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Local Poll Ends: It's VCU!

Radford loves VMI. (Photo by Don Petersen - AP; logo and editing by Ian Oland - Atlantic 11 Media)

For the first time in the three-year history of the Atlantic 11, we have a mid-major champion. That would be VCU, though it wasn't without controversy: Maryland actually received more first-place votes, and the final margin was easily the closest in poll history

Also, for the first time in the three-year history of the Atlantic 11, Georgetown did not finish first. In fact, the Hoyas finished eighth.

Also, for the first time in the three-year history of the Atlantic 11, the final poll does not include 11 teams. UMBC and Mount St. Mary's tied for last. Dang. That means this is 2009's final version of the Atlantic 12, I suppose.

We had fewer NCAA tournament teams than ever before, but a total of 12 teams are still playing. Not these 12, though; No. 10 VMI and No. 11 UMBC are both done, while unranked Liberty and Richmond play on. Oh, and Virginia finished 13th. No wonder Leitao got canned.

Final RPI Watch: VCU (50th), George Mason (51st), Maryland (55th), Georgetown (60th), Virginia Tech (61st), American (73rd), Old Dominion (103rd).

Here are the final rankings and pith. So, how'd we do? We had fun, anyhow, right?

1. VCU (24-9) 541 (25)
--Next: NCAA tournament Thursday vs. UCLA.
--Playing a team like UCLA in the first round has to be special for Eric Maynor, as he grew up watching Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton and has special memories of John Wooden's dynasty. (Chris Chase)

2. Maryland (20-13) 532 (27)
--Next: NCAA tournament Thursday vs. Cal.
--Greivis Vasquez threatens to turn pro. When objections from Maryland fan base don't materialize, he threatens to return for his senior season, prompting couch burning across College Park. (Tim Hanson)

3. American (24-7) 485 (6)
--Next: NCAA tournament Thursday vs. Villanova.
--Eagles potentially looking ahead to second-round Atlantic 11 clash with VCU, making their first-round matchup with Villanova a classic trap game. (Scott Allen)

4t. George Mason (22-10) 307
--Next: NIT Tuesday at Penn State
--Gunston 1, GMU's Karmic Balance 0. (Jarrett Carter)

4t. Virginia Tech (18-14) 307
--Next: NIT Wednesday vs. Duquesne.
--Only Miss Piggy has been left this consistently heartbroken by a Muppet. (Jack Lambert)

6. Morgan State (23-11) 281
--Next: NCAA tournament Thursday vs. Oklahoma.
--Finally, Todd Bozeman's wardrobe will get the exposure it deserves. (John Albers)

7. Radford (21-11) 276
--Next: NCAA tournament Thursday vs. North Carolina.
--"Hello ... My name is Brad Greenberg ... You killed my brother ... Prepare to, um, probably win by 30." (Jack Lambert)

8. Georgetown (16-14) 251 (1)
--Next: NIT Wednesday at Baylor.
--How long do you think it will take Hoyas fans to realize that filling out NIT brackets is substantially less fun than those for the NCAA Tourney? (Kevin O'Connor)

9. Old Dominion (21-10) 97
--Next: CIT Thursday vs. The Citadel.
--I'm pretty sure the Postseason Tournament is some Web site's NCAA tournament pool. (Markus Videnieks)

10. VMI (24-8) 71
--Next: Season over.
--As the best team not to get a berth in the CIT, CBI, NIT or NCAA tournaments, the Keydets have that heartbreaking distinction of being the 130th best team in the country. (Sean McLernon)

11t. Mount St. Mary's (19-13) 25
--Next: CIT Wednesday at James Madison.
--Mountaineers figured the best way to avoid the play-in game during consecutive seasons was to lose their conference championship game. (Devin Perry)

11t. UMBC 25
--Next: Season over.
--(No appropriate pith.)

Also receiving votes: Virginia 23, Liberty 18, Richmond 18, Navy 8, Norfolk State 5, James Madison 2, Coppin State 1, George Washington 1, Loyola 1, Towson 1, William & Mary 1.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 16, 2009; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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"Hello ... My name is Brad Greenberg ... You killed my brother ... Prepare to, um, probably win by 30." (Jack Lambert)

Definitely the best pith of the year.

Posted by: harrisongoodman | March 17, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Seriously, how could anyone vote for UVA? Those people should be kicked out of the poll, and then shot.

Posted by: rockotodd | March 17, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of A11 squads - see that Channel 9 has picked the Duke game over VCU-UCLA? Pretty lame.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 17, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Rockotodd, really? The Cavs split a home-and-home series against #2 Maryland and did likewise against #4 VT. They beat #10 VMI and #7 Radford. They only had one really bad loss on the year (vs. Liberty), which is better than most of these teams can say. Their best win (vs. Clemson) stands up pretty well here also. Look, Virginia had a lousy season and doesn't deserve much respect but a few last place votes here and there don't seem unreasonable.

Posted by: sw11 | March 17, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

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