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Local Teams Close in on Tourney Berths, Embarrassment

Sometimes it's the little things that carry you through the years. Today, one of those little things happened: two newly installed Washington Post flat-screen TVs, two televised matchups featuring four prominent Atlantic 11 teams, and both games 54-49 at the exact same moment. Time froze for that little moment of magic, shared by me alone, but in my head I was sharing it with all of you.

Of course, there were issues. Our top-ranked team--Maryland--was trailing by five, and went on to lose to an unranked Virginia squad. VMI, which has consistently been ranked ahead of Radford for weeks, conference records notwithstanding, was trailing to Radford, in a game that had something like 17 minutes left in the second half. Soon, Georgetown would struggle to put away wretched DePaul, and GW would finish its misery, and George Mason would tangle for 40 ghastly minutes with JMU.

But still, as part of what is inarguably the best weekend of the year for Atlantic 11 watchers, it was a mighty fine day. From the CAA extravaganza to the Big South showdowns, from the Patriot League semis to the last day of the ACC regular season, this was a weekend no Atlantic 11 voter will soon forget. Absent great quantities of alcohol.

Now read the rest of last week's lol pith. You'll laugh. Promise.

1. Maryland

Introducing the newest internet meme: Text Scheyer Face! ----> |: - (U} (Max Wasserman)

Scheyerface: (n) from the German schadenfreude; a complex countenance expressing rage, disappointment, inferiority and maddening familiarity; most commonly found in University of Maryland basketball fans; can lead to pyromania. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Operation Scheyerface 2.0 worked out about as well Godfather III. (David Storm)

Maryland on the tournament bubble is as much a rite of early spring in the D.C. area as the blooming of the cherry blossoms and the Nationals falling out of the NL East race. (Sean McLernon)

Under Armour wasn't the only Maryland-connected entity to entice Lance Stephenson. David Simon gave him a tour of East Baltimore, and Jayson Blair gave him a tour of the Burger King he's now working at. (Matt Bonesteel)

The Terps celebrated with fist pumps, man hugs and jersey popping after beating an N.C. State team that likely won't make the NIT. It was sort of like opposing soldiers whooping it up after beating the French army. You gotta keep things in perspective. (Chris Chase)

Doesn't it feel like Eric Hayes might start rapping about growing up on 8 Mile at any moment? (Christopher Ring)

An anonymous source at a rival newspaper told me that Vasquez's two 30+ point games were for the Post's Eric Prisbell. (Matt Holohan)

If Under Armour is so close to the university, why doesn't Gary have a suit that wicks away his sweat? (Ben Shlesinger)

Wondering when the Maryland Athletic department will have there own show on Comcast Sports Net where Johnny Holiday calls Eric Prisbell "The Sourcerer." (Devin Perry)

2. VCU

In last year's CAA semifinal, I played two possessions. Eric Maynor hit two 3-pointers, we had a turnover and then we called a timeout. How'd that game turn out? Stratton > Maynor. (Chris Stratton)

As Eric Maynor's jersey was raised to the rafters on Senior Night, a Greg Paulus jersey tried to slide under it and flopped to the floor just before any contact was made. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Did you see Eric Maynor's WWE-style championship belt? I don't know if winning the CAA merits a championship belt; a celebratory sip of grape juice from a Dixie Cup maybe but certainly not a belt. (Jack Lambert)

Eric Maynor giving the thumbs up while rocking the championship belt after becoming the Rams' all-time leading scorer is the greatest photo in Atlantic 11 history. (Scott Allen)

Eric Maynor is now Virginia Commonwealth's all-time leading scorer, which will fit nicely on his resume just below: 'Hitting the shot that still haunts Mike Krzyzewski's dreams. (Sean McLernon)

After setting the VCU scoring record Eric Maynor thanked his coach and teammates. that's why Gary Williams didn't recruit him. (Chris Olson)

3. American

Tenleytown is Titletown. Or is it the Mt. Rushmore of local college hoops? Or are they "Who's Now?" I'm so confused. (Jarrett Carter)

American defeats Lafayette. And to think, two centuries ago they were allies. (Jack Lambert)

Garrison Carr might be the best basketball player on an Atlantic 11 team not to have his own Wikipedia page. Somebody needs to get on that. (Sean McLernon)

