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April 13, 2010

Coach K's fourth title secures top spot

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

Remember when Mike Krzyzewski supposedly was spending too much time on his Olympic duties to help Duke maintain its status as one of the nation's elite programs?

Neither do we.

Krzyzewski did such an outstanding job leading Duke to its fourth national title in his illustrious career that it's hard to remember he was getting criticized just a year ago. UNC had just won its second national title in five years, while Duke had been blown out by Villanova in the regional semifinals.

Now that seems like a distant memory. Duke's national championship has led to discussion of where Krzyzewski belongs among the top coaches of all time. And there's no debate that he should finish the season as the No. 1 coach in the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

Not that Krzyzewski wants to talk about where he ranks from a historical perspective.

"We just shied away from talking about that at all or trying to think about it and tried to immerse ourselves in what these guys were doing," Krzyzewski said after Duke's 61-59 victory over Butler in the NCAA tournament championship game. "It's much better. Like for me to think about being with them now is much better than thinking about the fourth national championship. ... I love these guys. And you can see why. They've been great."

Krzyzewski took over the top spot from Kansas' Bill Self, whose team lost to Northern Iowa in the second round of the tournament. Krzyzewski's move wasn't the only change at the top of the power rankings.

Xavier's Jordan Crawford finished the season as the nation's top shooting guard after averaging 29 points in three NCAA tournament games. Crawford scored 28 points in a first-round win over Minnesota, tallied 27 points in a second-round victory over Pittsburgh and had 32 points in a West Regional semifinal double-overtime loss to Kansas State.

Crawford moved ahead of Oklahoma State's James Anderson, who scored 11 points and shot 3-for-12 in a first-round loss to Georgia Tech.

Kentucky point guard John Wall, Ohio State small forward Evan Turner, West Virginia power forward Da'Sean Butler and Georgetown center Greg Monroe remained atop their respective positions. Wall also maintained his status as the nation's top freshman.

These are the final power rankings for the 2009-2010 season. We'll release preseason power rankings for the 2010-11 season in the fall.

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.

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