Local Hoops Poll Week 13: Love at the Top
Don't ever let anyone tell you that your vote doesn't matter. Despite 75 voters, which is among the all-time highs, only three voting points separated No. 2 Maryland and No. 3 Virginia Tech, which, in mathematical terms, is a "not that many." The national polls sure favor Va. Tech in this comparison, but I could go either way on it. Anyhow, having Maryland and Georgetown nestling up near each other at the top is sorta sweet. In my ideal world, those two schools play each other in one national semifinal, while Virginia-Virginia Tech play in the other, and The WaPo is forced to turn off all comments on its blogs.
As previously mentioned, our top seven teams went 13-1 last week. That's strong. Realistically, we figure to have five-to-eight Local NCAA Tournament teams, depending on conference tournament maybes (Loyola, Morgan State, Hampton, GW) and at-large hopefuls (Old Dominion, VCU). And in the meantime, as Intern Boris notes, "THIS IS GEORGETOWN'S WORLD AND WE ARE JUST VOTERS IN IT!!" The Hoyas were one voter short of being unanimous this week, but theirs is a pretty comfortable first place.
Anyhow, here's our glance at the rankings for our six at-large hopefuls. The AP has Georgetown ninth, Virginia Tech 21st, Maryland 24th, Virginia 28th, Old Dominion 38th and VCU tied for 41st. The coaches have Georgetown 10th, Virginia Tech 21st, Virginia 25th, Maryland 28th and VCU tied for 40th. No Old Dominion. Which makes sense, because ODU has only won 11 straight. (Personally, I have them third.) In the RPI, as of this writing, it goes Maryland (14), Georgetown (17), Virginia Tech (22), Old Dominion (33), Virginia (38) and VCU (59, hanging on for dear life).
Georgetown's four straight weeks on top are the most in Poll history. Maryland and Virginia switch places at 2 and 4. Spots 5-9 don't change. After a three-week absence, American rejoins us at No. 10, and William & Mary falls a spot to 11. Towson drops out.
The next five weeks, starting today and ending a week from tomorrow (women's national title game) are, for my money, the best five weeks of the sports calendar, as measured in "how many consecutive days of 11th-grade chemistry class can I waste by making little charts and tables about sports in my notebook without getting bored." Have fun. First-place votes in parentheses.
1. Georgetown (74) (22-5) 749
--Monday night at Syracuse, Saturday vs. Connecticut.
--If they keep progressing at this rate, just think how good Georgetown will be under John Thompson XII. (Gavin Weiss)
2. Maryland (1) (22-7) 611
--Wednesday at Duke, Saturday vs. N.C. State.
--You two might remember each other, even though it's been a couple of years. NCAA Tournament, meet Gary. Gary, NCAA Tournament. (Eric Swensen)
3. Virginia Tech (20-8) 608
--Thursday at No. 4 Virginia, Sunday vs. Clemson.
--Deron Washington is still dunking against Boston College. (Ajay Vellore)
4. Virginia (19-8) 544
--Thursday vs. No. 3 Virginia Tech, Saturday at Wake Forest.
--An inexplicable loss to Miami is not necessarily a season killer. See also: Maryland. (Markus Videnieks)
5. Old Dominion (23-7) 439
--Saturday, CAA quarterfinal.
--Take away one loss to James Madison and this team is a near shoe-in for an at-large bid. Of course, take away one loss for the British and I would be sipping on tea while casting my vote for the Atlantic 11 "Football Club" Poll right now. (Corey Masisak)
6. Virginia Commonwealth (24-6) 387
--Saturday, CAA quarterfinal.
--Their tourney status may hinge on the strength of their "We beat everybody we played...except those good teams" argument. (Jamie Paquette)
7. George Washington (18-8) 313
--Thursday at Charlotte, Saturday vs. Duquesne.
--Bog SAT question: If a certain basketball team wins five games in a row, then loses its next four games, then wins the following three, will it win or lose its next game? (Chris Olson)
8. George Mason (15-14) 156
--Friday vs. James Madison, CAA opening round.
--This Final Four follow-up season means people will continue to ask if I went to James Mason or George Madison University. (Marc Gallant)
--9. Loyola (17-12) 144
--Saturday vs. Fairfield, MAAC quarterfinal.
--Loyola (MD): Almost as cool as Doogie Howser M.D. (Sean McLernon)
10. American (15-13) 81
--Wednesday vs. Colgate, Patriot League quarterfinal.
--Apparently, all it takes to break the top 11 around here is to win four games in a row. (Glenn Arnold)
11. William & Mary (15-14) 39
--Friday vs. Georgia State, CAA opening round.
--Whatever. (Andrew Alberg)
Also receiving votes: Towson 19, George Washington women 6, Navy 5, VMI 3, Morgan State 2, Coppin State 1, Coppin State women 1, Loyal Gary Williams fans 1, Mount St. Mary's 1, UMBC 1, the Md.-Eastern Shore Track team 1, Richmond 0.
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