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Local Poll in Haiku

Basho: Great poet, but never wrote about UMBC.

Longtime Local Poll voter and frequent Pith MVP Bill Fitzgerald submitted his entire ballot in Haiku form this week. Since this was an unusually depraved act, it demanded some sort of response. So I'll publish his entire ballot here. The rest of your extra pith is below, in comments. And anyone who would like to submit 10 votes in verse form next week, I'll try to give you the same treatment.

Oh, and Bill has already submitted a Terps limerick:

There once was a team coached by Gary
Whose outside shooting was scary
If a player named Greivis
Keeps acting mischievous
In March they'll be in the library

C'mon people, step it up.

1. Georgetown

First loss of the year
I hate John Calipari
Hoyas still Number One

2. Virginia

One quality win
Three-pointers by the bushel
No Grinch in 'Hooville

3. VCU

Five wins in a row
Maynor indomitable
Sweet 16 this March

4. George Mason

Pimped-out band leader
Larranaga's wizardry
'06 was no fluke

5. James Madison

Only two losses
Still not much of a ranking
Beat somebody good

6. Morgan State

Bozeman the savior
Bears' hibernation over
MEAC foes beware

7. Virginia Tech

Inconsistent play
Cannot win outside Cassell
ACC basement


Best team in the state
Destination March Madness
Thanks, James Madison!

9. American

Sweet historic win
Nostalgic thoughts of Kermit
Tenleytown riots?

10. Maryland

Three straight at Comcast
Nobody helping Vasquez
Hokies' cellarmates

By Dan Steinberg  |  December 27, 2007; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Georgetown - Exactly why is this team supposed to be a Final Four contender? It's a well-coached team featuring 12 role players one of whom happens to be absurdly tall.

UVA - Wyoming, hahahahaha, sorry it's still funny.

George Mason - True story, George Mason (the man not the school) had no formal schooling. Which is something he has in common with Maryland's basketball team.

VCU - Bold Prediction: By season's end VCU will be number one in the Bog Poll.

James Madison - In the final minute against Seton Hall, James Madison choked away a decisive lead. Prompting Adam Morrison to cry.

UMBC - Peter Angelos is suing UMBC for "lost revenue," claiming their successful basketball season is behind slow Orioles season-ticket sales.

VMI - Are they a good basketball team? Not really, but they win at home, they're damn entertaining, and when Reggie Williams scores 25 points or more they're undefeated. (Sidenote: Reggie Williams is shooting 23% from 3 point range but averaging over 26 points a game and shooting 52% from the floor... warrants mentioning).

Old Dominion - Richmond is not a good basketball team. In a related story, through the transitive priniple Virginia Tech is no longer receiving votes in my poll.

American - "Dear Gary, Merry Christmas! Thanks for attending our event so regularly over the past few years, however, we think this year you should treat yourself to an early vacation. Best of luck next year. Sincerely, The NIT."

Posted by: Jon Lauder | December 27, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

GU - If Georgetown had Greivis Vasquez and Gary Williams, they wouldn't have 1 loss - they'd have seven.

UVA - Proof that good things happen when you fire a sweaty Irish coach (Pete Gillian). Maybe someone should take a hint...

VCU - VCU goes all over to find solid recruits in places like Fayettesville, Jacksonville and Va Beach. Gary Williams goes to Maine.

GMU - Does Gary Williams think he can recruit in Virginia? He has kids from Dumfries, Richmond, and McLean. Someone should tell him to stop letting his in-state talent go to UMBC.

JMU - Do you remember the last time JMU basketball was good? Do you remember the last time Maryland basketball was good?

Virginia Tech - I sent Seth Greenberg's daughter an email asking if she would come to my office and do voice-overs to the nine highlights of the year.

Hampton - The Pirates have lost to UMBC, UVA, GMU, Holy Cross, Kent State, and Maryland. When the season is over, they'll look back and ask "How did we lose to Maryland?"

