Local Hoops Poll Week Nine: D.C Doesn't Rule
Last week I gloated that our humble Area was on the verge of returning to college basketball dominance. Well, I was wrong. On the whole, we took a step back this week. Of our Top 11 teams, only three survived the week unscathed: Georgetown, Virginia and Old Dominion. Our top-ranked team, Virginia Tech, lost twice. So did George Washington. So did forever No. 8 George Mason. VCU saw its CAA dominance end. American just can't get a winning streak started. Even the Maryland women struggled.
But we press on. In the AP poll, we still have five teams in the top 44: Georgetown (22), Virginia (26), Virginia Tech (31), VCU (34) and Maryland (44).
You'll note the same five teams in the coaches' poll top 44: Georgetown (23), Virginia Tech (29), Virginia (30), VCU (33) and Maryland (44). Tough to imagine why any rational voter would still think Maryland is worthy of a Top 25 vote, although maybe these polls have voting standards similar to mine (i.e. send an e-mail and you're basically in.)
According to the RPI, entering Monday night's action we're sort of holding steady as one of the country's many mediocre areas, with those same five schools -- Maryland (32), Virginia Tech (33), Georgetown (38), Virginia (40) and VCU (52) -- in the fleshy RPI midsection that's at least worth paying attention to.
More importantly, for the first time in Poll history, a non-ACC school occupies the top slot. Congratulations, Georgetown. Whatever else happens this season, you'll always have Week Nine. In other changes, Virginia jumps up three spots to No. 2, Va. Tech drops to No. 3, VCU loses a spot to No. 4, Maryland moves up to No. 5, GW slips two spots to No. 6, and William & Mary, heaven help us, reenters the Poll at No. 11. Sandwich controversies aside, Todd Bozeman's Morgan State Bears remain unranked.
We had 70 voters. Intern Boris reports that the average time spent on a ballot was 17 minutes. Some of our voters are so weird. The vast majority of teams in Also Receiving Votes don't possibly deserve a vote, and in fact could only be given a vote by someone in the throes of serious emotional distress. But since the overall results seem ok, I won't worry about it.
1. Georgetown (40) (16-5) 658
--Wednesday at Louisville, Saturday vs. Marquette.
--They won, everyone else lost. (Gary "Digital" Williams)
2. Virginia (22) (15-6) 626
--Tuesday at No. 5 Maryland, Saturday at No. 3 Virginia Tech.
--J.R. Reynolds beat Duke by himself. Maybe he should be No. 11. (Eric Holmberg)
3. Virginia Tech (3) (16-7) 519
--Saturday vs. No. 2 Virginia.
--After a few weeks of Bergerball, Hokies may be coming down with a case of e-coli. (Sean McLernon)
4. Virginia Commonwealth (4) (20-4) 515
--Thursday vs. No. 8 George Mason, Saturday at No. 7 Old Dominion.
--NBC was at the Hofstra loss filming the pilot episode of Law and Order: VCU. (Markus Videnieks)
--Tuesday vs. No. 2 Virginia, Sunday vs. Duke.
--Lack of marquee wins has College Park lighter-fluid merchants seeking federal bailout. (Matt Bonesteel)
6. George Washington (15-6) 347
--Saturday vs. Xavier.
--Guess they're not overachieving anymore. (Ted Gotsch)
7. Old Dominion (17-7) 322
--Wednesday at Georgia State, Saturday vs. No. 4 VCU.
--ODU players shake off chants of "O-D-US! O-D-US!" from clever George Mason fans, win fifth straight. (Bill Fitzgerald)
8. George Mason (13-10) 179
--Thursday at No. 4 VCU, Saturday vs. Hofstra.
--Is this where I can start talking up the James Madison women's team (19-2, #25 in the country) as the female George Mason? (Jamie Paquette)
--9. Loyola (13-9) 127
--Monday night at Fairfield, Friday vs. Canisius, Sunday vs. Fairfield.
--Clearly Marist caught them coasting off big wins like Iona and Siena. Classic trap game. (Paul Campbell)
10. Towson (12-12) 74
--Wednesday at Northeastern, Saturday vs. Georgia State.
--If this were the NBA, Towson would be shopping around Gary Neal for draft picks and expiring contracts. (Eric Swensen)
11. William & Mary (12-11) 21
--Wednesday at James Madison, Saturday at UNC Wilmington.
--Ack, what a terrible week... (Robert Lintott)
Also receiving votes: American 13, Richmond 7, Navy 5, Mount St. Mary's 4, VMI 4, Hampton 2, James Madison 2, Liberty 2, UMBC 2, UMES 2, Coppin State 1, Coppin State women 1, J.R. Reynolds 1, Montrose Christian 1, Morgan State 1, Radford 1.
Additional pithy comments coming tomorrow.
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