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Mount Maniacs, and More Pith


First, a word on the Mount St. Mary's fans, all courtesy of The Mountain Echo.

"E-S-P-N! E-S-P-N!" chanted the upstart Mount Maniacs on Sunday afternoon as the men's basketball team completed its 18-point dismantling of the Northeast Conference tournament's No. 1 seed, Robert Morris.

You're one win away from the tourney, and you're chanting the name of a TV network?

It was two years ago that the "Intransigent 10" drove to Moon Township, Pa., to see the Mount win an early edition of what has grown into the conference's fiercest rivalry.

The Intransigent 10? Fan bases shouldn't really be named after any number of participants that can be counted on two hands.

The difference they made can't be measured in points, defensive stops or even decibel level. Although it's difficult to imagine that the 83-65 victory would have had a swing of 19 or more points in the Colonials' favor without the support of the fans, it's the dedicated few like the ones who made the four-hour trip on Sunday that often make the difference....Sunday's visit by more than 20 students restored credibility to the black-eyed student section that once stood as the strongest in the conference, only to fall from grace this year.

Normal Americans may find it difficult to believe that "more than 20" student fans caused a 19-point swing. But no one who's familiar with the Mount Maniacs can be classified as a Normal American.

With only 341 NCAA Division I basketball teams, it's only a relative handful of colleges that have a chance to see their school's name appear on CBS on the third Sunday in March.

Sixty-five strikes me as an awful meaty handful. More importantly, "CBS, CBS, CBS, CBS."

I know this post is usually an afterthought, but you should follow the jump and read some of this pith. Definitely a few chucklers in there.

1. Georgetown (25-4) 440 (44)

Rick Pitino is first recipient of Jim Mora Sr. Award for Refreshing Candor. (Matt Bonesteel)

Memo to Rick Pitino: Speaking of "lucky", you'll be lucky if you don't have to face Georgetown in the Tournament. (Glenn Arnold)

These guys are *lucky* to end the year at #1. (Chris Olson)

How many calls are these guys gonna get? That block Stanford made was completely clean, and then that shot against Cal clearly went over the backboard! Oh, right, that was UCLA. Sorry, force of habit. (David Larimer)

Austin Freeman has been practicing his smile in the mirror recently. Rumor has it that he's dying to be the highlight clip they use in the 'You're a shooting star' part of 'One Shining Moment' (Michael Palan)

Clearly Pitino should have worn the white suit on Saturday. (Markus Videnieks)

Fortune cookie message for Hoya fans: "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind, and won't change the subject." (Jamie Paquette)

Patrick Ewing Jr. one-ups his father by helping the Hoyas win two straight Big East regular season titles for the first time. He's also not nearly as ugly, which has got to be nice. (Sean McLernon)

2. George Mason (23-10) 359

Billy Packer has officially gone into hiding. (Glenn Arnold)

Back in the Big Dance? Fairfax hasn't been this excited since that other thing happened a couple of years ago. (Sean McLernon)

How many more major victories does Mason need for ESPN anchors to pronounce "Folarin" correctly? (Chris Olson)

Mason may be taking the "Livin' on a Prayer" momentum from a few years ago a bit too far. Word is that Coach Larranaga was seen wearing leather chaps in a wig store while teasing his chest hair to perfect the mid-80s Jon Bon Jovi look. No word on which assistant will be Richie Sambora. (Markus Videnieks)

Jim Larranaga's kids are pissed yet again that his stupid job has ruined another family spring break trip to Cabo. (Clinton Yates)

Slowly becoming the greatest thing about the state of Virginia besides Kings Dominion. (Michael Palan)

The last time the Patriots won the CAA tournament, George Evans only had a few gray hairs. (Scott Allen)

3. UMBC (23-8) 301

$5 to everyone who had them as the best team in the state of Maryland at the start of the season. (Chris Olson)

Dick Vitale has a difficult time getting excited for the America East conference tournament. (Scott Allen)

