The Washington Times - March 9, 2009, 08:55AM

The weak bubble has finally made compiling a top 45 a serious chore.

After a while you run out of teams. And then it’s time to imagine matchups: Michigan-Siena, Miami-Utah State, Maryland-George Mason.

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Actually, with the right convergence of events (and by right, I mean wrong for those two schools), that game could easily unfold in the first round of the NIT. The Patriots, no doubt, would rather lock up their No. 12 or No. 13 seed in the NCAA tournament with a victory tonight at on a neutral court against Virginia Commonwealth.

Anywho, here’s a top 45 to start your work week:

1. Pittsburgh (28-3)
2. North Carolina (27-3)
3. Connecticut (27-3)
4. Louisville (25-5)
5. Memphis (28-3)
6. Michigan State (25-5)
7. Oklahoma (27-4)
8. Duke (25-6)
9. Wake Forest (24-5)
10. Villanova (25-6)
11. Washington (24-7)
12. Kansas (25-6)
13. Missouri (25-6)
14. Gonzaga (25-5)
15. UCLA (24-7)
16. Xavier (24-6)
17. Clemson (23-7)
18. Syracuse (23-8)
19. Florida State (23-8)
20. Butler (26-4)
21. Texas A&M (23-8)
22. Arizona State (22-8)
23. West Virginia (21-10)
24. Brigham Young (24-6)
25. Illinois (23-8)

26. Purdue (22-9)
27. Texas (20-10)
28. Marquette (23-8)
29. Ohio State (20-9)
30. California (22-9)
31. Louisiana State (25-6)
32. Saint Mary’s (25-5)
33. Oklahoma State (20-10)
34. Utah (21-9)
35. Wisconsin (19-11)
36. Dayton (25-6)
37. Boston College (21-10)
38. Penn State (21-10)
39. Arizona (19-12)
40. Kansas State (21-10)
41. UNLV (21-9)
42. Minnesota (21-9)
43. VCU (23-9)
44. South Carolina (21-8)
45. Siena (25-7)

Patrick Stevens