So there are those who feel unbeaten Duncanville deserves to be No. 1 in the nation — and they have a case. Whitney Young, which Duncanville beat easily on its home court, just knocked off previous No. 12 Joliet Catholic, and is now No. 13. Manvel, another Duncanville victim, was next-in for this week's rankings.
But Blackman, which has lost only to previous No. 1 Incarnate Word, avenged that loss by beating Incarnate Word on a neutral court — so since the Blaze were ahead of Duncanville last week, they certainly can't drop behind the Texas team after such a big win.
So should Incarnate Word, which has played the toughest schedule in the country, fall behind Duncanville? Well, the Red Knights have split with the No. 1 team in the country, so how can they drop very far after losing on a neutral court away from their home state? Duncanville, like St. Mary's of Arizona last year, has never crossed its state boundaries but is nonetheless clearly an elite team, and could well be deserving of the top spot.
The Pantherettes, though, can hope that Blackman, a young team, loses in the tough Tennessee postseason, or before that to archrival Riverdale, and then if Duncanville takes care of business in Texas there would be no question who's No. 1.
But right now, the nod goes to Blackman.
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (Last week 3) Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) 21-1
After thumping rival Oakland Friday night at home, the Blaze traveled to Kentucky and beat Incarnate Word — and if you start at No. 3, and beat No. 1, it's pretty obvious where you wind up.2. (1) Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis) 15-1
Playing the toughest schedule in the country finally caught up to Incarnate Word — ironically enough in its last major intersectional game. The Red Knights now need to take care of business back in Missouri, starting with Miller Career Academy Wednesday. 3. (4) Duncanville (Texas) 25-0
The last test before postseason will be DeSoto Feb. 4, and DeSoto has always been solid. But Duncanville already beat the Eagles by 50, so the focus is on the playoffs.
4. (5) Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) 14-2
Mountain Vista had a nice record and dreams of upsetting the No. 4 team in the country — but there's a reason Regis is No. 4. Final score: 71-39.5. (6) Homewood-Flossmoor (Flossmoor, Ill.) 15-2
Two more easy wins for Homewood-Flossmoor, and no further news on a lawsuit filed by a Viking player about the flood of transfers that has transformed Homewood-Flossmoor into a top 10 team.6. (7) New Hope Christian Academy (Thomasville, N.C.) 27-0
New Hope jumped two spots with two very good wins over New Jersey opposition (Montclair and Rancocas Valley). Now it's back to beating up on the locals.7. (8) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) 17-1
After Windward upset Long Beach Poly, Mater Dei moves ahead of the Jackrabbits thanks to a 47-38 win over Poly back in December. But they'll likely meet again in postseason.8. (NR) Windward (Los Angeles) 18-2
It's been quite a run lately for Windward: The Wildcats knocked off two nationally ranked Northern California teams over MLK Weekend, then upset previous No. 2 Long Beach Poly, and Tuesday night beat highly regarded Sierra Canyon by 15. Welcome back to the top 10.9. (9) Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia) 17-0 Emmanuela Awobajo
had 17 points and 19 rebounds, and Neumann-Goretti needed every one of both to hold off Bonner-Prendergast 58-56 and hold on to its top 10 ranking.10. (2) Long Beach Poly (Calif.) 15-2
The received wisdom has always been that if you can beat Poly's press and slow down the game, you've got a chance — and Windward did just that in a 38-37 win. In the Jackrabbits' other loss, they only scored 38.11. (11) Rock Bridge (Columbia, Mo.) 13-2
Edwardsville's impressive record went up in smoke, as Rock Bridge rolled over the previously unbeaten Illinois team 60-34. It gets no easier, though, as unbeaten Hickman comes to town Jan. 29.12. (14) Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.) 17-1
Hopewell and Butler aren't walkovers, but Myers Park has to be the heavy favorite, especially since both games are in the friendly confines.13. (24) Whitney Young (Chicago) 18-3
The Dolphins showed no mercy against previous No. 12 Joliet Catholic, winning 75-53 thanks to size and depth. Six-five Texas A&M recruit Khaalia Hillsman
blocked three of Joliet Catholic's first seven shots, and Whitney Young pulled away late.14. (15) Northside (Fort Smith, Ark.) 16-1
Hall has played a tough schedule — including No. 13 Whitney Young — so it won't be intimidated by Northside's reputation. Northside's talent, though, might be a more significant factor.15. (16) Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.) 25-2
After slipping past Hazel Green by seven last week, Sparkman has only two games left before postseason play begins. One of those, though, is against Madison Academy, which only lost to Sparkman by three back in November.16. (18) Shabazz (Newark, N.J.) 13-1
Shabazz is clearly New Jersey's best, as all nine of its in-state wins have been by double digits. That said, Blair Academy could easily snap that string on Friday.
17. (19) Lawrence North (Indianapolis) 18-1
Center Grove is 14-2 and is No. 9 in Indiana this week — and it's a good year in Indiana. Lawrence North has only one game after that before playoffs begin. 18. (20) Bedford North Lawrence (Bedford, Ind.) 16-1
Bedford North Lawrence still has that one loss to Lawrence North, and though Fort Wayne South Side isn't a gimme Saturday, expect the No. 18 team in the country to get the win.19. (21) McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.) 17-2
McEachern settles in as Georgia's best, and should be able to coast into postseason. At that point, though, the road will get considerably rougher.20. (22) Salmen (Slidell, La.) 21-1
Salmen didn't play, but jumps back into things Friday with a matchup against Franklinton, which has won nine of its last ten.21. (23) Highlands Ranch (Colo.) 15-1
Highlands Ranch is starting to play well just when it counts — Tuesday, the Falcons pulled away from tough Castle View (just three losses coming in) and won easily, 60-47.22. (NR) Mason (Ohio) 17-0
Considered the top team in Ohio by Associated Press, Mason hasn't been tested that much — but Princeton and Kelsey Mitchell on Friday will be a challenge. After that, it looks like smooth sailing until the playoffs.23. (NR) Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) 15-3
The Dragons graduated five high D-1 players, but coach Malik McCord didn't miss a beat, and his now-guard oriented team has wins over SoCal powers Serra and JSerra, plus a win over Salesian, the only team to beat No. 16 Shabazz.24. (12) Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet, Ill.) 20-1
Joliet got thumped by Whitney Young and almost fell out of the Xcellent 25, but an intersectional win over a solid Nova team from Florida preserved the spot. The next challenge will come from Marian Catholic in the last game of the regular season.25. (25) Clovis (N.M.) 19-0
Artesia and Goddard shouldn't be too tough this weekend, but Hobbs has been one of the best teams in New Mexico over the years, and Clovis has two games left with the Eagles.Dropped out:
No. 10 Fairmont (Kettering, Ohio), No. 13 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), No. 17 Desert Vista (Phoenix, Ariz.)