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Local Poll Week XIII: Pure Chaos

(Photo by Stanley Leary - AP. Logo and editing by Ian Oland - A11 media.)

Three straight weeks, three straight changes atop the more-volatile-than-a-Maryland-staff-retreat Atlantic 11. Raise your hand if you thought VMI and American would both be getting more first-place votes than Georgetown in mid-February. Now put your hand down if you're a best-selling author of treasured sports non-fiction. Thought so.

This right here is definitely the weirdest week in Atlantic 11 history. VMI received votes at every slot from 1 through 10. So did Georgetown. The same VMI team that lost by 28 at 11-11 Jacksonville State is ranked ahead of the area's two longtime powers. No fewer than three Big South teams are ranked ahead of Virginia. And two teams that received exactly zero votes (Longwood and George Washington) have victories over ranked teams (James Madison and American, respectively).

RPI Watch: Georgetown (37th), Virginia Tech (40th), George Mason (57th), Maryland (69th), VCU (73rd), American (85th), Virginia (99th). VMI may have the best record in the DMV and the highest low-major ranking in A11 history, but the Keydets are 129th in RPI, behind James Madison and Mount St. Mary's. Still, we're looking at anywhere from three to six tournament teams.

Rankings and pith:

1. Virginia Tech (15-7) 525 (38)
--Next: Wednesday vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday at No. 6 Maryland.
--In order to learn new ways to berate the referees, Seth Greenberg has purchased the new book-on-tape by Christian Bale. (Max Wasserman)

2. VCU (17-7) 468 (10)
--Next: Wednesday vs. No. 10 James Madison, Saturday at No. 8 Old Dominion.
--Usually the Rams losing at the Seahawks wouldn't be a big deal. (Markus Videnieks)

3. VMI (19-4) 394 (4)
--Next: Tonight vs. Charleston Southern, Saturday at Coastal Carolina.
--To celebrate their last 20-win season in 1978, Keydets won't allow women to watch their games. (Matt Bonesteel)

4. Georgetown (13-9) 368 (3)
--Next: Saturday at Syracuse.
--If Barack Obama ever misses Chicago, he can visit the Georgetown basketball team and feel at home among their Ls. (Chris Chase)

5. George Mason (16-7) 321
--Next: Thursday at Delaware, Saturday vs. Northeastern.
--The Patriots are due for another loss to James Madison on Feb. 7, 2014. (Scott Allen)

6. Maryland (15-8) 308
--Next: Saturday vs. No. 1 Virginia Tech.
--I can't help but be reminded of the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man while watching Dave Neal try to rebound against Georgia Tech. (John Albers)

7. American (15-7) 265 (4)
--Next: Wednesday at Bucknell, Saturday vs. Colgate.
--AU fans are starting to get all atwitter about the Eagles postseason chances. They are also getting all ablog, afacebook and atext. (Bill Fitzgerald)

8. Old Dominion (15-8) 157
--Next: Tuesday at Hofstra, Saturday vs. No. 2 VCU.
--Monarchs set to host Liberty in Atlantic11Buster. (Scott Allen)

9. Liberty (17-8) 120
--Next: Monday at Presbyterian, Saturday at Charleston Southern.
--Get this: Seth Curry actually has teammates. I had no idea. (Sean McLernon)

10. James Madison (16-9) 103
--Wednesday at No. 2 VCU, Saturday vs. William & Mary.
--Dukes will be a shoo-in for the Basketball Championship Subdivision Tournament once the NCAA finally realizes that all those extra games in March are really bad for the student-athletes at large D-1 schools. (Jamie Paquette)

11. Mount St. Mary's (14-10) 57
--Next: Thursday vs. St. Francis, Saturday at Monmouth.
--Lost their first game in a month to Long Island on Thursday. It wasn't all bad though as Jeremy Goode was still able to drop 50 on the Knicks. (Jackl Lambert)

Also receiving votes: Navy 52, Morgan State 43, Radford 20, Virginia 14, Hampton 5, UMBC 4, Norfolk State 4, Howard 3, Coppin State 2, Loyola 1, William & Mary 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 9, 2009; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Next: Morning Look: Wiz Fans Turn Inward


Reading the complaints of NC State fans about the officiating in the Tech game is amazing. I was wondering if they were watching the same game at all. Then I read post-game threads on all of their games... I'm not sure there is a fanbase in the country that complains about officiating as much as them (and completely ignores calls the other way).

Posted by: sitruc | February 10, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I really hope people from other two state/one district areas aren't watching. This is kind of embarrassing.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 10, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

in the words of Borat...It makes sense that George Mason is ranked 5 spots higher then JMU...pause...NOT!

Posted by: rc2223 | February 10, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

let's see if we can draw you a road map, rc2223. and i do this as a JMU alum.

JMU @ Mason = Dukes lose by 14
Mason @ JMU = Dukes win by 2

vs. Hofstra - Dukes lose by 1, Mason wins by 24

Conference records: JMU 8-5, Mason 9-4

JMU good wins: Seton Hall
Mason good wins: Vermont

JMU bad losses: Longwood, Towson, Loyola (Md)
Mason bad losses: Hampton

I think that on a neutral court in March, Mason would be a significant favorite and would be likely to win. Therefore, no qualms about ranking them higher. Are you going to complain that they are ranked higher than Liberty as well (who also beat them)?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

and just because i was thinking about it while reading Mid-Majority, there is a possibility that absolutely 0 teams from the area make the NCAAs.

the best hope for an at-large right now is Va. Tech. they've got a relatively easy next few games before a tough finish (@Clemson, Duke, UNC, @ Fla. St.) so if they drop a game this week or next and finish 8-8 ot 7-9 in the ACC, they'll be trying to skate in on the strength of a win over Wake and that's about it.

after that, I don't think there's another team with a good enough case to make right now, so then it's down to the auto bids. the best chances of a local team grabbing one of those are in the CAA, Big South, Patriot and MEAC. but let's say that Northeastern wins the CAA, Gardner Webb steals the Big South, Holy Cross takes the Patriot and Bethune-Cookman the MEAC. that would be a shut-out. or we could end up with 1 representative (Radford, any MEAC team) that ends up in the play-in game and never makes it out of Dayton. that would be pretty sad.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 10, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Radford is first in the Big South right now...

Posted by: sitruc | February 10, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Dimesmakedollars...Delaware is good huh? you just wrote an essay and you were wrong. Nice try though.

Posted by: rc2223 | February 13, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse

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