(Last week's ranking in parentheses; records through Wednesday)
1. Bloom Township 21-3 (1)
The Blazing Trojans came up big in the clutch last Friday as they downed Rich South to take control of the Southland Athletic Conference race. Only Crete-Monee stands in Bloom Township's way, but the worst that can happen to the latter is having to share the title three ways. Donald Moore's leadership qualities came through against the Stars, and the Blazing Trojans appear primed for a good postseason run.
2. Seton Academy 22-4 (2)
You know you're in the midst of a great season when a five-point victory causes some people to wonder what went wrong. The Sting didn't crush Mount Carmel last Friday, but they also avoided a setback on a night when they weren't at their best and, frankly, didn't have a great deal at stake. With a Catholic League South crown in hand, Seton now prepares for the Class 2A tournament, which begins Monday.
3. Homewood-Flossmoor 18-5 (3)
It hasn't been the smoothest journey for the Vikings this winter, but now that the regular season is about to end, their body of work really doesn't look too shabby. Another SouthWest Suburban Blue championship is at hand, and Homewood-Flossmoor has collected more victories than all but two local schools. The Vikings have enough talent to do some postseason damage, but they must play up to that level.
4. Crete-Monee 16-6 (4)
The Warriors need to see more performances from LaQuon Treadwell like the one he produced in Crete-Monee's win over Rich Central: 24 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. At his best, Treadwell's a difference-maker, and if the Warriors hope to defeat Bloom Township tonight and not see their two-year SAC title reign end, Treadwell must be one of the guys making his presence keenly felt.
5. Thornwood 16-6 (5)
Tonight's game with Stagg looms large for the Thunderbirds, who remain tied with Andrew atop the SouthWest Suburban Red. The Chargers have made a habit over the years of frustrating teams more talented than they are, and Thornwood certainly qualifies in that regard. The T'birds have already beaten Stagg, however, which should help them prepare. Thornwood will rate as a tough playoff draw for almost anyone.