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Local Hoops Poll Week Eight: ACC4Life

Last week's top-ranked team, Virginia Tech, lost at Florida State. Last week's second-ranked team, Maryland, lost twice. The door seemed to be open for the non-ACC trinity of Georgetown, George Washington and Virginia Commonwealth. After seven weeks, it seemed we would finally move a non-ACC team into the top spot of the Atlantic Eleven.

Well, think again. Voters trust Seth Greenberg. They think he's likeable. They think he has their best interests in mind. They were impressed by that home overtime win over Maryland (yes, that's right, they watched regular season ACC hoops instead of the AFC championship game), and they said, "Hmm, let's give those plucky Hokies another chance." And so for the eighth consecutive week, an ACC team sits on top. How dull. Maybe we should just call this the Local ACC Poll, and every week we can vote on which order Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech should be ranked.

(By the way, I chatted with GW's own Mike O'Connor today about the Colonials' hoopsters, since he saw them outlast Charlotte in person over the weekend. "They probably have to win the Atlantic 10 to get in" the NCAA tournament, the wise O'Connor said. "They beat Virginia Tech, and they're in the Top 25 now, but that's really the only good win they've had all year." He should be a Poll voter. But in happier news, Karl Hobbs is lightening up. Check out this quote.)

Anyhow, here are the changes: Va. Tech remains on top; Georgetown, GW and VCU each inch up one spot; Maryland drops from second to fifth, Virginia and George Mason jump ahead of Old Dominion, Loyola moves up one spot to ninth, Towson reappears at No. 10 despite a sub-.500 record, and William & Mary falls to No. 11 on the strength of four straight losses. For the first time in Poll history, we have five ranked CAA teams, and zero representatives from the Patriot League. And I can't imagine any Virginia fans will wonder why the Cavs are still behind Maryland after a head-to-head win and two straight Terps losses.

There were 70 voters, not including one ballot that was discarded due to utter incompetence. The average time spent filling out the ballot was 32 minutes. As Intern Boris notes, "productivity in MD/DC/VA reaching all time lows!!" First-place votes in parentheses.

1. Virginia Tech (47) (14-5) 650
--Tuesday at Miami, Sunday at Georgia Tech.
--I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more Dowdell! (Jamie Paquette)
2. Georgetown (15) (13-5) 597
--Wednesday vs. DePaul, Saturday vs. Cincinnati.
--Preferring a slow tempo, Hoyas don't even use EZ Pass on their successful two-game road trip through New Jersey. (Bill Fitzgerald)
3. George Washington (4) (13-4) 481
--Wednesday vs. St. Joseph's, Saturday at Rhode Island.
--They may be the class of the A-10. Which is sort of like earning Summa Cum Laude from DeVry. (Tim Lemke)
4. Virginia Commonwealth (4) (16-3) 457
--Wednesday at No. 7 George Mason, Saturday at Drexel.
--Virginia's second-best basketball team with 'Virginia' in its name. (Nat Elliott)
5. Maryland (15-5) 448
--Wednesday vs. Georgia Tech.
--NIT riots just aren't the same. (Jason Anderson)
6. Virginia (11-6) 422
--Wednesday at N.C. State, Sunday at Clemson.
--J.R. Reynolds: the R.J. Reynolds for a new millennium? (Michael Palan)
7. George Mason (11-7) 234
--Wednesday vs. No. 4 VCU, Saturday at James Madison.
--Just 17 wins away from another Final Four! (Ted Gotsch)
8. Old Dominion (12-7) 215
--Wednesday vs. No. 11 William & Mary, Saturday at UNC Wilmington.
--First rule of Sports Bog's MD-DC-VA College Basketball Poll Spectacular is do not talk about Sports Bog's MD-DC-VA College Basketball Poll Spectacular. Second rule is do not lose to James freakin' Madison. (Corey Masisak)
--9. Loyola (11-7) 112
--Wednesday vs. Manhattan, Saturday at Iona.
--The leading candidate to be the next MAAC team that almost upsets someone in the first round of the NCAA tournament. (Eric Swensen)
10. Towson (9-10) 50
--Wednesday vs. Delaware, Saturday vs. Hofstra.
--I spent five minutes doing the rest of this poll and 15 minutes looking for someone to get my 10th place vote. (Nathan Fennessy)
11. William & Mary (10-8) 39
--Wednesday at No. 8 Old Dominion, Saturday vs. Georgia State.
--Either a computer glitch deleted every W&M pithy comment, or everyone unanimously agreed that a ranked team with four straight losses doesn't deserve a pithy comment. (The Editor)
Also receiving votes: Navy 20, American 14, Richmond 12, James Madison 9, VMI 4, Mount St. Mary's 1, Coppin State women 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 22, 2007; 7:51 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Ok, lemme start this off, because I have lots to say.

1) Two teams are ranked directly behind teams they've beaten within the past 10 days: Virginia/Maryland and Towson/Loyola. The only argument in the Terps' favor is that they have one good road win to Virginia's zero, but to me that's canceled out by the head-to-head loss. I was shocked they stayed ahead of Virginia.

