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Local Poll Week 15: MAAC Daddies

Before we get to the Atlantic 11's new addition, here's the real headline: Maryland remains ahead of Virginia Tech, despite the same ACC record, a worse RPI and two head-to-head losses. That's a bit odd. Seriously, someone explain to me why the Terps should be ahead of the Hokies, 'cuz I can't figure that one out.

The next headline: this week's pith was guest-edited by voter David Larimer, so thanks to him. Seeking a guest editor next week, unless David Larimer wants to do it again.

The next headline: UMBC is now the third-ranked team in the Atlantic 11, the highest the Retrievers have ever been and, I believe, the highest a low-major has ever been, assuming the America East is a low-major league. If the America East final is at UMBC on March 15, you'd best believe I'm offering transportation to any D.C.-based voters.

The next headline: Aside from some minor shuffling in the middle, the only other notable development was Loyola's return to the rankings. Seventeen of the 27 eligible teams have been ranked this season.

The AP ranks 'em like this: Georgetown (11th), VCU (four votes). The coaches rank 'em like this: Georgetown (10th). No other votes.

The RPI's Top 7 would go like this: Georgetown (7th), VCU (51st), Virginia Tech (64th), Maryland (66th), George Mason (69th), UMBC (92nd), American (103rd). Navy is 212th. While we have just one school in the top 50, we at least have four in the bottom 50.

Results and pith after the jump.

1. Georgetown (22-4) 510 (51)
--Wednesday vs. St. John's, Saturday at Marquette.
--Ratings-starved NBC should bring back "Unsolved Mysteries," if only to find out why a 7-foot-2 all-American averages only 6.5 rebounds per game. (Matt Bonesteel)

2. VCU (21-6) 440
--Wednesday vs. UNC Wilmington, Saturday at William & Mary.
--Saturday's win was the biggest basketball event in Akron since LeBron shot some hoops in his mom's driveway last fall. (Jamie Paquette)

3. UMBC (20-7) 338
--Thursday at Maine, Sunday at Hartford.
--Retrievers are Baltimore's first 20-game winner since Jim Palmer. (Bill Fitzgerald)

4. Maryland (17-11) 325
--Thursday at Wake Forest, Sunday vs. Clemson.
--Oscar winner for Best Song fits the Terps just fine. (Sean Perkins)

5. Virginia Tech (16-11) 311
--Tuesday vs. Boston College.
--Dorenzo Hudson played his guts out in the win over the Terps. (Markus Videnieks)

6. George Mason (19-9) 287
--Wednesday vs. William & Mary, Saturday at Northeastern.
--Ohio should just schedule Atlantic 11 schools. (Jason Anderson)

7. American (17-10) 159
--Wednesday at Navy, Saturday vs. Lafayette.
--If you think John Feinstein is going to be anywhere other than Annapolis on Wednesday night, I've got a package of mortgage-backed securities to sell you. (Jamie Paquette)

8. Morgan State (17-9) 145
--Monday vs. Hampton, Saturday at Delaware State.
--Bears' successful season spurs growth of the school's fundraising committee, the Morgan Donors. (Bill Fitzgerald)

9. Old Dominion (16-13) 110
--Wednesday vs. Northeastern, Saturday at UNC Wilmington.
--Great week for Blaine Taylor. His team won its fifth straight, and he won the CAA Academy Awards pool, ending Pat Kennedy's dominant four-year reign. (Bill Fitzgerald)

10. Virginia (13-12) 80
--Saturday at Miami.
--The first team to be saved by water since the Crash Davis-led Durham Bulls. (Matt Bonesteel)

11. Loyola (17-12) 33
--Thursday vs. Canisius, Sunday at Marist.
--The Greyhounds beat Rider last week in the battle of long-distance ground transportation. (Max Wass)

Also receiving votes: Richmond 14, Hampton 11, Coppin State 10, George Washington 6, William & Mary 6, Md.-Eastern Shore 5, Navy 4, Virginia men's tennis team 2, Howard 1, James Madison 1, Longwood 1, Mount St. Mary's 1, Norfolk State 1, Ohio 1, GW women 1, the bubble 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 25, 2008; 6:41 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Today's Top 5: Name of the Year is Back
Next: Wiz Win, Buckhantz Screams


3. UMBC (12-7) 338
--Thursday at Maine, Sunday at Hartford.
--Retrievers are Baltimore's first 20-game winner since Jim Palmer. (Bill Fitzgerald)

12 is the new 20.

Posted by: sitruc | February 25, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

If somebody actually agrees with my above statement, I hope your IP address is kept and the FBI launches an investigation.

Posted by: sitruc | February 25, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Sitruc, if you're auditioning for a bog copy editing job, you're way hired.

Posted by: Dan Steinberg | February 25, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Waiting for Markus V to defend voting Maryland ahead of Tech. Seriously, this is the kind of result that tempts me to vote Tech 1 and leave Maryland out entirely, just to get it right.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | February 25, 2008 9:17 PM | Report abuse

Dan, let's discuss salary. I want one.

