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Local Hoops Poll Week Nine: D.C Doesn't Rule

Preview: Georgetown!

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)
5. Maryland (1) (17-6) 415
--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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 5, 2007; 5:25 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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I think I've been penciled in for one CAA comment per week (usually VCU), and I'm okay with that.

Looking at the "Also receiving votes" category, people should take a closer look at Liberty...they were my #11 this week. They're rolling in conference and if they can knock off Winthrop tomorrow, they need to be in next week.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 5, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I bet I can figure out who is voting for radford!!!

Posted by: littles | February 5, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

UMES is winless in the MEAC and Richmond has 1 win (over St. Bonaventure) since December 5th! good grief.

Posted by: jamie | February 5, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

See Jamie, I knew you wouldn't be happy about this. Making matters worse (I think) is that Richmond only was chosen by two voters, receiving a 7th place vote and an 8th place vote. I mean, it would take major amounts of illegal substances for anyone to think Richmond was the 7th best team in this area. I guess protocol would be to kick both voters out immediately, but I happen to like both of them. And like I said, the overall results seem solid, despite our "different" voters. Plus I don't want to lose two readers.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | February 5, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Plus John Taylor keeps voting for JMU #1 and you let him vote.

Posted by: Harrison | February 5, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

i don't know if i should be happy to be the irascible poll curmudgeon or not, but i'm sort of interested in the thought process involved in these choices.

Posted by: jamie | February 5, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

thought process ... "um, I'm a dolt, I vote for UMES"

Posted by: littles | February 5, 2007 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Markus Videnieks should be #11

Posted by: thigh master | February 5, 2007 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Interesting editorial change on the Maryland comment...who ever said the Post hates the Terps?

Posted by: Markus V. | February 6, 2007 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The Hokies have all week to prepare for Wahoowah's visit Saturday; the 'Hoos head up the dirt roads to Blacksburg after going to Comcast tonight and the Turtles have to get ready for the always pleasant trip to the University of New Jersey at Durham Sunday. G'town goes to the 'Ville then hosts Marquette and my #1 Rams get Mason at home and Saturday go to ODU. Dan--take a page from the ESPN Handbook and let's re-name this "Separation Week" for the top 5.

Since we're now allowed to hype the Women's game I'm giving a big shout out to the 18-2, 15th ranked, University of Mary Washington Eagles; on top of the CAC (8-1) after Saturday's win over York they've got Salisbury at home tonight and Goucher Saturday afternoon. If my two alma maters, currently ranked 9 and 10, don't have good weeks I may write them in next Monday.

Posted by: Dave Richardson | February 6, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Believe it or not I did not vote for JMU. However this is a great time to point out that the JMU women are ranked No. 25 in the country, let's hear it for Kenny Brooks!

Posted by: John Taylor | February 6, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Littles, it wasn't me. I voted for J.R. Reynolds as the 10th best team in the area. Ask intern Boris or Dan the Man.

Posted by: Doug McKinney | February 6, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

How are you voting Loyola over Towson when Towson dominated them badly at Loyola not too long ago.

Posted by: Steve | February 6, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Steve, I agree. I had Towson No. 9 and Loyola No. 10 on my ballot, and truthfully, William & Mary would almost definitely be favored over Loyola. I have a feeling the Fairfield loss will be enough to push Loyola below Towson next week.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | February 6, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

for what it's worth, has Loyola ranked #185 and W&M at #188. Towson is #156. UMES is #332 (out of 336). but yeah, Loyola didn't need to blow that game last night.

Posted by: jamie | February 6, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

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