Local Poll Week XVII: (Mid)Major DC
Conventional wisdom holds that this has been a horrific year for D.C.-area college basketball. But I'd say that's only if you're talking BCS-conference D.C.-area college basketball. Sure, throw the Atlantic 10, too, but get beyond the Marylands and the Georgetowns and here's what you've now got in the DMV.
* Radford beating VMI in the Big South final.
* George Mason and VCU playing tonight for the CAA crown.
* American, UMBC and Mount St. Mary's all winning conference semifinals on Sunday, giving them shots at the large tourney.
* Morgan State clinching the top seed in the MEAC tourney, which starts tomorrow, with Norfolk State as the third seed and Coppin State as the fifth.
In 2007, when this poll debuted, we had seven NCAA tournament teams. Last year, the number was six. If American holds serve, Morgan/Norfolk/Coppin find MEAC gold, either UMBC or the Mount springs a road upset and either Maryland or Virginia Tech gets two wins in Atlanta, we could be at six again. So it's not all bad. Though, to be honest, our best seed will probably be about an 11. And there's virtually no chance anyone but VCU gets past the first weekend. That's pretty bad.
RPI Watch: George Mason (46th), Georgetown (49th), VCU (56th), Virginia Tech (62nd), Maryland (67th), American (77th), Old Dominion (107th), Virginia (109th). Radford is at 131 and staring at a 16th seed.
This week's discussion question: Provide the full list of DMV teams that will qualify for the NCAA tournament. Also, is Virginia really more worthy than Mount St. Mary's? And have we ever ranked a team that was seven games below .500?
1. VCU (23-9) 563 (39)
--Next: CAA final tonight vs. No. 3 George Mason.
--When Chuck Norris wants to make a Chuck Norris joke, he inserts the name Eric Maynor in his place. (Sean McLernon)
2. American (23-7) 458 (6)
--Next: Patriot League final Friday vs. Holy Cross.
--Beat the military (Army) and now taking on Christianity (Holy Cross), meaning the Eagles are a win over Oxycontin away from destroying everything Rush Limbaugh holds dear. (Jack Lambert)
3. George Mason (22-9) 449 (3)
--Next: CAA final tonight vs. No. 1 VCU.
--Is it just me, or does Louis Birdsong's game get sweeter in the spring? (Jamie Paquette)
4. Maryland (18-12) 359 (4)
--Next: ACC first-round game Thursday vs. N.C. State.
--Forget the recruiting issues, maybe scheduling the occasional non-conference road game would help prepare them for the titans of the ACC like Virginia. (Jamie Paquette)
5. Virginia Tech (17-13) 287
--Next: ACC first-round game Thursday vs. Miami.
--Saying the Hokies are "on the bubble" is like saying Seth Greenberg is "balding". (Chris Chase)
6. Georgetown (16-13) 286 (4)
--Next: Big East first-round game Tuesday vs. St. John's.
--Used to think of them as the best team in the D.C. area. Now I am not even sure they are the best team in the Northwest quadrant. (Bill Fitzgerald)
7. Radford (21-11) 279 (3)
--Next: NCAA tournament vs. TBA 1 seed.
--Artsiom Parakhouski is Idaho's greatest export since potatoes and Napoleon Dynamite. (Michael Palan)
8. Morgan State (20-11) 153
--Next: MEAC quarterfinal Wednesday vs. Florida A&M-Howard winner.
--The sad thing is Todd Bozeman's actually one of the more sane people in all of Baltimore. (Devin Perry)
9. Old Dominion (21-10) 133
--Next: Postseason fate TBA.
--Though the Monarchs lost to VCU in their conference basketball tournament, Coach Blaine Taylor's mustache advanced to the Colonial Athletic Facial Hair conference final to face underdog Bruiser Flint. (John Albers)
10. VMI (24-8) 105
--Next: Postseason fate TBA.
--Having given up over 100 points six times this year, I don't think the Cadets are learning much about defense.(Markus Videnieks)
11. Virginia (10-17) 50
--Next: ACC first-round game Thursday vs. Boston College.
-- In hopes of getting more out of Mamadi Diane, UVA has renamed the ACC tournament "ACC Senior Week." (Jake Leffler)
Also receiving votes: Mount St. Mary's 41, Liberty 31, UMBC 22, Richmond 20, Navy 11, James Madison 10, Loyola 7, Coppin State 4, Howard 3, William & Mary 2.
March 9, 2009; 5:16 PM ET
Categories: Atlantic 11 , College Basketball
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