Local Poll Week VIII: Cavaliers Rise Up
The best game story of the week, and possibly of the season, came in Harrisonburg, where James Madison was making a charge against George Mason before being undone by a technical foul. The old "fan throwing a hot dog on the floor" sort of tech. Who was this hot dog thrower, and what was he or she trying to accomplish? Completely unclear. But it led to the quote of the week, and possibly of the season, via The Breeze:
"We gotta find a way to start the halves and the game out better," senior guard Pierre Curtis said. "Other than that, we kept coming back, we just couldn't really get over the hump. And when I finally thought we were gonna get over the hump, someone threw a hot dog on the floor."
A fine summary. Anyhow, on to the poll, which for the 847th week in a row contained little drama. Old Dominion, which has won eight of its past nine games, moved up from No. 5 to No. 3. That's it for drama.
As for the national hopes and dreams, Georgetown moved up to eighth in the RPI. William & Mary and Richmond fell to 29th and 30th, respectively. Old Dominion remained at 40th, VCU moved up to 46th (but down in the Atlantic 11), and Maryland is at 56th in RPI but 0-4 against the Top 50. Georgetown is still the only nationally ranked team, at 12th in the AP and 14th in the coaches polls. Virginia, William & Mary and Old Dominion are receiving votes in both polls. Nationals pollsters are much higher on the Cavaliers than are local pollsters. I'll side with my crew.
Here are the totals. We have team, record (through Sunday's games), points and first-place votes. Last week's standings are found below, and there's more hilarity even further below.
1. Georgetown (13-3) 535 (44)
--Next: Wednesday at Pittsburgh, Saturday vs. Rutgers.
--You know those MASN ads about how college basketball is better than the NBA? One of them says it's because the teams don't wait till the last 15 minutes to play. Apparently Georgetown doesn't get MASN on campus. (Peter Keszler)
2. William & Mary (14-3) 477 (9)
--Next: Wednesday at No. 8 VCU, Saturday vs. No. 3 Old Dominion.
--The Tribe's superb start has made basketball in Wiliamsburg almost as popular as the hoop and a stick. (John Albers)
3. Old Dominion (14-5) 317
--Next: Wednesday at Delaware, Saturday at No. 2 William & Mary.
--Monarchs get the highest percentage of points from two-point shots in the nation and are terrible at shooting threes, so Blaine Taylor is petitioning to have the team moved back to 1982.
4 Virginia Tech (13-3) 295
--Next: Monday vs. N.C. Central, Saturday vs. Boston College.
--Loss at FSU reminds Seth Greenberg that the quest for an ACC road win is as arduous as finding a good bagel in Blacksburg. (Joe Maloney)
5. Maryland (11-5) 290 (1)
--Next: Tuesday vs. Longwood, Saturday vs. N.C. State.
--At least the crushing loss to UVA at the end of the regular season will come against a decent team this year. (Jake Leffler)
--6. Richmond (14-5) 280
--Next: Wednesday vs. Charlotte, Saturday at No. 10 George Washington.
--Kenpom.com's page on the Spiders lists their Defensive Fingerprint as "Mostly Man." Funny, that's how my ex-wife refers to me. (Norman Chad, via Jamie Paquette)
7. Virginia (11-4) 271 (2)
--Next: Wednesday vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday vs. Miami.
--Next: Saturday at Wake Forest.
--Virginia students celebrate undefeated ACC start by un-popping their collars. (Ivan Snyder)
8. VCU (12-4) 210
--Next: Wednesday vs. No. 2 William & Mary, Saturday at Northeastern.
--Joey Rodriguez has been getting criticism that he has not been Eric Maynor, which is unfair. Eric Maynor wasn't Eric Maynor until at least his second decade as a Ram. (Jack Lambert)
9. George Mason (11-7) 163
--Next: Tuesday at Hofstra, Saturday at Towson.
--The Patriots jumped out to an early lead in Harrisonburg, and James Madison just couldn't ketchup. (Mark Spenik)
10. George Washington (11-5) 149 (1)
--Next: Wednesday at Dayton, Saturday vs. No. 6 Richmond.
--Loss to LaSalle was not as devastating as the rumor that two Colonials pulled muskets on each other in the locker room. (Matt Kelly)
11. Radford (9-7) 35
--Next: Thursday vs. VMI, Saturday vs. Liberty.
--Lazar Trifunovic and Art Parakhouski lead the Highlanders in scoring and Eastern Europeanness. (Chris Bocquet)
Also receiving votes: Morgan State 33, James Madison 14, Towson 8, Mount St. Mary's 7, UMBC 6, American 4, Norfolk State 4, Howard 3, Navy 3, VMI 3.