Thank God Georgetown is local. Otherwise, the Atlantic 11 would have very little credibility with UMBC as its #1 team. (Glenn Arnold)

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that I'd have UMBC roughly 20 spots ahead of GW, my alma mater, on my Bog Poll spreadsheet, I would have laughed and pointed at you. Then I would have mockingly asked, "A Bog Poll spreadsheet? What kind of nerd do you take me for?" Now I can barely see my Bog Poll spreadsheet through this veil of hot, bitter tears. (David Larimer)

Department finally overcoming "U Must Be Crazy" with "U Must Be Champions." (David Storm)

Uwem Eshietedoho? I hardly even know 'em! (Markus Videnieks)

4. VCU (24-7) 294

Before you start calling VCU "this year's George Mason," remember, the Rams aren't in yet. And, as far as I know, they haven't punched anyone in the groin. (David Larimer)

Could very well screw Maryland again by taking away an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. That has to almost make losing in the CAA semifinals worth it. (Sean McLernon)

You cool, Rams: The chairman of the selection committee is from an Atlantic 11 team. (Matt Bonesteel)

You can't spell NIT without William & Mary's Last Second Basket. (Chris Olson)

At-large and in charge! (Michael Palan)

Eric Maynor: "What's a Torero?" Jamal Shuler: "I think it's a fancy name for a dude in a cape who pops bubbles." (Scott Allen)

5. Virginia Tech (18-12) 263

You would think that a first-round bye in the ACC Tournament would be a sign that you're definitely in the field of 64, no? Well...no. (Glenn Arnold)

If your best wins this season are over Maryland and Virginia, you may want to print some NIT home game tickets just to be on the safe side. (Eric Swensen)

Seth Greenberg says, "I'm not Kreskin." How awesome would it be if he were? (Matt Bonesteel)

You can't spell NIT without Virginia Tech. Actually, the real tragedy this weekend was that Deron Washington can no longer lay claim to "the only guy who's jumped over Greg Paulus."

All six ACC games ever played between V Tech and Clemson have been decided in the final 15 seconds. That's more seconds total than Seth Greenberg has spent on his hair in the past decade. (Michael Palan)

Hokies fortune cookies message of the week: "It doesn't matter. Who is without a flaw?" (Jamie Paquette)

More like Chokies. Get it? Because they blew a late lead and lost? I bet I'm the first person to ever come up with that. (Sean McLernon)

6. American (20-11) 208

4:45 p.m. on Friday, the wait at the Tenleytown Guapo's will be approximately 38 seconds shorter than normal. (Matt Bonesteel)

Usually when you see "Bender" and "4:45 on Friday" in the same sentence, it's about getting an early start on the weekend, not a huge basketball game. (Markus Videnieks)

If they make it to the NCAA Tournament, Eagles fans may start a new trend by storming a neutral court. Well, only if three people can be considered a trend. (Glenn Arnold)

American students planning to storm the floor at halftime of Patriot League championship if Eagles have the lead. (Jamie Paquette)

Determined not to be confined to the gym, AU students stormed several floors throughout campus. Greenberg Theatre is scheduled to reopen in Fall 08. (Jarrett Carter)

Have until Friday to think about how their school has never - ever - made it to the NCAA Tournament. No pressure or anything. (Eric Swensen)

Still on course to crash out of Patriot finals. Someone had to say it. There it is. (Kevin O'Connor)

Jingoism is Back Baby! (Chris Olson)

It's official, Garrison Carr > Garrison Keillor. (Michael Palan)

If AU gets a 15 seed because Maryland is killing their RPI, Jeff Jones needs to cancel the series. (David Storm)

According to Barack Obama there are many things wrong with this team but he can fix them with hope and a lofty center. (Matt Holohan)

Eagles' loss total only goes to 11. (Scott Allen)

Given what we've learned about Nick Hendra's parentage, why in the world doesn't he wear No. 11? And why doesn't he punctuate every basket he makes by yelling, "Smell the Glove!"? (David Larimer)