2) I think you could rank the top four in about 16 different ways. I had it Georgetown, GW, Va. Tech, VCU. (Yes, I'm back to voting.) Personally, I would have liked to see an end to the ACC stranglehold, for variety's sake.

3) You can't make a credible argument for any team to be ranked 11th. It's miserable down there. W&M must be the worst 11th-ranked team in any major newspaper's state-district-commonwealth blog poll.

4) Yoni Cohen and I are going to VCU-Mason on Wednesday, if anyone will be out there and wants to say hey. Best ranked game of the week.

5) Great pithy comments this week. I laughed out loud multiple times. I'll dump more of them out Tuesday morning.

6) Sorry this was posted so late. Intern Boris and I had a few issues.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | January 22, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Big Stein,

I'll address my voting later, but for now here is my W&M pithy comment:

Tribe coach Tony Shaver announces that he has formed an "exploratory committee" on how to break a four-game losing streak.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 22, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

It's quite apparent to me that there are some serious homer issues going on in the voting. In all seriousness, if a guy like me who absolutely bleeds terp red can put aside my obvious bias towards the terps and rank them sixth in my poll, why can't others just put aside their blinders and actually vote for the best team in the area ...


Posted by: littles | January 22, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse


How could you rank GW ahead of Va Tech? Are you basing it solely on a buzzer beater at MCI Center? I mean Tech has beaten UNC, Duke, and UMD. GW has beaten such titans as Fordham, Charlotte, St. Bonaventure, and Richmond (yes those are their 4 conference wins and they did not beat anybody out of conference). I'm all for settling it on the court, but I loss by a bucket in early December means nothing in mid-January.

Thanks for posting my comment though. Go Towson! Get over .500.

Posted by: Nathan | January 22, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

I think that VT could take VCU head to head. Therefore VT stays at #1.

And I had to throw my homer bias totally out the window before the season even began. I would have gotten kicked out of the poll if I voted JMU in every week.

Posted by: Marc | January 23, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least the Tribe now have a head coach in the NFL. Well done Mike Tomlin...

Posted by: GTB | January 23, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Well said, Nathan. This isn't a poll of the best DC/MD/VA teams of the last week. Just because GW went 2-0 last week and VT went 1-1, doesn't mean you can discard what happened in the rest of the season. And it's the same thing with Maryland/Virginia; last weeks results don't make Puerto Rico disappear.

Posted by: sw | January 23, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I'd point out that Virginia Tech has lost to Western Michigan (8-10) and Marshall (7-11), so it seems that some results from earlier in the season are getting thrown out.

Posted by: Eric Swensen | January 23, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Those losses were by 3 points and 1 point respectively and were both away from home. Even with those losses, VT has a strong case for #1. I'm not saying that VT is the only correct choice for #1, but if they were #1 last week, there's not much reason to drop them behind GW.

Posted by: sw | January 23, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

You can't vote a team ahead of another solely based on what you think would happen head-to-head. You have to vote based on the results. In my book, that puts VCU on top of a group that is pretty close 1-6. Georgetown won twice on the road last week, so they move ahead of Tech as well. Tech's last three wins have to count for something, so they are a nose ahead of GW. And obviously Virginia can beat the Terps but factoring in the early season games keeps Maryland just ahead of UVA, but I could very easily see Mason and Virginia in the top five if they keep playing like they have. As far as Towson-Loyola, once the Tigetrs win some game outside of Baltimore, they might have something. Fun stuff!

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | January 23, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

UVA should definitely be ahead of MD. No doubt who the better team is after Va put up 100+ points on them.

Everyone brings up the Va lost to App St in Puerto Rico, but keep in mind App St won that tourney. Of course it's not a good loss, but App st is not that bad.

The top three is defintely GTown, VA Tech, and Virginia.

Posted by: T | January 23, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the absurdity of it all. Maryland (15-5, 1-4) ahead of Virginia (11-6, 3-2). Bunch of homers.

Posted by: dlc | January 23, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

VCU fans, you must understand: Yes, your Rams are the best team in this local poll. But they do not play in the oh-so-precious ACC or Big East. So please don't ever think they will be voted No. 1. The CAA? Oh, that's such a cute conference. But it's hardly the ACC or the Big East, two conferences that have, um, oh yes, history.

Posted by: J.D. Barnett | January 23, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The Reason Why Voters including myself don't vote for VCU as #1 is because for the most part we have no chance to see the team actually play, so we can only look at results. Since VCU hasn't beaten anyone of note as of yet; it's hard to get that excited about them. Their best win is probably UAB.

Posted by: Keszler | January 24, 2007 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Keszler, let me make sure I have this right: The reason you and other voters are not ranking VCU No.1 is because the Rams are not on TV. OK, then. At least you're using logic.

Posted by: J.D. Barnett | January 24, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

How can VCU not be #1?

Three reasons:
- The 232nd toughest strength of schedule in the country
- Loss to Toledo
- Loss to Appalachian State

The teams in the "precious ACC and Big East" face a different level of judgment. Could Maryland, Virginia or Georgetown lose to Toledo and Appalachian State and still make an argument that they are a dominant local team?

Posted by: DC fan in NY | January 28, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

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