Last week's rankings
2. William & Mary
3. Virginia Tech
5. Old Dominion
9. George Washington
10. George Mason
Unbelievably large amount of extra pith, encompassing two weeks
Can you really ding the Hoyas for losing at Villanova? Sure you can! (Ted Gotsch)
I submitted a blank ballot last week because I just didn't think any of these teams were worthy of being ranked on the first ballot of the new year even though I voted for some of these teams in the past. Signed, Jay Mariotti. (Jamie Paquette)
So Austin Freeman is what you get when you add 5 inches to Khalid El-Amin? (Kyle Scriven)
However old Beninese big man Mouphtaou Yarou is, he sure can't stop Greg Monroe. (Lacy Lusk)
There's nothing like seeing future (Austin Freeman) and former (Patrick Ewing, Jr.) D-Leaguers exchange an emotional embrace after a big win. (Clinton Yates)
Austin Freeman, Greg Monroe and Chris Wright possess on-court chemistry not seen in Washington since Warren, Brennan and Frankfurter. (Bill Fitzgerald)
What better way to spend MLK day than ranking a bunch of schools that are all named for rich, white, aristocratic, slave-owning land barons? (Jamie Paquette)
2. William & Mary
The last time William & Mary was ranked this high was when the RPI still included gloriousness of revolutions in its formula. (Andrew Wiseman)
When Tony Shaver gets offered a big-time job after this season, can he at least leave his mustache here in Williamsburg? (Jack Lambert)
Top 10 nationally in adjusted Offensive Efficiency, Percentage of FGAs from 3-pointers, assist-per-field goal percentage, percentage of total points from three pointers on offense and defense, and mustache efficacy factor. (B. Sopchak)
The record keeps improving, the RPI keeps declining. Can the Tribe play another ACC team to help with this problem? (Joey Flyntz)
If the Tribe doesn't go down the tubes soon, I expect to hear Pat Robertson predict a typhoon in Williamsburg. (Bill Fitzgerald)
Out to its best CAA start ever. Unfortunately, they don't have any ACC teams left on the schedule. (Jamie Jones)
With W&M facing Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion this week, color commentators dying to use the phrase "Tobacco Interstate." (Adam Anthony)
Congratulations to Sophomore Forward JohnMark Ludwick, who can do pretty much whatever he wants and not be the creepiest John Mark, thanks to the Jon Benet guy. (Markus Videnieks)
Neither William nor Mary received coverage in Sunday's Post, despite equaling their best CAA start in school history, which happens to date back to the 17th Century. Yeah, we really needed that Tony Bennett feature by John Feinstein. (Matt Kelly)
John Feinstein gets his angel wings every time mid major beats a major. Otherwise known as anytime Maryland plays a mid-major right before conference play. (Kyle Scriven)
Congrats, TribePugsPhoenix, you're the Boise State of the A-11. (David Adkins)
3. Virginia Tech
That thunderous scratching sound you just heard was Associated Press voters crossing the Hokies off their Top 25 ballots. (Bill Fitzgerald)
The Hokies announced a new sponsor for the rest of the season: Bubblicious! (Jamie Paquette)
It's 65 degrees and sunny here on MLK day, yet I spend the day inside surrounded by my disappointing pith. Now I know how Malcolm Delaney feels. (Jack Lambert)
One win versus ranked opponents just isn't as impressive as it used to be. Oh, right, it was never impressive. (Gavin Weiss)
Upon defeating his old school up at BC, Gary looking to schedule some more of his old haunts for next year, including the back nine at Congressional and the local Tri-Delt house on campus. (Jack Lambert)
Maryland fan base is the rare combination of a following that doesn't handle wins or losses well. (B. Sopchak)
Gary had players reading "The Tortoise and the Hare" to prime them for the rest of the season, but the extra tutoring time necessary started cutting into practice and the idea was scrapped. (Jamie Paquette)
After the first big drop, the roller coaster goes shooting up another incline to dizzying heights on its way to a series of corkscrews just before it screams into a stretch of stomach-churning peaks and valleys for the exhilarating finish! The Terrapin Train is definitely my favorite ride in Garyland! So much better than the Friedgen Funhouse! (Bill Fitzgerald)
Jin Soo Choi leaves the Terps like Mary Poppins, having finally taught Gary Williams how to love despite the threat of Nazi invasion. Wait, did I mix up my Julie Andrews movies again? (Jack Lambert)
Maryland fans not looking forward to Greivis debuting his jazz hands. (John Albers)
Is anyone else upset that the term "Greivis'd" will no longer be relevant in about a month and a half? (M. Pettiford)
Wake me up in March when Maryland flips a coin for whether or not they make the NCAA's. (Peter Keszler)
Due to the rapid peaks and valleys, you must be this tall to ride the Gary Williams Roller Coaster of NCAA Tournament Bubblehood. Pregnant women and individuals with heart problems are discouraged from riding. Please keep arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. (Joey Flyntz)