Has anyone ever seen Jeff Jones and Heath Shuler in the same room at the same time? I swear to God Shammgod that they're the same person. (Michael Palan)

Still trying to imagine Jeff Jones' reaction when he received Craig Littlepage's letter describing UVa's commitment to intercollegiate atheltics. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Going to an AU game is the only time it is socially acceptable in DC to root for the Eagles. (Markus Videnieks)

4. Virginia Tech

How many Duke players does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but he spins his whole body around and the refs don't call him for traveling. (Max Wasserman)

How many Duke players does it take to change a lightbulb? Two. One to screw it in and one to not get called for traveling. (Max Wasserman)

Hokies fall to Duke despite "White Out" in the stands. Which is so much different from the ethnic rainbow that usually attends games in Blacksburg. (Matt Bonesteel)

Va. Tech-Virginia bumped one notch lower on the "biggest area rivlaries" scale by Matt Bonesteel-Patrick Stevens. (Jamie Paquette)

Honestly, is it possible for a color commentator to announce a Tech game without some mention of "Hokie Pokey?" (Christopher Ring)

5. Georgetown

Has wins over Maryland, American, U-Conn., Memphis, Syracuse and Villanova. Voting for teams like American over the Hoyas is like saying that McDonald's is better than Citronelle because they have higher sales. (Jamie Paquette)

Isn't 10th the spot where you give a symbolic shout out to a team that otherwise wouldn't get a vote? (David Storm)

If a moral victory is playing well in defeat, does that make last Saturday's win over Villanova an immoral victory? (Eric Swensen)

Finally! Payback for '85! (Christopher Ring)

The newest question on Jesuit examinations in DC: Can the Hoyas play a game so ugly that no one can win it? (Jack Lambert)

Now that home game in NIT opening round is secured, the Hoyas can go back to collapsing like a wet strand of linguini. (Matt Bonesteel)

Announcers during Georgetown's win over Villanova suggested that the Hoyas are a bubble team. They failed to mention that Georgetown's bubble is between the NIT and CBI. (Devin Perry)

6. George Mason

Stephen Sondheim has written a new Broadway musical encapsulating the Patriots' miraculous Final Four run and their subsequent descent to midmajor normality. Titled "Bubble Boyz," Jason Alexander is set to star as Jim Larranaga. (Bill Fitzgerald)

I think the Patriots could have gotten more than just a second round pick for Matt Cassel. (John Albers)

Am I the only one who no longer thinks that Mason Nation is a hoops sensation, regardless of what that radio ad says? (Ben Shlesinger)

I don't think anyone was more proud of Darryl Monroe's recent strong performances than his father, Greg. (Christopher Ring)

7. Old Dominion

The title of the ODU student newspaper, The Mace & Crown could also double as a description of one of my Saturday night's out at the bar, though not necessarily in that order. (John Albers)

Easy anagrams: Monarch Madness = No March Madness. (Jamie Paquette)

The last time the Monarchs were this hot the Queen of Hearts nearly killed Alice. (Christopher Ring)

Now that Nordic skiing world championships are finally over, Finns can devote their total attention to Gerald Lee in the CAA tournament. (Matt Bonesteel)

Gerald Lee eagerly anticipates the day "that funny guy that looks like Finland President Tarja Halonen" moves to the Tonight Show. (Max Wasserman)

Few teams hotter than Old Dominion. Many names more Finnish than Gerald Lee. (Scott Allen)

8. VMI

If the Keydets were a car, the motor would have seized up somewhere around January 12th. If this ever happens to you, make sure to bring you car to Advance Auto Parts, title sponsor of the 2009 Big South Tournament. (Jamie Paquette)

All these Big South teams in the poll were kinda like the fourth judge on American Idol. An interesting experiment, but not likely to last more than one season. (Jake Leffler)

The Holmes twins are one hundred percent less annoying than Virginia's other famous identical duo, Ronde and Tiki Barber. (Devin Perry)

9. Morgan State

I'd love to see them play Loyola so that Todd Bozeman and Jimmy Patsos could have a crazy-off throughout the game. Whichever coach acts most insane gets a case of Berger Cookies. (Markus Videnieks)

In their recent victory over Delaware State, Reggie Holmes scored 15 points and was one of three Bears to score in double figures. Momma Bear added 12 points and Poppa Bear chipped in with 10. (John Albers)

