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Unexpectedly, another week with little movement -- in fact, for the first time this season, no team dropped out of the Xcellent 25 and in fact only two teams moved more than one spot.
Those two, St. Rose and Manasquan, went head-to-head on Valentine's Day and unbeaten St. Rose got a late 3-pointer from Kat Phillips to replace Manasquan at No. 14. But the two could meet again in New Jersey's long postseason -- and speaking of postseason, we're expecting the upsets to start rolling in this week.
Then again, that's what we thought last week.See playoff brackets from around the nation
MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Girls Basketball Rankings presented by the Army National Guard1. (1) Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), 25-1
J.W. North, just another of the many quality Southern California teams, is seeded 16th in the Southern Section Open Division championship -- and at 20-5, draws Mater Dei in the first round. Centennial (23-5) or young and talented Brea-Olinda would be next Tuesday's opponent.2. (2) Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), 21-0
Neumann-Goretti has had one game decided by fewer than 10 points this season -- but its strength of schedule (very weak) may keep it from ever getting to No. 1. Then again, maybe not...
3. (3) Blackman (Murfreesboro, Tenn.), 24-2
Neither storm nor sleet may stop the postman, but the Tennessee weather has postponed the conclusion of the 7AAA playoffs. Blackman and crosstown rival Oakland will take the court as soon as the snow abates.4. (4) St. Mary's (Stockton, Calif.), 26-1
St. Mary's finished its regular season by beating two quality opponents -- Lincoln of Stockton and Bishop O'Dowd -- by more than 30 points. Section playoffs are next.5. (5) Whitney Young (Chicago), 25-1
Well-rested and well-tested, Whitney Young heads into the Illinois 4A playoffs as the favorite.6. (6) Bedford North Lawrence (Bedford, Ind.), 25-0
There's nothing like playing at home, and for the second-straight year, Bedford North Lawrence is on its home court -- which could be the difference against Columbus North, which has lost just once this year (to Lawrence North, by four).7. (7) Cypress Woods (Cypress, Texas), 29-1
The "1" in that "29-1" record, North Shore, looks to be the first of many challenges as Cypress Woods tries to navigate the UIL 6A playoff bracket. First, though, Cypress Woods has to get by Tompkins this weekend.8. (8) Elizabethtown (Ky.), 25-2
Two regular season games remain for Elizabethtown before the start of the Kentucky postseason -- and it would be an upset of epic proportions were Elizabethtown to lose either one.9. (9) Long Beach Poly (Calif.), 24-2
You might have heard that Southern California has some pretty stiff competition: So Long Beach Poly, with the second seed in the Southern Section (not the SoCal Regionals, mind you), draws Cajon in the first round of a 16-team playoff Wednesday. Cajon is 25-1, and its only loss is by one point -- and it gets tougher after that.10. (10) Myers Park (Charlotte, N.C.), 23-1
The 4A brackets will be announced Saturday, and Myers Park will undoubtedly be the top seed -- recall that the only loss is to No. 3 Blackman.11. (11) Desert Vista (Phoenix), 25-3
The only Arizona team to beat Desert Vista is Millennium, which is the likely opponent next week. The other two losses? To No. 3 Blackman and No. 9 Long Beach Poly.12. (12) Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), 27-1
Florida's many divisions mean that the competition for a state title isn't as demanding as in other places, so Dillard looks to be a heavy favorite to win the 5A title this weekend. But the other three teams still alive have won a lot of games, and you just never know.13. (13) Miami Country Day, 28-2
Semifinal opponent Calvary Christian is 27-1 and the only loss is by one point, while the other 3A semifinalists are a combined 52-6. But none have played the schedule MCD has, or even close.14. (22) St. Rose (Belmar, N.J.), 22-0Kat Phillips
not only scored 34 points in St. Rose's huge 60-57 win over previous No. 14 Manasquan Saturday, she also had 19 of her team's 21 fourth quarter points. Oh yes, and she hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 19 seconds left.15. (15) Holy Innocents Episcopal (Atlanta), 27-0
Holy Innocents barely got past Wesleyan, 43-41, thanks to a disputed foul call with 0.4 seconds left, and hung on to its spot in the Xcellent 25. But the teams will likely meet again in the Georgia AA playoffs.16. (16) Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.), 25-2
Bishop McNamara had a brief flirtation with Xcellent 25 earlier this year, but has been on the outside looking in ever since -- and Paul VI made sure McNamara stayed out in the snow with a 57-43 win last week.17. (17) Ridgeway (Memphis, Tenn.), 21-0
The first-round opponent in the AAA playoffs is Southwind, which Ridgeway beat by 35 earlier this year. The goal, obviously, is to get a shot at the powers from Murfreesboro.18. (18) Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.), 21-1
There was a time, not long ago, when Eden Prairie and Wayzata would have been tests for Hopkins. That time, however, has passed, and Hopkins is instead marking time until postseason play begins.19. (19) Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.), 22-0
The game wasn't quite as tight as the score indicated, but Gonzaga Prep's 57-54 win over rival Central Valley was the second close call for the defending 4A champions. The victory also extended Gonzaga Prep's winning streak to 45, which will now be tested in the postseason.20. (20) Northside (Fort Smith, Ark.), 23-1
Har-Ber only lost to Northside by 11, at Northside. Next Tuesday's game, however, is at Har-Ber. The state tournament begins March 4.21. (21) Braintree (Mass.), 19-0
Braintree struggled a bit with seven-loss Lincoln-Sudbury, winning by only 10 on Valentine's Day, but the games that really matter will begin when the playoffs start.22. (23) Konawaena (Kealakekua, Hawaii), 31-1
Down two at the half to Lahainaluna, Konawaena asserted itself in the second half and claimed the Division I state title, 51-41. Chanelle Molina
played a big role, with 27 points on 11 of 15 shooting.23. (24) Lawrence North (Indianapolis), 25-1
Like No. 6 Bedford North Lawrence, Lawrence North could play two games Saturday -- and the second could well be against Lawrence North's nemesis, Pike. It would not be wise, however, to look past first-round opponent Mooresville, which is 24-4.24. (14) Manasquan (N.J.), 19-2
The loss to St. Rose will make Manasquan's road to a state title quite a bit tougher, as now Manasquan must get past St. John Vianney (which beat Manasquan earlier this season) in the Shore Conference tournament. If form holds, that rematch will be Feb. 24.25. (25) Eastview (Apple Valley, Minn.), 21-1
Like No. 18 Hopkins, Eastview is just waiting for the postseason. The two Minnesota powers split their two games, and if they don't get to settle things in the AAAA playoffs, there will have been a major upset along the way.