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Local Poll Week XV: Terps on Fire

(Photo by John McDonnell - TWP, editing by Ian Oland. Follow his twitter feed.)

We're nearing the end of another fairly above-average year for the District/Maryland/Virginia hoops programs. The top eight teams in this poll now all have at least 20 wins and fewer than 10 losses. Barring a catastrophe, at least six of them will make the NCAA tournament, and possibly seven. Two teams are ranked by the AP, and two more are on the verge of a ranking. And I only have to do this one more time this season.

* The rankings hardly changed at all this week; William & Mary slid past VCU in advance of Monday night's CAA final, and Morgan State hopped over George Mason and George Washington, which combined to lose three games.

* Maryland finally jumped over Georgetown in the national polls (first time this season), with rankings of 19th in both polls to the Hoyas' 22nd. Richmond is 27th/31st Virginia Tech is 28th/33rd. If you wanted to run a pool with your friends on which of these four teams is likely to win the most games over the next two weeks, that might be fun.

* The Hoyas remain on top in RPI, but it's getting closer; Georgetown fell to 14th, while the Terps jumped six more spots to 19th. Richmond moved up again to 24th, and Old Dominion jumped five spots to the seemingly safe 33rd. Virginia Tech stayed pretty constant at 50th, William & Mary moved up a bit to 55th and Virginia has approximately the same RPI as a large boulder.

* Current NCAA tourney projection: either six or seven teams (Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Richmond, Morgan State, Old Dominion and possibly William & Mary).

Here are the totals. We have team, record (through Sunday's games), points and first-place votes. Last week's standings, and more hilarity, are found below.

1. Maryland (23-7) 583 (46)
--Next: Friday, ACC quarterfinals.
--Beat Duke twice in one week, but only rioted once. I guess students were too worn out to properly recognize the lacrosse team's victory. (Brendan Darr)

2. Georgetown (20-9) 538 (13)
--Next: Wednesday, Big East second round.
--Life is unfair sometimes. Jahidi White's blood is like 75 percent glazed ham, and yet Austin Freeman winds up with diabetes. (Jack Lambert)

3. Richmond (24-7) 438 (2)
--Next: Friday, Atlantic 10 quarterfinals.
--To save on costs, the Spiders are hitching a ride on the Mechanicsville Assisted Living Community bus to Atlantic City. (Max Wasserman)

4. Old Dominion (25-8) 425 (1)
--Next: Monday, CAA final vs. No. 6 William & Mary.
--Shouldn't the CAA title game between the Tribe and the Monarchs be played in Jamestown? (Markus Videnieks)

5. Virginia Tech (23-7) 402
--Next: Friday, ACC quarterfinals.
--In response to criticism of the Hokies' out-of-conference schedule, Seth Greenberg has announced that the Hokies will only play the top half of the VA River Ridget High School Conference next season. (Chris Fish)

6. William & Mary (22-9) 308
--Next: Monday, CAA final vs. No. 4 Old Dominion.
--William & Mary is one of five teams never to participate in the NCAA tournament. That's almost more depressing than Sandra Bullock winning a Best Actress Oscar for basically not starring in an awful romantic comedy. (Michael Palan)

7. VCU (22-9) 263
--Next: To be determined.
--Most devastating loss in Richmond since Ukrop's announced it was being acquired by Giant. (Jamie Jones)

8. Morgan State (24-9) 125
--Next: Wednesday, MEAC quarterfinals.
--Don't worry, folks, Baltimore's indoor soccer and football teams will be starting their seasons soon. (Devin Perry)

9. George Mason (17-14) 111
--Next: To be determined.
--A run to the Final Four by the Patriots this season would be the most improbable yet. (John Albers)

10. George Washington (16-13) 84
--Next: Tuesday, Atlantic 10 first-round at Dayton.
--I flipped a coin between Radford, UVA, GW, and Mount St. Mary's for the 10th spot on my poll. They all lost. (Markus Videnieks)

11. Virginia (14-15) 47
--Next: Thursday, ACC first-round vs. Boston College.
--Jacket on the ground, jacket on the ground. Looking like a fool with yo jacket on the ground. (Jack Lambert)

Also receiving votes: Radford 43, James Madison 7, Mount St. Mary's 5, VMI 5, Norfolk State 4, American 3, Navy 1.

Last week's rankings
1. Maryland
2. Georgetown
3. Richmond
4. Old Dominion
5. Virginia Tech
6. VCU
7. William & Mary
8. George Mason
9. George Washington
10. Morgan State
11. Virginia

Additional Pith


Setting fires, destroying property, threatening opposing players parents; seems like the Terps are one water bottle to Carlos Boozer's mom's head away from a return to the good old days. (Jack Lambert)

It's bad when you make WVU fans blush. (Devin Perry)

With the obscene chants, gay slurs directed at opposing players, and riots after the game, Maryland students are starting to feel more like English Soccer hooligans, except with New York and New Jersey accents. (Ivan Snyder)

No Venezuelan has caused this much civil unrest in his own backyard since Chavez. (Ben Shlesinger)

Only 27 arrests? I'm disappointed. (Chris Olson)

Had a great time in the student section for the Duke game, slapping high fives and yelling various profanities all leading to an epic court rush at the end. Yeah, I'm 30, married and have a 3-month-old son at home. What am I doing? (Joey Flyntz)

I want to hug Greivis Vasquez's dad. (Michael Palan)

The Terrapins won a share of the ACC regular season title? Yeah right, next you'll tell me that the star of "Speed 2: Cruise Control" won an Oscar. (Max Wasserman)

Despite a spirited challenge from Tony Bennett, Gary Williams is still the master of the art of suit-jacket removal. (John Albers)

Gary hasn't been on a hot streak like this since the back 9 at Columbia Country Club last June. (Markus Videnieks)