American - Someone said American had a big win this week...can't remember who it was against though....

Dan Steinberg - For allowing me a second chance to not vote for Maryland.

Posted by: Cole Wilson | December 27, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Learned a valuable lesson this past week: Just because you're 300 times better than every other team LOCALLY, doesn't mean that there aren't good teams NATIONALLY.

UMBC - When did the words "high-intensity," "hustle" and "clutch shooting" replace a team that I most remember for not being able to throw a pass into the interior without hitting a surprised member of the UMBC dance team in the side of the head?

American - I'm not sure if I'm more surprised by how well American actually played or more horrified by how bad Maryland actually is. ... Probably more of the latter.

Maryland - Ew, gross, dude.

Posted by: Ian O | December 27, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Although they lost to Memphis this week, still head and shoulders better than anyone else in this area.

Maryland - The only way I figure it is that Gary wanted to give a little love to his first head coaching job so he let American win. That, or the Terps just ain't very good.

Maryland - Calling them the second-best basketball team in College Park is no longer a joke. Maybe Gary can sign Brenda Frese's twins. Surely, they can shoot better than anyone he's got now.

VCU - Looks like win over the Terps at BB&T not all that impressive.

Posted by: Matt Mandel | December 27, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Maryland - Voting for Maryland anywhere in this poll right now makes about as much sense as trying to defend the team's graduation rate. I think the women's basketball team would be a five-point favorite over the men's team right now.

Posted by: CapsNut | December 27, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

JMU - First Seton Hall knocks off Virginia, then the Pirates upend James Madison. Next they'll be asking to be included in the Atlantic 11 poll.

Maryland - The 10 spot is where you place your protest votes, right?

Posted by: David Storm | December 27, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Think Memphis is pissed about not being invited to join the Big East?

James Madison - They may have blown a big lead and a chance to get a marquee win, but on the bright side,, I got nothing.

American - They can enjoy this win, at least until Holy Cross goes and beats Maryland by three times as much.

George Washington - Hey other poll voters! I didn't give any points to the Colonials, yet I'm writing a comment about them. You can do the same thing! Don't think you have to give GW a point in order to pull out your best Karl Hobbs dis. Live free!

Posted by: Max Wass | December 27, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Every time The Hoyas tried to go baseline against Memphis, they got hip checked out of bounds. At one point I thought I was watching a Caps - Predators game.

Posted by: FS | December 27, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

American - They'll still finish near the bottom of the Patriot League.

Maryland - Kyle Whelliston now refers to them as an honorary mid-major. But at least the inevitable loss to Miami won't sting as much this time.

Posted by: J. Tannenwald | December 27, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Hoyas probably could drop a few more and still be first.

Maryland - And I heard Gary say, as he stormed out of sight, "Boy, do we blow, and to our post-season hopes, good night!"

American - Sometimes, a big win can make a team surge in the polls. And other times, it sure helps that everyone else sucks.

Morgan State - Evidently, the Bears "have a little bit of the Captain in 'em."

UMBC - Good dog!

Posted by: Ted Gotsch | December 27, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

VT - Headlines that make grown men cry: "Virginia Tech pulls ahead in 2nd half to beat Liberty 58-46". Good luck with ACC play, boys.

Posted by: Briscoe | December 27, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - At least the Hoyas had the decency to lose to the number two team in the land, unlike certain other teams -- cough, cough, Maryland losing to American, cough, cough.

American - The Eagles' stock is rising more than the Redskins', and certainly more than the Terps' is falling.

Maryland - Got "Grandfather Claused" into this week's poll.

Posted by: Rob Yunich | December 27, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This gets more and more painful, each week.

Posted by: DD | December 27, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - The Hoyas held Memphis forward Shawn Taggart to 4 points. Billy Rosewood was suspended for having a grenade launcher in his trunk, while Axel Foley didn't play because because of his continuing punishment for a banana-in-the-tailpipe prank.