Coach Boze blogged about attending the Prince George's County 3A/4A championship game last week, but made no mention of whether Gary Williams was in the hiz-ouse. (Scott Allen)

Eight of last 11 games are on the road. Luckily, Marriott points will pay for lodging at MEAC tournament. (Matt Bonesteel)

So does the Todd Bozeman example mean that Jim Bowden will resurface sometime next decade to run the Pulaski Mariners or something? (Jamie Paquette)

Morgan State has beaten Howard, which beat Oregon State, which just recently beat Cal. Thus Todd Bozeman has his revenge. (Max Wasserman)

Todd Bozeman is the latest member of the Facebook Group, "Teams that can't believe they lost to Hampton," started by jlrrngpatriotcoach1. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Now wouldn't Todd Bozeman look great in Buff-n-Blue? (Ted Gotsch)

The Bears are the first team in NCAA history to secure spots in the N.I.T. and B.E.T. on the same day. (Jarrett Carter)

10. Radford

Sometimes its fun to rearrange the letters of people's names to make an anagram that describes their characteristics. For example, Artsiom Parakhouski would be A Pastrami Hour Kiosk. (Christopher Ring)

11. Liberty

Give me Liberty or give me Seth. I mean, they're pretty much one and the same. (Sean McLernon)

Apparently Seth Curry appears in the movie Juwanna Mann, as one of a group of children seen playing basketball. This marks the first time anyone has ever come up with a compelling reason to see the movie. (John Albers)

Also Receiving Pith

Virginia: I'm starting to think that they are losing on purpose to improve their chances to get Blake Griffin. (Jake Leffler)

Navy: Kaleo Kina joins Kyle Korver on the ballot for this year's K-Squared Sports Hall of Fame, co-chaired by Kris Krisofferson and Kenny King. (Bill Fitzgerald)

Mount St. Mary's: Since this might be the last time the Mount appears in the rankings, can I use my pith space to say hi to my girlfriend, a freshman on Mount's lacrosse team? I figure it beats talking about how much I hate Emmitsburg for the umpteenth time this season. (Jack Lambert)

Once again, the Mt. St. Mary's athletic department rejected my "You've Been Mounted" theme for a potential 2009 NEC Champions t-shirt. (Jamie Paquette)

Delaware: I'm just throwing the Blue Hens in here for Patrick Stevens. Next thing you know, his daughter will be eating ravioli before going to Cartoon Cuts in Rockville. (Ben Shlesinger)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 7, 2009; 10:18 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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The newest question on Jesuit examinations in DC: Can the Hoyas play a game so ugly that no one can win it? (Jack Lambert)

They came so close today. I'm told they technically did win although I remain unconvinced.

Posted by: sitruc | March 8, 2009 3:55 AM | Report abuse

did Chris Stratton just ask Eric Maynor how his ass tastes?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 8, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I read dimesmakedollars' comment while coughing and nearly died. You owe me, dimes.

Posted by: sitruc | March 8, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

After Towson's upset of Northeastern yesterday, it is guaranteed that the CAA's representative in the NCAA Tournament will be an Atlantic 11 team.

And in another instance of Baltimore beating Boston, UMBC upset Boston U. in the America East tournament yesterday and followed it up with a win over Albany today to make the finals for the second consecutive year. They probably won't host the finals this time, however.

And American clinched their spot in the Patriot League final by beating Army, though by a much tighter margin than I'm sure they would have liked.

Posted by: MaxWass | March 8, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

sitruc - i would hate to have been party to the first Bog-related death. please accept my apologies along with this coupon good for 6-months of access to the "Blogging with Boze" members-only section.

Max - we're definitely at 2 with Radford and whoever wins the CAA. If American can beat Holy Cross (not if they play like they did today), that will get you past 2.5, But if not, it will take Morgan St. holding serve or an absolute miracle in the ACC or A10.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | March 8, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else worried that Vasquez will go Gilchrist on us, single-handedly win the ACC tournament, and then require being put in a mental institution?

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | March 8, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Mount St. Mary's would also get in the NCAAs with a win at Robert Morris this Wednesday.

Posted by: evwill | March 8, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: u-shoe | March 9, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

radford, liberty, old dominion, delaware but no love for UMBC? playing for 2 in a row this saturday.

Posted by: jnicol2 | March 9, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse


I've worried about that possibility for about two years now.

Posted by: B_A_ | March 9, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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