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Local Poll Week XVII: (Mid)Major DC

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

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.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 9, 2009; 5:16 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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We need to do this for college football...

Posted by: sitruc | March 9, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I also expect you(Dan) to respond to this:

Alexandria, Va.: Big South Tournament starts tonight. Who you got winning it all and advancing to the big dance? VMI? Liberty? Radford? Or some wild card like UNCA?

Dan Steinberg: Liberty. Book it.

Radford was the number 1 seed and was hosting and you went with a Curry? Radford was just about the easiest pick in the "area."

Posted by: sitruc | March 9, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

LETS GO RADFORD!!!!! The hustlin Highlanders are going dancing!!!!

Posted by: SkinsOsHokies | March 9, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice post sitruc, what do you have to say for yourself Dan?

Posted by: SkinsOsHokies | March 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Love the assumption that Radford's next game will be against a 1 seed. Considering the Highlanders' early season record, I'd bank on a play-in game.

Posted by: evwill | March 9, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Regular season champion, conference tournament champion and undefeated on the road in conference play deserves better than a play-in game. Plus, their place has a new lighting system(I know that doesn't matter at all).

Posted by: sitruc | March 9, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Radford and VCU are in. I'll take American, Mount St. Mary's, and Morgan St.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 9, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Can we kick out people who voted for UVA?

Posted by: mgv4232 | March 9, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Saying "we" ranked Virginia is like saying "we" decided the Bob Barr-Wayne Allen Root ticket was the 4th most qualified pair to be President. I resent being included amongst the "we" who ranked Virginia.

Posted by: johnja97 | March 10, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

If there is another ranking next week, we better see a drop for GMU after the ODU drop this week. We (ODU) lost to VCU in the semifinals by 8 points on, what in essence, is VCU's home court and we drop in the rankings. GMU lost by 21 to VCU in the finals last night. In the end, both teams are getting NIT invites. I'd say that puts their ranking a little closer. (Yes, I am a proud ODU alumna)

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | March 10, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

i like the college football idea

Posted by: parkerbros | March 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

I think the only sport this poll would actually work for now is lacrosse.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 10, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You mean club level lacrosse, right Kev29?

Posted by: sitruc | March 10, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The Big South is a joke. Winthrop was the only team that ever had a chance in the NCAA's. They are terrible now too..The honeymoon couldnt last long.

Posted by: SA-Town | March 10, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

SA-Town - why is it a joke? because they're small schools? let me guess - you're the disgruntled fan of a BCS-level team who had a bad year and you are taking your self-esteem issues out on someone smaller.

Winthrop being bad now is just a fact of life in low-major conferences - you get a nucleus together and hope they can form a cohesive unit in their Junior/Senior years, or you throw in the odd JuCo transfer and hope to catch lightning in a bottle. lather, rinse repeat. what's great is that every once in a while, a team like this sneaks up on someone and causes a brief sensation. i think that's to be celebrated, not denigrated.

i challenge you to find many more entertaining games than that VMI-Radford final. the level of play was obviously a step below UNC-Duke, but it was hard fought ((c) Joe Gibbs, 2007), fast-paced and featured plenty of posing and shirt-popping by Art Parakoushki, which was pretty damn amusing.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 10, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

LurkerNowPoster: Thanks so much for mentioning the every-year home-court advantage VCU enjoys in the CAA tourney.
And I couldn't be more excited about Eric Maynor's graduation. "Go forth and succeed wildly, young man! (Now just leave, please.)"

Posted by: WaPoGuy | March 11, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

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