering doubts after the CvC, the strong performance at Illinois should have alleviated them. Looks like the NCAA Tournament drought will end at two.

Arizona 4-1 Cats get a bit of a pass for the opening-night loss at U.Va. We'll know more after a meeting with Louisville in the Jimmy V and a visit to very solid San Diego State.

No. 4 Seeds
Georgia Tech 6-1 A little too early for the Jackets to knock off a team like UCLA. Young and Crittenton have been as advertised and Clinch is providing the needed scoring punch.

Gonzaga 6-1 Great W over UNC and getting beat by Butler may look better and better as the season goes along. As an aside, Derek Raivio's been terrific, but how many good players get less pub than Josh Heytvelt?

Duke 6-1 Perhaps a bit of a legacy pick at this point, but they did handle an Air Force team that's drilling everyone else in its path. Devils need more from Josh McRoberts and Greg Paulus.

Memphis 4-1 Coach Cal kept hinting that this team might be as good as last season's, despite heavy personnel losses. So far, you can't say for sure that he's wrong. We'll know more after meetings with Tennessee and Arizona.

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