CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 14

CSN Preps Power Rankings: Week 14
March 3, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Scott Phillips

The playoffs are underway across the state of Illinois this week, with the Class 3A and Class 4A playoffs beginning Monday. Now that every team in the state has entered the postseason, here is the final edition of the CSN Preps Power Rankings before the state tournaments begin.

With the IHSA ruling that Curie is eligible to play in the Class 4A state playoffs on Monday, the Condors remain atop the CSN Preps Power Rankings despite their 0-25 record. Curie was 24-1 on the season — and hadn't lost to a team from Illinois — but the wins and the Condors' city title was forfeited after the CPS ruled that Curie used seven ineligible players throughout the season last Friday.

We'll have many of these teams and more of the top Chicago matchups on this week's edition of High School Lites live at 11 p.m. Friday on CSN Chicago and streaming on the website at CSNChicago.com.

1. Curie, 0-25 (Last week: 1)

The Condors forfeited 24 wins to fall to 0-25, but they're still in the IHSA Class 4A playoffs and still haven't lost — on the floor — to an opponent from Illinois this season. Can Curie and Cliff Alexander overcome the distractions from the scandal and push towards a state title?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Marist Sectional

2. Stevenson, 26-1 (2)

The Patriots have put the rest of the state on notice after a 30-point win over No. 23 North Chicago. Stevenson is looking to make it back to Peoria, and with the way Jalen Brunson, Connor Cashaw, Matt Johnson and company are playing, they should make it back.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

3. Marian Catholic, 24-2 (3)

The East Suburban Catholic Conference champs wrapped up the title with a win over Nazareth. Can Tyler Ulis and the Spartans make it to Peoria after coming up just short last season?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, Thornton Sectional

[RELATED: CSN Preps Basketball Power Rankings: Week 13]

4. Whitney Young, 22-5 (4)

How will Whitney Young respond after the city playoffs? That's the big question on everyone's mind as Jahlil Okafor, Paul White and Miles Reynolds look to cement their legacy with a Class 4A state championship.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Marist Sectional

5. Orr, 20-4 (5)

The area favorite from Class 3A, Orr will try to make it back to Peoria after falling short of the title last season. The Spartans are long, athletic and talented, but are they disciplined enough to win a title?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

6. Fremd, 25-0 (6)

Some have called Fremd the Wichita State of the IHSA state playoffs after the Vikings' unlikely undefeated regular season, but the Vikings are hungry for more. Following a solid MSL title game win over Prospect during the week, can Fremd navigate a difficult Lake Zurich Sectional and continue to surprise?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

7. Zion-Benton, 25-3 (7)

It was a couple of tune-up wins for the Zee-Bees this week, as they topped Grant and Mather. Zion-Benton has its work cut out for it in a loaded Lake Zurich Sectional, and its potential regional-final clash with No. 13 St. Viator could be great.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

8. Simeon, 20-4 (8)

The Wolverines moved to 20 wins on the season thanks to two Curie forfeits. Can Simeon make a drive for five in Class 4A?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A*, No. 3 seed, Marist Sectional

*Defending four-time Class 4A champions

9. Morgan Park, 16-6 (9)

The defending Class 3A champs haven't played in a few weeks, and they have a really difficult potential regional-final matchup with Hillcrest. Morgan Park is deep enough and talented enough for another Class 3A run if it plays with a bit more consistency.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A*, No. 1 seed, Thornridge Regional

*Defending Class 3A champions

10. Bogan, 23-5 (11)

The Bengals forfeited a game and will be without head coach Arthur Goodwin for the IHSA Class 3A state playoffs, but I'm sure Bogan will take that trade to be allowed back into the tournament after playing too many regular season games and being banned before.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Vocational Sectional

11. Lake Forest, 21-6 (12)

Nice win for the Scouts as they easily handled Antioch in a tune-up for the Class 4A playoffs. The Lake Zurich Sectional is tough, but Evan Boudreaux and company have put a scare into Stevenson and beaten Zion-Benton already this season.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 3 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

