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How The News voted: Four days until Selection Saturday

Selection Saturday comes at the end of this final week of the regular season, followed by Sunday's tip-off of the Manhattan Cup playoffs. Finally, the most important -- and most enjoyable -- time of the season.

Every week 10 voters participate in The News' large and small school polls for boys basketball. The poll is published Tuesday in the Sidelines of the Scholastic Spotlight.

Here are our previous looks at the basket: Preseason, Poll No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 5, No. 6 and last week's.

And here's this week's ...

Large schools

1. Nichols [16-6] [last week: 2] - We've come full circle. Nichols deserved the top spot even before Canestro's return.

2. Canisius (19-4) [6] - Bounced back nicely from the Timon loss. Talk about full circle: Wednesday is now No. 1 vs. No. 2.

3. Williamsville South (14-3) [4] - Canisius' schedule edges South for second spot.

4. Bishop Timon-St. Jude (17-6) [3] - This week's poll is kind of like top three and then about nine teams tied for sixth. The Tigers didn't look great losing at Nichols and then losing at home to St. Joe's, but they did beat Canisius not so long ago.

5. North Tonawanda (14-3) [10] - We're giving the edge to NT over the ECIC I crowd -- for now -- two wins over Falls and a win over Maryvale are impressive despite the Lockport losses.

6. Orchard Park (14-2) [NR] - Two wins over Jamestown have to get you ranked ahead of them ...

7. Jamestown (14-3) [7] - ... even if the Red Raiders are very good, were depleted the first time and they pretty much had OP beat on Friday. But they didn't finish. Man, the playoffs are going to be ridiculous.

8. Sweet Home (13-4) [8] - How ridiculous are the playoffs going to be? Word is these guys are on the road in the quarterfinals ... 

9. Niagara Falls (13-4) [5] - ... while these guys are the lowest on this ballot in the history of their school. 

10. St. Joe's (11-11) [NR] - A ball rolling off the rim here, a turnover there, a rebound carom here and they could have had what would have been a tremendous win. If they keep their momentum going at Kenmore West this week, look out at Canisius College. 

East is bumped from my top 10 -- after being No. 1 on my ballot for three weeks. That's what a balanced field, a loss at McKinley and a one-point win over Hutch-Tech will do. St. Francis will still be a very tough out in the playoffs. Maryvale, as usual, has its reservations for Buffalo State. Amherst, Clarence, Grand Island and Lockport (not necessarily in that order) are probably in the next tier.

Small schools

1. Olean (15-2) [1] - Yawn. See you guys at Buffalo State.

2. Middle College (15-1) [2] - See you guys on Friday at East.

3. Depew (14-2) [3] - Not hurt at all by Maryvale loss.  

4. Grover Cleveland (12-3) [4] - Can the Presidents play spoiler to East on Wednesday?

5. Wilson (15-2) [8] - Thorough home win over Medina puts them back up where we had them earlier in the season.

6. St. Mary's (15-8) [5] - An able Barnhardt is just one thing that will make Sunday's quarterfinals very interesting.

7. Maple Grove (9-7) [6] - Loss to St. Joe's, loss at Finney. They might have another loss at North Tonawanda on Thursday, but they'll still belong in this poll, and they'll still be better off for the playoffs. 

8. Allegany-Limestone (14-4) [7] - Astonishing how they've dominated teams not named Olean, Jamestown or Bradford (Pa.).

9. Lackawanna (14-3) [10] - Fun matchup Friday night at Orchard Park.

10. Medina (12-5) [9] - Two losses in good games, so we'll keep them here -- just boxing out Cleveland Hill and Cassadaga Valley.

Don't like what you're reading? The comment space is below.

No time for a live chat during the week because of all the big games (set your Web DVR for PrepTalkTV wrapups of Wednesday's and Friday's games) as well as Selection Saturday. We'll definitely have one next week during the early rounds of the sectionals. As always, feel free to comment or email me at [email protected] 

---Keith McShea

buffalonews.com/highschool     facebook.com/preptalkblog     twitter.com/bufnewspreptalk

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

@KeithMcSheaBN | [email protected]

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