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Local Hoops Tautologies

Ok, actually, what follow are not tautologies. A tautology is sort of an unnecessary repetition of the same idea; for example

* a sweaty Gary Williams

* a poorly attended George Washington home game

* Georgetown fans, upset by a perceived lack of respect

* a John Feinstein-approved Patriot League game

And so on. What I've been thinking about is these chains of one basketball team beating another, which beat another, and so on, chains made longer by last night's results. (Delaware over Local No. 3 George Mason? William & Mary over Local No. 5 James Madison? Local No. 9 Richmond over La Salle? Local No. 11 Old Dominion over Towson? )

So what does this mean?

Maryland beat Delaware, which beat George Mason, which beat Hampton, which beat VCU, which beat Maryland (five teams).

La Salle beat Mount St. Mary's, which beat Loyola, which beat American, which beat UMBC, which beat La Salle (five teams).

William & Mary beat James Madison, which beat VCU, which beat Richmond, which beat VMI, which beat William & Mary (five teams).

I'm not sure what to call these chains; if anyone knows, please say. Suckologies? I'm thinking we could build one with up to 20 Localish teams, but I can't figure it out just now. Someone's gotta be able to do better than five.

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 10, 2008; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Morgan St. beat American, which beat Maryland, which beat...Savannah St?

Posted by: | January 10, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

What to call them?


Posted by: Kim | January 10, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Nice picture of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers at UMBC

Posted by: Chessie fan | January 10, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Combining parts of your loop-de-losses, we get:

Maryland over Delaware over George Mason over Hampton over VCU over Richmond over LaSalle over Mount St. Mary's over American over Maryland

for a total of 9 teams

Posted by: Max Wass | January 10, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Maybe next we can play Six Degrees of Darvin Ham.

Posted by: MDT | January 10, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

What to call them: Circular Fallacies

When American and Holy Cross play, we should be able to build a good one involving Maryland somehow.

Posted by: Lindemann | January 10, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

That's true grit right there.

Posted by: Ian | January 10, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse


Whatever you call them, just make sure to incorporate 'poopy diaper' into it, just to see if you get more letters.

Posted by: Kim | January 10, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Okay, here's a better one, the best that I can do without writing a computer program:

Maryland over Delaware over George Mason over Hampton over VCU over Richmond over VMI over William & Mary over Old Dominion over Virginia Tech over GWU over Mount St. Mary's over Loyola over American over Maryland

For a total of 14 teams. Is it sad that I'm actually enjoying doing this? I mean, I am an engineering major, but still...

Posted by: Max Wass | January 10, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Excellent work Max... can't you stick UVA in there somewhere too? I know they played Hampton this season and maybe a few of the others too.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Perceived lack of respect? Yeah, right. I guess the only way we get respect is to keep on winning and keep on out recruiting Gary Williams in his own backyard.

BTW, we beat AU who beat Maryland who cracked me up.

Posted by: Chico | January 10, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Just replace LaSalle with GW and you have an all-local one.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 10, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I could squeeze in Virginia, but it requires adding in a bunch of not-as-local teams as well. Instead of George Mason over Hampton,
it would instead be

...George Mason over Drexel over Rider over Penn State over Seton Hall over Virginia over Hampton...

The tricky part is that Virginia only lost three times, and Seton Hall was the only loss that played other local teams. However Seton Hall beat all those local teams. But do what you will. God I'm a nerd.

Posted by: Max Wass | January 10, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

william and mary beat jmu which beat vcu which beat...william and mary. three. yahtzee!

the tribe had better garner some top-11 votes this week. it'll be the highlight of our season.

Posted by: rob | January 10, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

16 with only Locals:

Longwood over Norfolk St. over Richmond over VMI over James Madison over Mt. St. Mary's over Navy over Towson over Loyola over American over Maryland over Hampton over William & Mary over ODU over Va Tech over GW over Longwood.

Posted by: Reader Glenn | January 10, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

My favorite has to be American over Maryland.

I wish the Junkies would interview Gary Williams more...NOT!

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | January 10, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's the transitive property.

Posted by: JG | January 10, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

no one beat Memphis who beat Georgetown who beat American who beat Maryland who beat no one (decent)

Posted by: danj | January 10, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

It would be the transitive property if we were doing these to make valid inferences. People occasionally do this to make inferences, but we're not, because they have nonsensical conclusions (Maryland>Maryland). And the fact that you can use this process to generate nonsensical conclusions means that no conclusions you make using this process are valid.

Posted by: Lindemann | January 10, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

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