12. Thornwood, 22-4 (13) 

The Thunderbirds have taken 13 straight games despite losing senior forward Donte Thomas, a Bradley commit. This team can really shoot the ball, and it'll be a threat to No. 3 Marian Catholic in the Thornton Sectional if it can get past Thornton.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Thornton Sectional

[ALSO: Road to Peoria: Breaking down Class 3A playoffs]

13. St. Viator, 21-5 (17) 

Since losing to Lake Forest, the Lions have rattled off five straight wins and picked up a really nice road win at No. 18 Mount Carmel last Friday. A potential game with No. 7 Zion-Benton looms in the Rolling Meadows Regional Final if both teams advance in their opening-round games.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 5 seed, Lake Zurich Sectional

14. Fenwick, 19-8 (18) 

The Friars have played an incredibly difficult schedule, and it should prepare them for the rigors of the Class 3A Westinghouse Sectional. Can Fenwick get past St. Joseph and Orr in the Westinghouse Sectional?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 3 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

15. St. Joseph, 21-6 (19)

Nice momentum-boosting win for the Chargers when they knocked off No. 24 St. Rita on Friday on the road. Junior point guard Glynn Watson is playing some really good ball lately, and sophomore big man Nick Rakocevic is the state's best sophomore.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 2 seed, Westinghouse Sectional

16. West Aurora, 22-4 (20)

Four straight wins for the Blackhawks have them in solid position entering the playoffs. They've played a tough schedule and should be prepared for the East Aurora Sectional.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, East Aurora Sectional

17. Larkin, 23-4 (10)

The Royals fell to Neuqua Valley, and it’s the first loss of the season for Larkin that didn't come against a ranked opponent. Can the Royals bounce back? They're favored to make a supersectional and face the winner of the loaded Lake Zurich Sectional.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 1 seed, St. Charles North Regional

18. Mount Carmel, 20-8 (14)

The Caravan fell to St. Viator at home, and now they have the tough task of playing in the loaded Marist Sectional. How about a potential regional final against No. 24 St. Rita?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 5 seed, Marist Sectional

19. Morton, 19-5 (21)

The Mustangs had a really nice blowout win over York during the week, and they seem to be peaking at the right time. Greg Carter and Weisner Perez are a high-scoring duo, and Morton is a dangerous four seed in the Bartlett Sectional.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Bartlett Sectional

[MORE: Breaking down the fantastic four in Class 4A]

20. Hillcrest, 19-6 (22)

Don Houston's ballclub has hit 14 consecutive wins as the Hawks suddenly look like a big threat to No. 9 Morgan Park in the Thornridge Regional. Can Taylor Adway, DeAngelo Isby and Allen Jones lead Hillcrest to a regional title?

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 2 seed, Thornridge Regional

21. Hinsdale Central, 21-6 (23)

The Red Devils continue to beat good competition in the later part of the season as they bested No. 22 Proviso East during the week. Six straight wins for Hinsdale Central has them confident entering the playoffs.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, East Aurora Sectional

22. Proviso East, 21-6 (15)

The Pirates fell to No. 21 Hinsdale Central as Proviso East went cold from the field in the fourth quarter. That usually doesn't happen to this talented group, and the Pirates will try to bounce back in the Elk Grove Regional.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 2 seed, Bartlett Sectional

23. North Chicago, 22-4 (16)

Can North Chicago bounce back from the ugly loss against Stevenson? That is what the Warhawks are hoping, as they have a favorable path to win the Antioch Sectional and make it back to supersectionals.

Sectional Seed: Class 3A, No. 1 seed, Antioch Sectional

24. St. Rita, 18-7 (24)

St. Rita continues to be a puzzling team to follow after falling to No. 15 St. Joseph at home. The Mustangs are incredibly talented — and Kentucky commit Charles Matthews had an outstanding game against St. Joseph — but St. Rita has to be more consistent in terms of shot-selection and making free throws.

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 4 seed, Marist Sectional

25. De La Salle, 13-10 (25)

The Meteors had the week off to prepare for the Whitney Young Regional and a likely battle with the Dolphins on Friday night. Can De La Salle keep its late-season momentum going and knock off another ranked opponent?

Sectional Seed: Class 4A, No. 7 seed, Marist Sectional