5. Old Dominion
I would say that I'm surprised by the Monarchs conference record, but as the United States Navy has shown us over the years, it's not that hard to get lucky in Norfolk. (Jack Lambert)
When is Blaine Taylor going to stop kidding around and don his normal attire of overalls, a red shirt and a red hat with the letter "M" on it? (M. Pettiford)
I'm just going to start referring to ODU/VCU/Richmond as "The Creamy Middle" and voting for them as one bloc since there is no workable logic for voting one of them ahead of the others. (Jamie Paquette)
Eek out three close wins, lose to A-11 team by 20. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. (Jamie Jones)
Darrius Garrett's blocked-shot total against U-Mass. = number of teams in the Atlantic 10. Yep, 14 each. Makes sense to me. (Lacy Lusk)
Spiders only losses in the last few weeks have come vs. Demon Deacons and Billikens. Time to stop scheduling games against teams with names from Magic: the Gathering. (Jacques Arsenault)
When is it okay to announce that all iterations of Larry Sanders are overrated? (Markus Videnieks)
I'm dubbing Wednesday's showdown with William & Mary "The Shaka-Shaver Showdown." Sponsored by Shoney's. Shoney's: "Aww that's good." (Jamie Paquette)
Virginia is undefeated in the ACC? Yeah, right. Next you'll tell me that Sandra Bullock won a Golden Globe. (Max Wasserman)
In honor of Virginia's first 3-0 start in ACC play since '94-'95, students have abandoned button-up shirts, khaki pants and Dave Matthews Band for flannel shirts, jeans, and Pearl Jam. (Grant Kronenberg)
Is it time for the Hoos fans to start complaining about their position in this poll? Because if there's anything this area needs, it's more self-righteous fan anger. (Jamie Paquette)
It makes me sad that Virginia might be decent this year. Not for me personally, but for all the Al Groh jokes that will now go untold. (Jack Lambert)
"UVA still in first" sounds as out of place as "Mike Tyson onstage with Best Picture winning cast." (Jake Leffler)
So when is Tony Bennett's Hall of Fame Induction ceremony? (Adam Moore)
Tony Bennett quickly looking to surpass last year's ACC win total. Has already passed last's years bad name puns. (Jamie Jones)
Three and 0 in the ACC and a Sunday Feinstein column. It can only go down from here. (Matt Kelly)
A string of UVA conference wins is aptly commemorated by John Feinstein. Another victory by Coach Bennett and the Cavs and Feinstein will start comparing him to Paul Goydos. (Joe Maloney)
I like to picture Tony Bennett as that talking turtle in Verizon commercials who likes things slowed down. (Devin Perry)
Michael Scott leads the team in rebounds and field-goal percentage. Still waiting for Dwight Schrute to get significant minutes. (Jamie Jones)
9. George Washington
Little Known Fact: Outside of Boston, Lasan Kromah's last name is pronounced "Kromar." (Ivan Snyder)
Aaron Ware's 16 points against La Salle were no match for the Explorers' Aaric Murray's 21 aas the Colonials fell aapaart aagainst their aadversiaries in aan aagonizing aadventure. (Bill Fitzgerald)
Want good news coming out of the Colonials' recent losses? The Karl Hobbs' "overachieve" counter is off and running! (Ted Gotsch)
GW is able to stay in the Top 11 after losing to La Salle by performing "Pants on the Ground" outside the Foggy Bottom Metro station. (Sean's Ramblings)
Recent Atlantic 11 jokes about high tuition ignore two things: 1) the fact that the school also gives out the most financial aid in the country, and 2) Scott Wolf, L. Ron Hubbard, and Ken Starr all went there. On second thought, that second part is better ignored. (Andrew Wiseman)
10. George Mason
Hot dog-aided victory over JMU was first area game affected by meat product since the Rod Strickland halfsmoke game. (Jamie Paquette)
I'm not saying the Patriots loss at Northeastern was a complete failure, but I've heard that right after the game Jim Larranega was offered the 11:30 timeslot on NBC. (Jack Lambert)
Art Parakhouski's point totals in Radford this season make him make second favorite Minskian ever after "Rochelle, Rochelle", who, as one remembers, scored going into Minsk. (Jack Lambert)
Also Receiving Pith
Morgan State: Hoping that the Bears' six-game road trip inspires a Kerouacesque return of Blogging with Boze. (Bill Fitzgerald)
Todd Bozeman continues to dominate the MEAC in coaching and mock turtle necks. (Chris Bocquet)
The MEAC: The Last Call with Carson Daly of conferences. (Max Wasserman)
Winning eight straight in the MEAC is kind of like seeing your pith make the Atlantic 11. It makes you smile but really, have you accomplished anything? (Jack Lambert)
American: Lost to powerhouses Columbia and Lehigh, but I'm sure whichever pollster is an alum will still pick them fifth. Transparency in baseball HoF and A11 voting! (B. Sopchak)
As an A11 voter I felt it was my duty to attend an AU game. Thirteen other people and I watched them dominate the Colgate Raiders, who are about as well-coached as their NFL counterparts. (Chris Bocquet)
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