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Virginia's Best College Hoops Programs

George Mason's win over Old Dominion last weekend kept the Patriots on top of the CAA standings and ensured that Mason continued its best overall start in 25 years. But it did more than that: it also drew George Mason within a single game of Old Dominion in the crucial overall-record-over-the-last-five-years category. With the Monarchs facing a tough trip to VCU on Saturday, Mason could draw even by next week.

Just out of curiosity, I compiled the five-year-plus resumes of Virginia's five leading basketball programs, figuring five years was enough to even out one-year blips of success. The results were sort of surprising, in that you could make a legitimate case that Virginia and Virginia Tech have been no better than the fourth- and fifth-best Commonwealth programs over that span.

In fact, I don't know how you could argue otherwise. VCU has the best winning percentage and the most legitimate postseason berths. Mason has the best postseason winning percentage. Old Dominion has the most consecutive postseason appearances. And Virginia/Virginia Tech? Not sure what their claim would be.

Here they are, by winning percentage:

1. VCU: 124-51 overall, two NCAA berths, two NIT berths, 1-4 postseason record.

2. Old Dominion: 120-59 overall, two NCAA berths, one NIT berth, one CBI berth, 4-4 postseason record.

3. George Mason: 119-60 overall, two NCAA berths, one NIT berth, 6-3 postseason record.

4. Virginia Tech: 98-75 overall, one NCAA berth, two NIT berths, 4-3 postseason record.

5. Virginia: 92-76 overall, pne NCAA berth, two NIT berths, one CBI berth, 4-4 postseason record.

(And yeah, I basically did all this research and wrote this entire post as an excuse for using the photo, above. It's taken from Storming the Floor's trip to Mason-Old Dominion; read more here.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 13, 2009; 12:21 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Not a lot separating #1 through #3 there, so I'd think GMU's Final Four berth would have to give them the edge. (I don't consider one additional NIT berth from VCU to outweight a Final Four appearance.) Nevertheless, VCU beat Duke in the tourney, which gives them bonus points. So Lindemann777's power rankings are:

1. GMU
2. VCU
3. ODU
4. VT
5. Carry Me Back to Old Mediocre Virginny

Posted by: Lindemann777 | January 13, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

How would VCU, ODU and GMU do playing in the ACC? My guess is that they would have far less wins and postseason appearances. Just something to consider.

Posted by: hokiehi12 | January 13, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm an ODU grad, but I'd still agree with Lindeman777's assessment. GMU's big run is bouyed by their overall consistency. VCU tends to stay atop the conference as well, and that one postseason victory is a pretty impressive one. ODU... well, I keep hoping they'll get back to the heights they enjoyed when Alex Loughton was in Norfolk.

Regardless, I am enjoying CAA basketball overall these days - I think it's something to be proud of.

Posted by: eangevine | January 13, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

any head to head numbers?? (cuz honestly, i don't know)

and deshawn is jealous of that girl's shoes

Posted by: 3tripleiii | January 13, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Hokie, Mason would probably have more postseason berths considering the ACC usually gets in about 4-7 teams every year, while the CAA usually gets 1.

I have no doubt that Mason and VCU could hang with Tech, UVA, Maryland, Georgia Tech, NC State, and Boston College.

Posted by: chirsch | January 13, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I wish UVA and Tech would have the balls to play VCU or even GMU. But its definitely not worth it to them. Too much to risk and nothing to gain, since they have to fill up those out of conference wins before they get their asses beat in conference play.

Posted by: Petey82 | January 13, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

So Mason would have fewer NCAA appearances if they played in the ACC huh? How do you explain that win over UNC then?

Answer me this many post-season appearances would VT have if they played in the CAA? Teams that consistenly get smoked by ODU in our conference usually don't make the post-season.

Posted by: ScottV | January 13, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

UVA or VT would not make the playoffs very often if they were in the CAA. Fact of the matter is that neither team is good and would not get at-large bids and also would not win the conference tourny. GMU, VCU, and ODU are all better teams the VT and UVA. Anyone who thinks otherwise really has no clue what they are talking about

Posted by: NateMinarik | January 13, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Typical ignorant ACC fans...VCU beat Duke and Maryland both in basically what was home games for the ACC teams...ODU has pretty much owned VA Tech so how is a foolish Hkie talking about the CAA?
If the ACC teams are so superiour then why are UVA and VA TECH afraid to play VCU?

Posted by: AreYouSerious | January 13, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

This is too funny. I bet that stupid ACC fan thought everyone was going to agree with him/her that ACC teams like Tech and UVa would dominate Mason, VCU and ODU. Yet the consensus of the comments is that those three CAA schools are better and that he/she obviously doesn't know much about basketball. Amusing.

Posted by: GMUalum06 | January 13, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

You want to know why VT won't play VCU or any other CAA school anytime soon. Over the last 5 games between ODU and VT:

ODU-4, VT-1. (oh and the 1 was at VT when half the ODU team had the flu, congrats chokies)

and ODU lost last year to UVA in the CBI Semifinals off a banked 3 by singletary in the closing minutes, but they were ahead for a while but lost right at the end, so its not like these CAA teams aren't competitive with these "big time" ACC schools.

Posted by: pandorazboxx | January 14, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Yeah the same big bad ACC Va Tech that has had trouble beating a low level Richmond team which VCU uses as a wipping board...

Posted by: AreYouSerious | January 14, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Since we're talking hypothetical there's no way to prove either way, but I see some flawed logic being thrown out there by CAA fans.

You can't use the results of one game an apply that to an entire season. If GMU could beat UNC regularly, why would they lose to teams like Hampton? If ODU can beat ACC teams regularly, why have they lost to Bucknell and Georgia State this year?

The answer: it's easy to get up for one game and play with a chip on your shoulder, but you can't play that way consistently over the course of a season. This is why teams like GMU and ODU would get buried if they had to play an ACC schedule. Conversely, a team like UVA or VT would thrive in a conference that's at least 50% creampuffs.

Posted by: RapmasterAC | January 14, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I look forward to that young lady being my server at TGI Fridays in about 18 years. God speed little girl, God speed...

Posted by: ckstevenson | January 14, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the same big bad ACC Va Tech that has had trouble beating a low level Richmond team which VCU uses as a wipping board...

Posted by: AreYouSerious | January 14, 2009 12:22 AM

You probably should have waited until after tonight's game to comment here.
VT 62 - UR 48
It was never close.

CAA and non-BCS schools do have some quality wins against ACC teams. Most realistic followers of college basketball, the CAA and ACC will acknowledge the two conferences are not on the same level though. In general, ACC teams are deeper and the conference is stronger from top to bottom. That does not mean the teams are always better or OOC games should always go in favor of the ACC. For what it's worth, has head to head and other stats for Virginia Tech against all historical opponents. Comparing records over the past few years doesn't show too much largely because of SOS. Home court goes a long way in college basketball. Most of the time the home teams win. I'm not going to make excuses for Virginia or Virginia Tech, but it's obvious many of the comments here are by posters who have not followed college basketball in the Commonwealth for very long. It wasn't long ago that Tech was in the Metro Conference or A-10 along with some of the teams they're supposed to be vastly superior than(tic).

Regardless, Seth Greenberg just broke his hand hitting a padded scorer's table. I wish Dan was in Blacksburg right now.

Posted by: sitruc | January 14, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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