VCU - I'm hearing rumors that Maryland AD Debbie Yow has reached out to Anthony Grant about replacing Gary Williams next year. (If Peter Vescey can make up NBA trade rumors in his column, why can't poll voters make up potential coaching changes?)

Virginia - Lots of blue-blazered UVA students showed up in Long Island at their parents' summer homes this week, not realizing the Cavs were playing against Hampton, not IN THE Hamptons.

Mason - The Patriots water-boarded their way to victory against FIU, which is probably in Guantanamo.

UMBC - The Retrievers are really good at going after loose balls. Not so good at giving them back.

JMU - Scored 110 in a loss to Seton Hall, which is only four points less than Maryland scored in TWO losses to lesser teams.

Virginia Tech - Hokies vs. Terps: the battle for 11th in the ACC. Coming this winter on Channel 20.

American - AU was Maryland's David Hasselhoff drunken cheeseburger binge on youtube. This is rock bottom and it can't get any worse.

Maryland - Santa was a 5 1/2 point favorite over the Terps.

Posted by: Markus Videnieks | December 27, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Sleepwalking in Memphis.

Virgina - A game vs Elon will probably be on their pre-Christmas wish list next year as well.

James Madison - Attempt to distract Seton Hall by posting naked pictures of Brian Laing on the internet didn't work, especially since they were naked pictures of Bai Ling.

George Mason - Made FI look like FIT.

VCU - The Carver Arena is home of the Braves, but by the looks of it, it's more like home of the visiting team.

UMBC - Ate up Hampton, now ready to eat a ton of ham on Christmas.

ODU - Lost to Winthrop in a non-existent rematch of their Midwest Regional Final meeting from last year's tourney.

American - Truly living the American Dream.

Mount St Mary's - Hopefully the selection committee will confuse them for Saint Mary's.

VMI - The Keydets have a key date with the Spiders ahead.

Posted by: ThighMaster | December 27, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Maybe they were looking past Memphis to their game against American U. this Saturday.

Virginia - Is it just me or does Dave Leitao need to buy smaller suits? Okay, it's just me.

George Mason - Coach Larranaga introduced the globe-like World Ball to teach kids about geography. Then his team beats Florida INTERNATIONAL. Coincidence? I think not.

James Madison - That was a tough loss to Pitt...What? Oh, the DukeS. Never mind.

UMBC - How does a team that has lost 3 of its last 5 games manage to stay in the Atlantic 11? Three words for you: Maryland.

Virginia Tech - Seth Greenberg took the blame for the loss to Wake Forest, saying he was distraught over Katherine Heigl's surprise wedding.

Morgan State - Morgan State Bears Fun Fact: They used to be call the Black Bears, but pressure from the NAABB (National Association for the Advancement of...wait for it...Black Bears) forced them to change their name.

Old Dominion - Try saying "Winthrop" without an English accent. Go ahead. I dare you. It can't be done.

American - Welcome to the Atlantic 11, American. Now get out.

Posted by: Glenn Arnold | December 27, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Hey, it could've been worse. It's not like the Hoyas lost to American or something.

Virginia - For one day, Cavaliers regret the decision to fire Jeff Jones.

VCU - Eric Maynor > Pick any current Maryland player.

George Mason - Five field goals in a half? An offense run by Gunston and Testudo could make more than five field goals in a half.

Virginia Tech - Virginia Tech lost big-time recruit Augustus Gilchrist. Maryland lost to American. Advantage Hokies.

UMBC - Quickly becoming the only University of Maryland basketball team that matters.

Old Dominion - Is there any doubt that Richmond would absolutely pummel the Terps?

Morgan State - I know the Bears lost big in College Park earlier this month, but remember when Kentucky lost to Gardner-Webb? This is college hoops; upsets happen.

Maryland - Where Abysmal Happens.

Posted by: Scott Allen | December 27, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - The Local 11 Hoops Poll: Where losing by 14 doesn't warrant moving down in the rankings.

