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D.C. Area Basketball Tanking

(By David Kohl - AP)

Georgetown will probably win another game eventually, but as of this moment, you can at least feasibly discuss the possibility that the Hoyas will be out come March. And the Terps? Well, sure, they might turn it around. And yeah, the Nats might win the NL East. In 2019.

Which brings us to the possibility that this March's dance will contain alarmingly few go-go beats. When was the last NCAA tournament that lacked both Georgetown and Maryland? That would be 2005, when George Washington represented D.C. as a 12 seed, losing in the first round. And the last tournament before that with no Terps/Hoyas? That would be 1993, when GW again stepped up to represent D.C. as a 12 seed, this time winning two games.

So, the last tournament with absolutely no local flavor? How about 1978, a 32-team event whose closest representatives were Penn, Villanova and LaSalle. That would have been a good year for a local poll celebrating the best of local college basketball. So is this.

"Motion to suspend the Atlantic 11 until there are an appropriate number of passable local teams to fill out the poll," submitted local voter Todd Turner. Motion dismissed. Here's the rest of this week's pith.

1. Virginia Tech

Only lost to Duke by 25, so...Number 1! (Markus Videnieks)

The Hokies are the type of No. 1 you usually only get with the aid of crooked boxing commissioners. (Jamie Paquette)

Tech watched the Terps lose by 41 and laughed, because the Hokies could spread that margin of defeat over at least 41 games. (Paul Campbell

Someone must have explained to Seth Greenberg in the off season that there are not 65 at-large bids. (Matt Holohan)

Remember the Seinfeld episode where George goes against his every instinct and becomes successful and Elaine falls upon hard luck? I think Tech is George, Virginia is Elaine and Maryland is Susan as she starts licking her wedding invitations. (Jack Lambert)

The Hokies are climbing the Atlantic 11 poll by putting their right foot in, and then not shooting themselves in it, unlike every other team. (John Albers)

With 50 points in two games last week, Malcolm Delaney finally emerged from his older sister Dana's shadow. (Christopher Ring)

So the Hoyas fell from the top spot and "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" is the #1 film in the U.S.? Hold me. I'm scared. (Glenn Arnold)

The Hokies received one vote in the coaches poll this week, probably from a guy who cast his ballot in November for Nader. (Chris Chase)

2. Georgetown

I thought standing in the purple ticket line was as bad as it could get. Then I watched the Georgetown-Seton Hall game. (Chris Chase)

Even with P.J. Carlesimo in the arena to celebrate Seton Hall's Final Four 20th Anniversary, the Hoyas were the biggest chokers in the house. (Chris Fish)

Not to pour salt in the wound, but Seton Hall lost to IUPUI. Last month. At home. (Glenn Arnold)

Georgetown loses top spot in the Atlantic 11 poll, the United States inaugurates a black president, and in weather news, Hell is expecting a foot of snow today. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Look no further than Mickey Rourke and Robert Downey Jr. to see there is always a chance to turn it around. (Sean Perkins)

3. VCU

Did anyone else see Eric Maynor on the Mall for the Inauguration? He was the guy without gloves. (Glenn Arnold)

Generic AP lede of any VCU game: Eric Maynor scored [large number] as VCU beat [other team], [score]. (Max Wasserman)

Eric Maynor's so old, he even remembers the last time someone other than Georgetown was No. 1 in this poll. (Paul Campbell)

There hasn't been this much Ram worship since Mola Ram tore the heart out of the chest of that dude in Temple of Doom. (Michael Palan)

From the rejected nicknames department: Eric Maynor McCheese. (Scott Allen)

VCU? Isn't that what Schultz and Colonel Clink would say to Hogan during poker games on Hogan's Heroes? "Vee see you, and vee race you 3,000 deutschmarks!" Meanwhile, Richard Dawson would be digging a tunnel to freedom right under the card table. (Bill Fitzgerald)

4. George Mason

With all five losses on the road, Patriots appear to wield as much power outside of Fairfax County as Anthony H. Griffin (look it up). (Jamie Paquette)

Presidential inauguration time was always hard for George Mason, since all his friends got to be president and he didn't. One hundred years from now, people will mistakenly believe he was named after the school that went to the Final Four out of the CAA. (Sean McLernon)

5. VMI

Bubble watch: Good losses - Liberty, Bad losses - UVA. (B. Sopchak)

Following its contractual obligation for 40% of its programming to be Law and Order: SVU, TNT will be televising VMI's game against Southern Virginia University tonight. (Markus Videnieks)

