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Big South Power Rankings: Is the Conference Weaker Than Expected

Many teams are hobbling into Big South play with one last week to build some momentum. Who is cruising into conference play?

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Let's jump right into the power rankings this week after another busy week in the Big South.

Power Rankings

1. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (9-3, LW 1): The Chants narrowly missed out on another SEC upset at Ole Miss and then took care of business against a rebuilding Central Arkansas team on the road. Now the biggest question is if Cliff Ellis' squad can keep from getting rusty as they have ten days off before beginning Big South play at High Point.

2. Radford Highlanders (8-4, LW 4): Mike Jones' squad enjoyed the comforts of home last week with three home wins against a non-D1 squad, a depleted Siena squad, and Cornell. The Highlanders are off until Sunday when they'll welcome non-D1 Central Penn to town to close out the non-conference slate.

3. High Point Panthers (8-3, LW 6): John Brown played with a heavy heart this week after losing his mom and put up 24 points at JMU in the best game the Panthers have played all year. The Panthers will host non-D1 Thomas College Sunday in their final non-conference game.

4. Charleston Southern Buccaneers (5-4, LW 4): The Bucs lost at Wofford but looked like a really solid squad in the road setback. Barclay Radebaugh's squad will place once this week at Colorado State.

5. Gardner-Webb Bulldogs (7-5, LW 2): A narrow road loss at Jacksonville was a bit of a setback for the Bulldogs this week who will get a final non-conference tune up at Purdue on Monday night. Tim Craft will have on of the conference's most battle tested squads heading into Big South play.

6. Campbell Fighting Camels (5-6, LW 8): The Camels have won four of their last five including a D1 win against SIU Edwardsville this week. Campbell will close out their non-conference slate with two winnable games against UNC Wilmington and Samford this week. Could the Camels actually be above .500 heading into conference play?

7. Winthrop Eagles (5-6, LW 3): Pat Kelsey's Eagles are trending in the wrong direction in December as Winthrop hasn't grabbed a Division I win since December 1. Winthrop has now packed up shop and won't play again until the Big South opener against Longwood on New Years Eve.

8. Longwood Lancers (4-8, LW 9): The Lancers lost a close one at Ball State without Shaquille Johnson and then hammered Penn State Beaver at home on Saturday. Maybe the biggest news for Longwood came off the court though as big man Jason Pimentel is expected to join the squad for conference play.

9. Liberty Flames (5-6, LW 10): Liberty played well at UNC Wilmington but lost to the Seahawks on the road. The Flames head to Princeton on Monday before closing out non-conference play against a non-D1 this weekend.

10. UNC Asheville Bulldogs (4-7, LW 7): Do I think UNCA is this bad? No. But sooner or later you have to stop believing. The Bulldogs haven't won a D1 game since the opening weekend of the season and are limping into Big South play with a tough opening day challenge against Radford.

11. Presbyterian Blue Hose (4-8, LW 11): The Blue Hose missed their best opportunity for a D1 win when Samford came to town early last week and then lost to UT Martin on the road.  PC will head to Virginia Tech to finish their out-of-conference slate.