Virginia - Unfortunately, most UVA fans were not bright enough to realize that UVA's last win was against 'Elon,' and not 'Noles.

George Mason - Earlier loss to Golden Flashes foreboding as game looms versus Liberty Flames. No word on a future date against the San Diego Chargers.

Virginia Commonwealth - VCU has pulled off one of the biggest surges in Bog Poll history, with five straight wins, including games against Bradley and Maryland. What's that, you say? A win against Maryland is no longer meaningful?

UMBC - Bog fans were torn as UMBC faced off against Local favorite Hampton. No such dilemma when UMBC faces The Ohio State University on Saturday.

Virginia Tech - When you're 5-5, you are always hoping that Maryland is the toughest team you face in the next four games.

Hampton - After losing at Virginia and at UMBC, Hampton tries to avoid the kiss of death that is three straight losses to Local 11 teams as they come home to face William and Mary (and whatever other three people those two can gather up).

Old Dominion - Since when do Monarchs play .500 ball? It seems like this is the period of the reign in which revolution begins.

Loyola (MD)- The Local 11 Hoops Poll: The only place where 5-6 is good enough for the top ten.

Posted by: Gavin Weiss | December 27, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

UMBC - Retrievers beat Pirates when their Chessie grabs Grevis Vazquez's mustache(?) (five o'clock shadow? beard he's been working on four seven weeks?) and drags it onto court.

American - Don't look now, but Bette Midler is about to sue the Bog for Soar Higher than an Eagle copyright infringements. Extra bonus points to American for best player being a 6'3" white kid from Bethesda. That puts the Local in Local 11.

Georgetown - Yes they lost one game, but it was against the number 2 team in the country. If they lost a game they were supposed to lose, doesn't that mean that we had them ranked correctly at the same time? In a related note, take on American next, and we all know the Thompson clan can put a beat down on anyone. I mean, seriously, have you heard anything from Ball State since they fired Ronnie? If I were Gary Williams I'd be worried about them stalking me in abandoned alleyways.

JMU - So when does Czarniak start showing up courtside and become, without fail, the biggest SuperFan of the Dukes? Can she do it on a scooter with various other media personalities running behind and taking pictures. "Boys, where are you? Come out come out!!!"

Virginia - Sorry Cavs. Georgetown has to lose as many times as you have, and they haven't lost anyone near as bad as Seton Hall.

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | December 27, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Attrition has its advantages.

Virginia - Like a cat who gets fat by preying on weak mice, UVA is ready to pounce on the #1 spot in the Bog Poll. (I don't know what that means).

VCU - So many Virginia teams at the top of the Poll, apparently the South is rising again.

George Mason - I never get tired of listening to Phil's Mom pick them to go all the way on TK's radio show in 2006. Here's hoping that she gets a chance to pick them again. And here's a link to the radio clip:

James Madison - Yeah they lost, but they scored 100 points. As a famous man once said "Heck I'm not even mad; that's amazing."

UMBC - When the Retrievers play in Columbus on Saturday, Ohio State is honoring their Big Ten football championship team at halftime. UMBC fans should wear Maurice Clarett masks in the stands.

Old Dominion - Welcome to mediocrity, population just about every Atlantic 11 eligible team.

Virginia Tech - Please give Seth Greenberg's daughter my contact information.

Morgan State - They would be higher had they been named Morganna State. Yowza!

American - Do you believe in miracles?.........YES!

Posted by: Chris Olson | December 27, 2007 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Hoyas were told by Memphis Police that they would have to wait at least 24 hours before filing a missing persons report for Roy Hibbert.

Virginia - Beat Elon with élan. Thank you Word-A-Day calendar!

George Mason - Even a healthy Dick Vitale couldn't get excited about Patriots win over Florida International.

VCU - Rams' 5-game winning streak now the area's longest which wouldn't even be impressive if this were the Des Moines Register Local 11 poll.