Posted by: sitruc | February 25, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

sitruc, how about you have a seat

Posted by: Chris Hanson | February 25, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

sitruc, just start your own blog, most bloggers are just fourteen year old kids that talk sports and put up pictures they found on girls' myspace sites hoping one day they'll meet a pretty girl. Similar to Dan, except they didn't waste all that time and money on college...and you might find some wit in their writings.

Posted by: Ronnie | February 26, 2008 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Are you advising I start a blog to pick up 14-year-old girls, Ronnie? Hey, Chris Hansen, look over there.

Posted by: sitruc | February 26, 2008 2:25 AM | Report abuse

Okay, now we're treading into that territory where we get picked up by Versus and Steinz won't know where to catch us every night.

Posted by: | February 26, 2008 7:24 AM | Report abuse


I voted Maryland 3rd and VT 6th because not only do I think Maryland is better than VT, but I also think Maryland is better than UMBC and Mason, who are both better than Tech.

Maryland's problem is that they don't play well against teams that have some athleticism, slow it down, hack, and play physically (basically Big 10 basketball except with actual athletes). I think I just described VT and Miami, two teams Maryland is superior to, but routinely loses to.

I realize I'm ignoring the Bill Parcells "you are what your record says you are" philosophy, but I think for the sake of Maryland, their early season losses don't count for much, as this is a totally different team. The VT and Miami losses matter (which is why MD moved down this week for me and VT moved up), but I think at the end of the season the ACC Standings will bear out that Maryland is better than VT.

I still see Maryland with 9 or 10 conference wins and VT with 7 or 8. It's a matchup issue for the Terps against VT...the better team lost, twice.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 26, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

"I still see Maryland with 9 or 10 conference wins and VT with 7 or 8. It's a matchup issue for the Terps against VT...the better team lost, twice."

'The better team lost twice.'

Newsflash: If you lose to a team twice, you're not better. I expect about as much from a Terp fan, though. You guys could pretty much rationalize your way out of anything.

FWIW, I don't know how Steinz picks his voters in this poll, but you should lose your vote for this alone.

Posted by: Duffman | February 26, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I'm not the idiot who keeps voting for GW, UMES, and the like. I watch as much college basketball as anyone and focus a lot on the local teams.

If I was a blind homer, I would have voted the Terps #1 at some point this year (which I haven't and many others have) and I would have had them a lot higher than 10th (which I did) after the loss to American.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 26, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

"I would have had them a lot higher than 10th (which I did) after the loss to American."


Why would you, though, if Head-to-Head results don't matter? You are being remarkably inconsistent.

RPI Disagrees with you.
ACC Standings Disagree with you.
Head-to-Head Results disagree with you.

You have nothing to support your rankings other than the fact that you "really think" that the Terps are going to win the rest of their games, and you "Really Think" that the Hokies are not.

I didn't realize that Magic 8 balls were a valid basis for rankings in this poll.

Posted by: Duffman | February 26, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I vote it the way I see it. If Maryland loses to Wake and Clemson this week, and Tech beats BC, I guarantee I will rank Tech higher than Maryland. If Maryland splits the two games and Tech wins, I'll have to think about it.

There isn't any sort of conspiracy here.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 26, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Steinz, you have a bunch of Maryland homers and apologists voting. That's why.

It's the same reason that Maryland fans boo every single call that goes against them at Comcast.

Posted by: Vinny del Negro | February 26, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

For those keeping track at home, that's Division 1 Basketball Team James Madison (formerly held within this top 11) 1 vote, A Men's Tennis team 2. I wonder about Terrance Carter's forehand.

Posted by: J Jones | February 26, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Markus, I applaud you for posting your logic even though I disagree with it. After Maryland lost to Tech the first time, the Terps won six of seven (losing to Duke) and the argument was that they had turned the corner and the early season losses had to to be discounted. Fine, but now they have lost three of four. Tech is a model of inconsistency, but both teams are 7-5 in their last 12, so I think the edge has to go to the team that wins head to head, which is generally the first option in tiebreakers. Maryland could be a be a better team than Tech, obviously you want them to be a better team, but right now, based on results, they are not.

Posted by: Bill Fitzgerald | February 26, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Hahahaha. Wow. Is this Markus guy serious? Typical delusional Maryland basketball fan. Hilarious. Maryland fans I know are incapable of giving VT credit in anything ever. They continue to cry about VT joining the ACC. I realize it has a lot to do with the fact that they are scared of getting owned by VT in the main sports, football and basketball, which has turned out to be the case, but you all are starting to sound like UVA fans now.

Posted by: Ryan | February 26, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Todd Bozeman has his Bears playing ball the healthy way. Lets all go Morganic!!

Posted by: Steve Harris | February 26, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I am indeed pissed about VA Tech (and Miami and BC) joining the ACC.

