The Washington Times - December 29, 2008, 08:40AM

This week’s big winner is West Virginia, because you don’t just go play unbeaten power conference teams in late December and do what the Mountaineers did to Ohio State.

That is, drop a 28-point demolition on the Buckeyes in Columbus.

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So West Virginia, with its losses to Kentucky (neutral court) and Davidson (neutral court, basically down two starters) vaults into consideration.

Another team worth thinking about is 9-0 Stanford, which just eviscerated Texas Tech last night in first-year coach Johnny Dawkins‘ most impressive win to date.

As for Maryland, the Terps are right where I left them last week, at No. 33 after a couple of great starts against American and Bryant and then varying degrees of uninspired play afterward. That’s about the right spot for Maryland now, and I’d still guess most Terp fans would have been ecstatic with a 9-2 mark with New Year’s fast approaching.

Here’s the full top 45 rundown:

1. North Carolina (12-0)
2. Connecticut (11-0)
3. Pittsburgh (12-0)
4. Oklahoma (12-0)
5. Duke (10-1)
6. Wake Forest (11-0)
7. Purdue (11-2)
8. Syracuse (12-1)
9. Georgetown (9-1)
10. Michigan State (9-2)
11. Notre Dame (9-2)
12. Texas (10-2)
13. UCLA (10-2)
14. Clemson (12-0)
15. Villanova (11-1)
16. Baylor (10-1)
17. Gonzaga (8-3)
18. Tennessee (8-2)
19. Arizona State (10-1)
20. Davidson (8-2)
21. West Virginia (10-2)
22. Saint Mary’s (12-1)
23. Ohio State (9-1)
24. Florida (10-2)
25. Butler (10-1)

26. Stanford (9-0)
27. Brigham Young (10-1)
28. Xavier (9-2)
29. Marquette (11-2)
30. Minnesota (12-0)
31. Memphis (7-3)
32. Louisville (8-2)
33. Maryland (9-2)
34. Illinois (12-1)
35. Michigan (9-2)
36. Miami (8-3)
37. Texas A&M (11-1)
38. Wisconsin (9-3)
39. Illinois State (12-0)
40. California (11-2)
41. Creighton (11-2)
42. Florida State (12-2)
43. Missouri (10-2)
44. UNLV (11-2)
45. Dayton (11-1)

Patrick Stevens