Big South Power Rankings: Crunch Time

Jamie Sabau

The Big South has a new divisional structure and a new conference tournament home. We take a look at how the season is shaping up thus far and where all twelve teams rank.

All twelve of the Big South teams are hitting the key stretches of their schedule as they prepare for the Big South Tournament in Myrtle Beach. Where do all twelve of those teams rank as we approach March Madness at the beach?

1. UNC Asheville (15-10,9-2): Eddie Beidenbach has morphed his squad into another dominant presence in the Big South. The Bulldogs have won seven in a row and fourteen out of their last eighteen. Jeremy Atkinson and Keith Hornsby have grown into a powerful force, averaging nearly 33 points per game combined.

UNCA now prepares for a big first place showdown with Charleston Southern this Saturday.

Last Week: 2/6 W 69-56 vs Winthrop, 2/9 W 90-79 @ VMI
This Week: 2/13 vs Gardner-Webb, 2/16 vs Charleston Southern

2. Charleston Southern (13-8,8-2): The Bucs had been on cruise control but have now had two slip ups in a row against Gardner-Webb and then at Coastal. Barclay Radebaugh's squad responded by thrashing Campbell on Saturday. The league's most talented backcourt of Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper once again shined combining for 37 points.

Last Week: 2/6 L 73-53 @ Coastal Carolina, 2/9 W 86-68 vs Campbell
This Week: 2/13 @ Winthrop, 2/16 @ UNC Asheville

3. High Point (13-10,8-3): The Panthers have ignited for a four game win streak in conference play. Allan Chaney remains one of the best stories in college basketball this year, coming back from multiple heart complications. Chaney's frontcourt mate, freshman John Brown, is becoming a force in the paint. High Point will look to keep their streak going against the two LUs this week.

Last Week: 2/6 W 58-52 @ Campbell, 2/9 W 74-62 vs Coastal Carolina
This Week: 2/13 @ Longwood, 2/16 at Liberty

4. Coastal Carolina (11-11,6-5): The most surprising win in the conference last week had to be the Chanticleers blowing out Charleston Southern. Coastal has shown what an advantage the HTC Center can be this year with wins over not only the Bucs but Clemson and Akron this year. Coastal hasn't carried the same confidence on the road as they are 1-5 in conference play now.

Last Week: 2/6 W 73-53 vs Charleston Southern, 2/9 L 74-62 @ High Point
This Week: 2/13 @ Presbyterian, 2/16 vs Gardner-Webb

5. VMI (11-11,6-4): Stan Okoye and DJ Covington continue to be a force and destroyed Longwood on the road but slipped up at home against Asheville in front of a national TV audience. The Keydets will need to rebound with two critical North Division match ups this week.

Last Week: 2/6 W 93-60 @ Longwood, 2/8 L 90-79 vs UNCA
This Week: 2/13 vs Radford, 2/16 @ Campbell

6. Gardner-Webb (14-11,6-5): No one likes to lose to Presbyterian but the Bulldogs fell victim in a close one on the road. At least they responded nicely with a tight win over Liberty on Saturday night. Chris Holtmann's squad now prepares for a brutal back-to-back road stretch.

Last Week: 2/6 L 57-54 @ Presbyterian, 2/8 W 71-68 vs Liberty
This Week: 2/13 @ UNCA, 2/16 @ Coastal Carolina

7. Radford (11-14,5-6): Mike Jones squad is much improved but they have to find some consistency. The Highlanders finally got off their three game losing streak by taking down Presbyterian Saturday. It will be tough for Radford to keep it up with two road games against in-state rivals this week.

Last Week: 2/5 L 75-70 @ Liberty, 2/8 W 76-65 vs Presbyterian
This Week: 2/13 @ VMI, 2/16 @ Longwood

8. Campbell (10-15,5-6): For awhile it looked like Campbell could get by without Darren White, especially with the stellar play of Trey Freeman. But now the Camels are free-falling and have lost five straight.

Last Week: 2/6 L 58-52 vs High Point, 2/8 L 86-68 @ Charleston Southern
This Week: 2/13 vs Liberty, 2/16 vs VMI

9. Liberty (8-17,4-7): The Flames are falling into a pattern of winning a game and losing a game. Dale Layer's squad is certainly playing better but can they get some rhythm going before heading into the conference tournament?

Last Week: 2/5 W 75-70 vs Radford, 2/8 L 71-68 @ Gardner-Webb
This Week: 2/13 @ Campbell, 2/16 vs High Point

10. Winthrop (10-13,4-7): No one wanted to be the first conference team to lose to Longwood but it was bound to happen. All the home loss showed is the rebuilding process is still going to take a while for Pat Kelsey.

Last Week: 2/6 L 69-56 @ UNCA, 2/8 L 62-56 vs Longwood
This Week: 2/13 vs Charleston Southern, 2/16 @ Presbyterian

11. Presbyterian (6-19,3-8): The Blue Hose are playing a lot better and are getting out of punchline range. Last week's win versus Gardner-Webb was a great example of that.

Last Week: 2/6 W 57-54 vs Gardner-Webb, 2/9 L 76-65 @ Radford
This Week: 2/13 vs Coastal Carolina, 2/16 vs Winthrop

12. Longwood (4-21,1-10): Mike Gillian's squad grabbed their first ever Big South win on Saturday. Can the Lancers parlay the win into some momentum with a three game home-stand on tap?

Last Week: 2/6 L 93-60 vs VMI, W 62-56 @ Winthrop
This Week: 2/13 vs High Point, 2/16 vs Radford

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