The @CSNPreps Power Rankings had a big week with both the Public League Playoffs and Catholic League Tournament advancing to this week's semifinals. Now we get some major clashes near the top of the rankings this week as Morgan Park and Simeon and Curie and Kenwood play on Friday night.
The Catholic League Tournament is also shaping up for a potential rematch between Fenwick and St. Joseph and the annual McDonald's City/Suburban Showdown is also loaded once again as Morgan Park takes on Riverside-Brookfield and Simeon battles Evanston.
1. Morgan Park (1) (21-2, 9-1) - The Mustangs picked up a huge road win at North Lawndale in the Public League Playoff quarterfinals and they have a rubber match with No. 3 Simeon in the semifinals on Friday. Senior Charlie Moore looked like the Player of the Year with his performance against the Phoenix.
2. Fenwick (2) (22-2, 9-0) - Moving onto the Catholic League Tournament semifinals was Fenwick as they beat Leo and Marmion. The Friars will be heavily favored to reach the championship when they face No. 13 seed St. Laurence.
3. Simeon (3) (21-3, 9-1) - Simeon was very impressive in dismantling No. 15 Whitney Young in the Public League Playoffs and it sets up a very fun battle with Morgan Park in the semifinals. And don't forget Simeon's battle with No. 4 Evanston during Saturday's City/Suburban Showdown. Huge week for Robert Smith's ballclub.
4. Evanston (4) (21-2, 9-0) - Evanston continues to be one of the hottest teams in the state as they've won 13 consecutive games and are playing extremely good ball. Can the Wildkits close out the Central Suburban South in unbeaten fashion?
5. Curie (6) (20-4, 8-2) - While the Red-South rubber match will be the main event, Curie will be in the very fun second semifinal against Red-Central rival Kenwood. The Condors had two tough wins against Bogan and Farragut this week as they've played a tough stretch to make the semifinals.
6. Kenwood (8) (18-3, 9-1) - The Broncos had a tough win over Vocational before knocking off Westinghouse to advance to the Public League Playoff semifinals. Can Kenwood win a game on a huge stage? They're the unproven team in big games among the final four.
7. St. Joseph (9) (18-7, 8-1) - The Chargers are moving on to the semifinals of the Catholic League Tournament and they'll be heavily favored at home against Providence. The blowout win over Brother Rice was a solid victory.
8. Bogan (8) (17-7, 6-4) - Bogan lost to Curie by two points in the second round of the Public League Playoffs and the defending champions have been eliminated. Still, Bogan is a very dangerous team in the Class 3A tournament.
9. Benet (10) (23-3, 6-1) - Two double-digit wins for Benet means they're still on top of the ESCC and playing great ball as we get closer to the playoffs. The Redwings don't have the star power of the teams ahead of them but they're a balanced team.
10. Riverside-Brookfield (11) (18-4, 10-0) - Riverside-Brookfield earned two more easy wins in Metro Suburban West play but they get a real test against No. 1 Morgan Park this weekend in the City/Suburban Showdown.
11. North Lawndale (12) (20-7, 8-2) - North Lawndale had a great battle with No. 1 Morgan Park and proved that they are a very dangerous team to watch in March. Tyrone Rhivers is one of the area's best scorers.
12. Thornton (5) (19-2, 10-1) - Thornton finally lost to an area team when they fell to Lincoln-Way Central and it could be a loss that wakes them up before the playoffs. We'll have to see how the Wildcats respond before the playoffs begin.
13. Marian Catholic (14) (18-5, 5-1) - Marian Catholic played as good a half of basketball as I've witnessed all season when they trounced St. Patrick in the second half of a big road win. Sophomore point guard Chase Adams was solid in leading the balanced effort.
14. Homewood-Flossmoor (15) (18-5, 10-1) - In the Southwest Suburban Blue, the Vikings earned a double-digit win over Bolingbrook and they've quietly been stockpiling wins over the last few weeks.
15. Whitney Young (13) (17-8, 8-2) - The Dolphins picked up a blowout win over King before losing to Simeon in the quarterfinals of the Public League Playoffs. Whitney Young still has the talent to make a run in the playoffs, but they need to regroup after that blowout loss to the Wolverines.
16. Naperville North (18) (19-4, 12-1) - Naperville North has opened up a sizable four-game lead in the DuPage Valley with two more double-digit wins this week. The Huskies are unbeaten against area teams since we turned to 2016.
17. Orr (19) (16-3, 10-0) - Orr had the week off as they begin to prepare for the state playoffs. The Spartans have enough weapons to be a major contender in Class 2A.
18. Vocational (17) (18-8, 4-6) - Vocational made a strong effort in a loss to Kenwood but they can't seem to get over the hump against elite teams.
19. Deerfield (20) (23-3, 8-1) - Deerfield picked up a strong double-digit win over a good Niles North team then escaped with a win over Carmel. The Warriors have a potent offense and can really put up points if their perimeter shooting is on.
20. Hyde Park (21) (18-7, 7-3) - Hyde Park gave Morgan Park everything they could handle in the second round of the Public League Playoffs before falling.
21. Hillcrest (22) (18-5, 11-0) - Hillcrest won a huge South Suburban Blue game against T.F. North as they're now in sole possession of first place in the conference.
22. Notre Dame (24) (19-6, 4-3) - Nice week for the Dons as they beat St. Viator and Lake Forest in impressive fashion. Still had to peg this team with their inconsistencies but they've been good lately.
23. Stevenson (NR) (19-6, 9-2) - Stevenson had a very nice week in clinching the North Suburban Lake once again. Wins over Lake Zurich and Zion-Benton gives the Patriots a lot of confidence as we get closer to March.
24. Hinsdale South (NR) (19-8, 8-3) - Huge week for Hinsdale South as they return to the @CSNPreps Power Rankings. The Hornets knocked off formerly ranked Proviso East then beat Leyden and Von Steuben. Senior Barret Benson is still in the Player of the Year conversation.
25. Prairie Ridge (NR) (21-3, 11-0) - Prairie Ridge makes its Power Rankings debut this season as they had an impressive fourth-quarter comeback in a win over Grayslake North. Corky Card is a tremendous coach and the Wolves are very balanced.