7. Morgan State (20-9) 154

Morgan State making the NCAA tournament? That sounds about as likely as coach Todd Bozeman getting charged with a misdemeanor after throwing a tirade in a restaurant when he received the wrong sandwiches. (Sean McLernon)

Bears/Todd Bozeman fortune cookie message of the week: "The world may be your oyster, but it doesn't mean you'll get its pearl." (Jamie Paquette)

MEAC jokes are played out like slap bracelets. Go Bears. (Rad McRadderton)

It's hard to believe that two teams that lost to Longwood could be in the NCAA tournament. (Scott Allen)

Maybe it's the Bourbon talking, or perhaps too much listening to Larimer, but I could see the Bears winning an NCAA tournament game. (Matt Bonesteel)

8. Maryland (18-13) 143

That elusive NIT title that has been just out of Gary's reach is inching closer and closer. (Sean McLernon)

On the bright side, an NIT first round loss at the Comcast Center couldn't be any more crushing than the Terps' debacle against Clemson. (Scott Allen)

Coach Williams is trying to orchestrate a trade for Singletary so he can beef up the squad for an NIT run. (Kevin O'Connor)

Looking at three NITs in four years, the Terps have capitalized on their National Championship about as well as Tito Jackson capitalized on the success of the Jackson 5. (Markus Videnieks)

Collective memory of the Gary-bashers on Maryland message boards: approximately 1.25 milliseconds. (Matt Bonesteel)

Good news: That loss to American doesn't look so bad anymore. Bad news: Did you see the game Sunday night? (Eric Swensen)

Thank goodness the ACC tournament is in Carolina. The Terps' winning percentage in that state (.750) is better than any other state, including Maryland. (Paul Bergeron)

Gary Williams fortune cookie message of the week: "Anger begins with folly, and ends with regret." (Jamie Paquette)

The flu that got passed around the team must have been the surrendermonkey strain. (Matt Holohan)

Takes the cake on how to not win "must win" games. (Rad McRadderton)

Mediocrity might not get them in the Big Dance -- but it definitely earns them a spot in the Atlantic 11. (Rob Yunich)

9. William & Mary (17-16) 73

The Tribe was really starting to look like this year's George Mason. What a punch in the groin. (David Larimer)

The Tribe was on an award tour with Laimis my man, going each and every place with a three in his hand. (Markus Videnieks)

Gene Nichol was praying for the Tribe. (Scott Allen)

College Degree: $80,000. First Home: $300,000. Tribe on ESPN: Priceless. Graduate college: check. Get Married: check. See the Tribe on ESPN: check. (Greg Cota)

Proof that strength of schedule can vault you in the local poll too. (Rob Yunich)

Because the NCAA frowns on Indian nicknames in the tournament, the Tribe would have changed its name to William & Mary & Ted & Alice had they beaten Mason. (Matt Bonesteel)

In Year One without the feather, William & Mary advances to their first CAA final. Who knows how far they'll go when they actually change their nickname. (David Storm)

They have so many pasty pretty-boys on the team; you could call them a poor man's Duke. Or, more appropriately, an upper-middle class white man's Duke. (Sean McLernon)

This is not what we meant when we said there would be two Virginia teams in the CAA finals. (Eric Swensen)

10. Virginia (15-14) 65

Impressive win over Maryland's corpse Sunday night. (Markus Videnieks)

With basketball season pretty much finished, Cavaliers' faithful turn their attention toward the pomp and pageantry of Virginia spring football practice. (Matt Bonesteel)

Sean Singletary has become the Chuck Norris of the ACC. He can divide by zero, knows the exact location of Carmen Sandiego and needs only 20 minutes to watch 60 Minutes. Well, at the very least, he can single-handedly power the Cavaliers to the NIT. (Sean McLernon)

If UVA is 5-11 in the conference WITH Sean Singletary, what's their record going to be WITHOUT Sean Singletary? (Glenn Arnold)

11. Old Dominion (17-15) 31

Nada.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 12, 2008; 3:56 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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