JMU - Dukes withered in 2nd half after Seton Hall officials made the canny decision to open the windows to allow more "fresh New Jersey air" into the building.

Virginia Tech - Seth Greenberg always relishes beating those Jesus freaks from Liberty.

Morgan State - Hoping for a bump in the polls after gaining endorsement of Tom Tancredo.

American - AU alum David Aldridge lobbied unsuccessfully to put Eagles win over Maryland on A1 of Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mt. St. Mary's - With wins over Towson, Mt. St. Mary's and UMBC on the year, Lafayette now petitioning Steinberg for inclusion in Local 11 poll (I think they'd be a solid #7).

ODU - Fading faster than Bill Richardson's presidential aspirations.

Maryland - Gary Williams can cross Tenleytown off his list of recruiting stops for next year.

Maryland - Terps loss to American blamed on distraction of Stuart Scott cancer scare.

Maryland - Terps worried that beating American would be a violation of Patriot Act II.

Richmond - Now a borderline Top 10 team despite a current projection that has them finishing 4-12 in conference. And even that might be good enough to stay above the rest of these dregs.

Posted by: Jamie Paquette | December 27, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Yeah, they lost, but can any other team in this poll really talk at this point?

American - Did beating the Terps really even count as an upset.

Maryland - This is just getting sad.

Old Dominion - Come on guys, Mount st. Mary's beat Winthrop.

Posted by: Peter Keszler | December 27, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Commonwealth - Can no longer be punished for losing to Miami.

Georgetown - According to Gary Parrish on CBS Sportsline, they lost to Memphis because Memphis outplayed them. Thanks for that insight, G.

Maryland - Does Savannah State still have that 400-game losing streak? The Terps hope so.

UMBC - Gary Williams is happy this in-state rival isn't on the schedule, he'd probably be sweating them otherwise.

Coppin State - Playing Indiana on the Big Ten network, I assume fewer people saw their game than normal, which may have created a black hole.

Posted by: Josh Frank | December 27, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Virginia - Dave Leitao fully expects Michael Jenkins to put a little bass in his voice for the Cavs on SportsNight from now on.

VCU - The campus where visions of Greg Paulus dance in the students' heads.

George Mason - Still wondering how they confused Kent State for Kansas.

Georgetown - JT III considered throwing his jacket onto the floor, but quickly realized that it would hit an open three against the Hoya zone, and thought better of it.

Morgan State - Ashamed that they are the only mid-major not to defeat Maryland at home.

UMBC - Looking for some Nash to go with that Barbosa.

George Washington - Could really use a game at Comcast Center to pick up their spirits.

American - Upset that they weren't the favorite in the game against Maryland.

Virginia Tech - Jim Druckenmiller is not sure of the direction of the men's basketball program.

James Madison - The student body has been taunting Maryland students via Facebook for the past 24 hours and counting.

Posted by: Jarrett Carter | December 27, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - I kept Georgetown #1 honestly because I couldnt justify a team getting that spot off a win over Elon.

Virginia - I got nothing. I'm not sure what that says about me, or the team, but here they are.

VCU - Probably got the best quality win of the week among the top teams. That's sad.

George Mason- They beat FIU. Whoopie.

James Madison - I wanted to stop before I voted for them here. Just quit after the first 4.

UMBC - Gary claims that, since they are part of the Maryland system, he can opt to coach this team the rest of the year.

American - They get this spot for beating Maryland, but I'm thinking that it's not exactly a quality win.

Morgan State - Cause they didnt lose this week, which is saying a lot.

Mount St. Marys - They lead their conference. The only other local school that can say that is only by default cause the CAA is all local.

ODU - Cause someone needed to fill this spot.

11. West Virginia - Maybe we should consider adding other close states, before we have to start voting for teams who aren't even going to make their conference tourneys.

Posted by: Howie Foxx | December 27, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - Unlike the AP, a single loss doesn't mean you aren't the best team.

