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March 8, 2011

Power rankings: Change at top ... finally

Rivals.com Power Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

Our annual college basketball power rankings usually resemble a stock exchange, with dozens of players moving up and down the list with each passing week.

This season, it has worked more like royalty. Once a player got to the top, he rarely left.

For each of the past four weeks, the same five players have topped their respective positions in the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's best overall performers. The only move at the top during that time had come in our coach rankings.

That finally changed this week.

San Diego State's Kawhi Leonard has taken over as the nation's new No. 1 small forward after collecting 17 points and 12 rebounds Saturday in a 66-48 rout of Colorado State that allowed the Aztecs to share the Mountain West Conference regular-season title with BYU. The double-double was Leonard's 21st of the season.

"Kawhi, I thought, was as good as I've ever seen him," Colorado State coach Tim Miles told reporters after the game.

Leonard took over the top spot from Texas' Jordan Hamilton, who has shot 18-of-59 over his past three games.

The top of the coach rankings changed for the second week in a row. Kansas' Bill Self moved into the No. 1 spot after leading the Jayhawks to their fourth consecutive outright Big 12 title Saturday with a 70-66 victory over Missouri.

Self moved ahead of Purdue's Matt Painter, whose team lost 67-65 to Iowa in its regular-season finale.

BYU point guard Jimmer Fredette, Duke shooting guard Nolan Smith, Arizona power forward Derrick Williams and Ohio State center Jared Sullinger remained atop their respective positions. Sullinger also maintained his status as the nation's No. 1 freshman.

This week's power rankings take into account all results through Sunday's games. The rankings put a special emphasis on recent performances while also taking career achievements into consideration.

Rivals.com Power Rankings: PG | SG | SF | PF | C | Freshman | Head Coach

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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