John Holmes is now one-half of the most prolific scoring tandem of twins in Division I history, though he remains No. 2 all time in scoring among guys named John Holmes. (Eric Swensen)

If the NBA doesn't work out, Chavis and Travis Holmes can always parlay their newfound fame as the NCAA's all-time leading scorers among twins into a Coors Light commercial. (Scott Allen)

The Holmes twins: Just like the Olson twins, only less likely to hook up with Lance Armstrong. (Sean McLernon)

Shaving your head, sleeping in a barracks....AND TWINS! (Eric Angevine)

6. Maryland

Gary described the Duke debacle as "one loss," which is like describing the Tet Offensive as "one battle" or Ralph Friedgen as "one man." (Jack Lambert)

Sen. John McCain breathed a sigh of relief over the weekend, realizing that his defeat in North Carolina won't be the most memorable from the 08-09 season. (Jarrett Carter)

Noticing that George Mason still almost won a tough road game despite their high scorer fainting during the game, Maryland students are preparing to spike Greivis Vasquez's Gatorade bottles with Ny-Quil. (Max Wasserman)

The Terps said all week how they like to play in hostile environments. However, following the Duke game, the team tried to back out of next year's Fertile Crescent-Persian Gulf Classic. (Chris Fish)

[insert subprime analogy to Greivis Vasquez calling Cameron, "my house."] (Matt Holohan)

Gary now sweating off the court, as well. (Matt Bonesteel)

Can Anthony Grant bring Eric Maynor with him when he takes over at Maryland next year? (Markus Videnieks)

Does President Obama have any eligibility left? (Tim Lemke)

Gary Williams will still soak his shirts, but at least he won't be sweating about making the tournament. (Ben Shlesinger)

In fairness to Maryland, Duke usually peaks in January. (Eric Swensen)

7. Liberty

At the very least, Liberty can know it's the best adjective in the Big South after beating High Point. (Jack Lambert)

Which potential NCAA tournament first-round matchup is the NCAA Selection Committee drooling over more: Brad Greenberg vs. Seth Greenberg or Seth Curry vs. Stephen Curry? (Scott Allen)

In a performance that could make even Rich Chvotikin want to call it quits, Artsiom Parakhouski dropped 22 points in Radford's victory over the Flames. (Christopher Ring)

8. American

Losing to Holy Cross will now result in an a column from Bill Simmons that will invariably make me want to jump out a window. Yup, those are my readers. (Chris Bocquet)

9. Navy

Losing to Army isn't too embarrassing ... if this was 1944 and it was in football. (Chris Chase)

Sure, Army is better than Navy at 'land basketball,' but Navy dominates the pool basketball circuit. They are also good at knot-tying. (John Albers)

10. Virginia

Calvin Baker borrowed a pair of my compression shorts for the 2006 CAA Tournament. I still haven't gotten them back. I'm not going to say karma is the reason for UVA's struggles, but yeah, it probably is. (Former William & Mary reserve Chris Stratton)

U-Va. basketball: More awkward comedic moments per half-hour of television prominently featuring someone named Michael Scott than The Office. (Sean McLernon)

11. Morgan State

(Very short on pith)

Also receiving pith

James Madison: If JMU put "Dukes" on its jerseys, I'm pretty sure they could take Maryland. (Chris Chase)

Mount St. Mary's: Winners of six in a row, plus "Attending a Mountaineers Basketball Game" ran unopposed in the "Things to do in Emmitsburg" contest. (John Albers)

T-shirts bearing the slogan "Back to back play-in game appearances" are starting to sell like mad in Emmitsburg. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Quietly creeping back into poll contention like a case of crabs in a fraternity house. (Jamie Paquette)

Their win over Central Connecticut State was the best local Mountaineer-over-Blue Devil game since West Virginia knocked Duke out of the Tourney at the Verizon Center. (Paul Campbell)

Radford: The announcers of the play-in game better start learning Art Parakhouski's name. (Matt Bonesteel)

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 29, 2009; 5:07 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Next: Morning Look: Redskins Closeout Sale


The Blackout may have sounded like a good idea, but Tech should have learned from DC United if they want to consider themselves a local team.

Posted by: sitruc | January 30, 2009 9:22 AM | Report abuse

VT goes up 15 but still manages to lose. Who do they think they are, Maryland?

I laugh to stave off the tears.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 30, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Is that Nikita Mescheriakov? If so, that's the reason why local college hoops are so bad - he threw off the cosmic order of things by not going to his bro Yegor's alma mater, GW. That's bad feng shui, dude.

Posted by: awiseman1 | February 2, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

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