Yeah, I don't like losing to any of those schools in basketball (football doesn't worry me too much - football is just a fun diversion until basketball season starts).

Expanding for football ruined the beautiful home-and-home purity of the ACC basketball schedule, and that's what I, along with many other MD fans, hate. Football shouldn't be the focus of this conference, basketball should.

As far as ranking MD vs. VA Tech, I have no real idea what to think of either team, and if I was voting I'd probably have put them back-to-back, with MD ahead. Homerism? Yeah, probably. Almost certainly. But neither team is consistent or all that good. Either or both could still sneak in to the NCAAs. But neither is all that good right now.

Posted by: Grant | February 26, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

ACC expansion was stupid. It muddled the basketball schedule and the gem of getting Miami into the conference hasn't exactly paid off yet in football.

As for Maryland fans being incapable of giving VT any credit in anything ever, you clearly can not be talking about football. Once Terp fans get past the Marcus Vick jokes, I can't imagine you'll find a sane one who would begin to argue that Maryland's football program is better. Maryland fans would willingly donate years of their lives in exchange for Friedgen to do what Beamer has done.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 26, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Virginia Tech swept North Carolina last season so they were a better team, right?

NC State beat the Hokies THREE times last season so they were the better team, right?

There is a reason why no serious bracket projections have Virginia Tech in the NCAA tournament right now and almost all of them have Maryland in. I voted Maryland 6th and Virginia Tech 7th with ODU (who has beaten VT head to head if you think that is the only thing worth considering) above both of them.

Why vote VT 7th? No wins against the top 50 RPI, only 4 wins against top 100 RPI teams. 3 wins in ACC play in overtime, two against Virginia. No wins against any team higher than 76 in the RPI with the exception of Maryland. In the two games they played against UNC and Duke they lost by a combined 56 points.

You cannot just compare league records as if they are equal, not in the era of unbalanced schedules. Maryland and VT have the same 7-6 record in the ACC but if you take out the two games they played against each other and look at the records in ACC play of their other opponents you get:

Maryland Opp record: 67-67

Virginia Tech Opp record: 60-73

The Hokie's opponents are a combined 13 games under 0.500 in the ACC. Even better VT is 0-4 against teams with a .500 record or better in the conference right now if you exclude their two wins over Maryland, while the Terps are 2-3 against teams .500 or better excluding VT.

I'm sure someone can make a modest case that Virginia Tech is better than Maryland. Unless VT keeps winning and Maryland keeps losing I'm not persuaded by a lazy argument based only on two head-to-head games that VT won by 5 total points.

Posted by: Matt | February 26, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

i don't necessarily agree with Markus, but i think the ad hominem attacks are a bit much. i think he's a good voter (and consistently one of the funniest) and he is entitled to his opinion. i had Maryland at #3 last week and VaTech out of my top 10. so to accommodate the head-to-head victory, i had to jump VaTech back over many teams in order to put them in front of Md (who i now have at #5). i wasn't crazy about doing that, and i considered leaving them below the Terps.

but i still have Md ahead of American despite the earlier head-to-head loss because you can't just go by head-to-head - eventually the logic gives out and it becomes impossible to complete the rankings. otherwise you would have to put UMES ahead of Hampton, and Hampton ahead of VCU and then the whole thing goes haywire.

Posted by: jamie | February 26, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"ruined the purity of the balanced home and home ACC schedule..."

You all seriously care that much about that? I am a VT alum, but before UVA waitlisted me twice then finally denied me, which was BS by the way, I was a UVA fan and a huge ACC follower. So, I "get it" in terms of the conference's history. I just don't get why the "traditional" ACC schools cry so much about expansion.

And, ok, you're right, after the Maryland fans that I know get passed the "VT is a bunch of thugs" garbage, they reluctantly say something like "yea you have a good football program." But I don't really take that as giving honest credit where credit is due.

If anything, it would be nice if other schools' fanbases would admit that VT recognized the great opportunity they had by joining the conference and made the most of it. VT is the only consistently good football program in the conference and the basketball program under Seth Greenberg is really in a good place right now - following up an NCAA berth and first round win with a 7-6 ACC record through 13 games with the youngest team in the league by far.

It's ok though, they don't need the pats on the back...VT does well playing with a chip on their shoulder, so keep the disrespect coming.

Posted by: Ryan | February 26, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

VT was smart to join the ACC and so was BC. Win-win for them.

My problem w/ the unbalanced schedule is that (as a Maryland fan) you get used to playing home and homes w/ UNC your whole life and now we are on this thing where we only play them once a year. I know there is a rotation to the schedule, but still. It's the same thing in football -- we haven't had a chance to beat Duke in a couple years.

Posted by: Markus V. | February 26, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Sadly Mason's b-ball takeover of the D.C. Beltway area will have to wait another year (or 10+).

Posted by: Arlington Pimp | February 26, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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