Virginia- Thanks for taking time out of your busy practice schedule to beat up on 2 little siblings.

VCU - Only in the Atlantic 11 can a team find itself in 3rd by default.

GMU - No Ned to save FIU this time.

Maryland - Already making plans for the late night Thursday game in the ACC tournament.

Virginia Tech - Fans cheer poor performance, hoping like football it allows team to get first pick of recruits next year.

Hampton - Losing to better teams doesn't make you bad, just means you aren't a better team.

American - If just for one week, you are America's (capital) team.

Posted by: J. Jones | December 27, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown - It would probably take at least five losses to Memphis for Georgetown to fall out of the top spot.

Virginia - So the question is does UVa beat Maryland by more or less than the 20 points it has been averaging against lower-mid-majors from the South this season?

Virginia Commonwealth -- Bradley? More like Badley. Yeah, I got nothing.

George Mason - Forget about basketball. I'd like to see a team of Mason's intramural football All-Stars take on Florida International. I'd still make the Patriots a 7-point favorite.

James Madison - This kind of success hasn't had James Madison's name on it since he introduced Virginia Plan at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

UMBC - The school is considering removing the word Maryland from its name because of all the negative basketball connotations.

Old Dominon - Richmond? Really? I feel like I don't even know you any more, ODU.

Virginia Tech - A win over Liberty, huh? At least the Hokies know they're not the worst team in their own state.

Morgan State - Why not American? Because the Golden Bears would have beaten the Terps by even more points.

Maryland - When does lacrosse season start?

Posted by: Sean McLernon | December 27, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

American - Biggest win ever? Georgetown is next!

JMU - They're 7-2! Nobody knows about them.

Posted by: Andrew Wiseman | December 27, 2007 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Watch MD come back and beat UVA to the embarassment of all cavaliers/

Posted by: JDP | December 27, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What did we do that the pithy comments have not been edited down to those that are actually humorous? Save us from the unfunny pithiness?

Posted by: Lindemann | December 27, 2007 7:26 PM | Report abuse

complaint about the Terps limerick...

"In March they'll be in the library"

seriously?? When is the last time a Maryland basketball player was actually in the campus library.

Posted by: obvious complaint... | December 27, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

What did we do that the pithy comments have not been edited down to those that are actually humorous? Save us from the unfunny pithiness?

Posted by: Lindemann | December 27, 2007 07:26 PM

What did we do? All our teams lost. This season hasn't been very humorous for teams in the poll.

Posted by: sitruc | December 28, 2007 9:48 AM | Report abuse

comedy = tragedy + time. which means that that Maryland loss is going to get even funnier come March.

Posted by: jamie | December 28, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Plus if it's March all the Maryland players would dropped out of school anyway. Who needs to graduate when you can leave and play in the D-League or wherever Caner-Medley is now?

Posted by: Andrew from Colonial Hoops | December 28, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

So we don't get editing of the "pithy" comments back until the A-11 starts winning? Man, this sucks.

Posted by: Lindemann | December 28, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Nik was signed as a free-agent by the Detroit Pistons after the 2006 NBA draft. He played with them in the 2006 Las Vegas Summer League until a stress fracture in his foot forced him to the sidelines for five months. After extensive rehabilitation Nik fully recovered and signed with the Artland Dragons of the BBL1 in Germany in February 2007.

After the successful season and Play-Off times Nik left this team. The Artland Dragons finished the Play-Offs in second place. Back in America he played in the summer league (Sacramento Kings) in Las Vegas. He did not make an NBA roster, but on November 1, 2007 was selected sixth in the NBA Developmental League draft by the Sioux Falls Skyforce. In December of 2007 Nik left the NBADL to persue an opportunity overseas with CB Gran Canaria of the ACB, the top Spanish league.

Posted by: Thanks Wiki! | December 30, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

My winter slumber
Made me miss this contest, but
I will be back, Dan.

Posted by: ouij | December 31, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

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