Tony Bennett outjacketed Gary Williams, but the Terps outphysicaled the Cavs. (Scott Allen)


From experience with diabetic friends, a hint for JTIII: Keep Austin Freeman away from margaritas, King-Sized Snickers and 7-foot centers. (Jamie Jones)

Although Georgetown has proved it cannot be stopped by diabetes, it has yet to prove it can get past the 2-3 zone with man-to-man principles. (Gavin Weiss)

Austin Freeman now the most famous hoops diabetic since...Adam Morrison? And, yes, I googled "famous diabetics" to try to make a joke here. I think it failed, though. (Joey Flyntz)

As Austin Freeman was pouring in 24 points for the Hoyas, somewhere Wilford Brimley was smiling. (Chris Bocquet)

While Lance Stephenson may have indeed been "Born Ready," in their loss to the Hoyas, the rest of the Bearcats looked like they were born yesterday. (John Albers)


Ironically, Richmond's strategy in slowing down Charlotte's An'Juan Wilderness on Saturday was to funnel him in amongst the trees. (Markus Videnieks)

Much of Richmond's success during their trip to Atlantic City for the Atlantic 10 tournament dependent upon their ability to avoid landing on Park Place and Boardwalk. (John Albers)

Hoping for their first NCAA Tournament win since 1998, when Eric Maynor was just starting his VCU career. (Devin Perry)

In an ironic twist, the Spiders were featured on the front page of the New York Times Sunday sports section while in Richmond, the team story was bounced from the local paper in favor of the hotly contested UVA-Virginia Tech cribbage match. (Chris Fish)

Old Dominion

I think Monarchs Coach Blaine Taylor would look really good sporting a monocle. (John Albers)

What a CAA finals matchup. It's the kids from Hampton Roads versus the kids from Northern Virginia who know Newport News as "that place we pass on the way to Daddy's condo." (Jack Lambert)

During the win vs. VCU on Sunday, the TV crew showed a clip of an ODU-VCU game from the last time ODU won the CAA. I didn't see Gerald Lee or Eric Maynor in the highlight, so it must have been from the early '80s. (Markus Videnieks)

Virginia Tech

First they were out, and now they are in. And then back out. And now in again. Look again, they're a 10-seed. Look away, and now back, and they're winning the ACC tournament and are a six seed. I'm on a horse. (Jake Leffler)

It's just like Groundhog Day for Seth Greenberg, except instead of scoring with Andie MacDowell, the Hookies will be eliminated in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. (Jack Lambert)

Held Glen Rice Jr. to 3-for-12 from the floor in beating Georgia Tech Saturday. Yellow Jackets could have used Rumeal Robinson, Jr., Terry Mills Jr., and Sean Higgins Jr. too. (Markus Videnieks)

William & Mary

Which would Tribe Coach Tony Shaver rather watch? The last 30 seconds of the Tribe's CAA tourney win over Northeastern or 36 hours of the Tiger Wood apology on a loop? (Adam Anthony)

If the Tribe win, I'm adding a Shaver 'stache to the portrait of Jefferson in the dean's office here in Williamsburg. (Jack Lambert)

If the Wrens make their first-ever NCAA trip without a true mascot, who would SI put on its cover collage? (Jamie Jones)


Senior TJ Gwynn has played a record 96 winning games with the Rams. It only took Ryan Zimmerman three seasons to do that with the Nationals! (Gavin Weiss)

Looking at the box score, it seems reasonable to assume that on Sunday, the Larry Sanders Show was guest hosted by Joan Rivers. (John Albers)

I spent last Saturday getting screamed at by a homeless man after my credit card was denied at a Subway in Richmond. So, I guess I had the second-worst weekend in Richmond, after Larry Sanders. (Jack Lambert)

Morgan State

One of the best fake-state schools this year, behind just Murray, Wichita and Iowa. (Gavin Weiss)

George Mason

You mean we really have to rank more than seven teams? (Jake Leffler)

You are now entering the "Are you sure we can't just rank eight teams and let that be it?" section of the poll. (Markus Videnieks)

George Washington

Desperately hoping a trip to Atlantic City will fix all their recent problems. Hey, it worked for Andray Blatche. (Jack Lambert)

Always good when the pinnacle of your season is making the conference tournament. (Devin Perry)


Currently No. 1 nationally in baseball, lacrosse, tennis and soccer. Also, No. 1 in northwestern Charlottesville for men's basketball. (Jamie Jones)

UVA without Landesberg is like the Wizards without Arenas, Butler, Jamison, Haywood and Howard. And if they traded Thornton, Foye and Young for Darko Milicic and J.J. Redick. Just a power forward and some streaky white guys. (Jake Leffler)


Goodbye, Art Parakhouski. We'll always remember the way you allowed our Smirnovesque Soviet pith. (Jack Lambert)

One anagram for Artsiom Parakhouski is 'A Pastrami Hour Kiosk.' (Michael Palan)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 8, 2010; 4:46 PM ET
Categories:  Atlantic 11 , College Basketball  
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Next: 9:30 Club bouncer makes Caps broadcast


Hah! Steinz, that's my arm on the top right in this photo. Bout to give GV a high five.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 9, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Where did all the people go who thought my argument was ludicrous that Gtown was overrated and MD was underrated?

Do you people still feel this way?

Posted by: Barno1 | March 9, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Careful what you wish for, we could be saying in two weeks that Maryland became overrated and Georgetown underrated. Personally, I think using terms like overrated is really overrated.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 9, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about the top of the poll? The real drama is in the lower half, where voters finally figured out that Morgan State belongs ahead of the "Georges"! Now if only people would recognize Radford and Mount St. Mary's late-season surge, compared with GMU, GW, and sub-.500 Virginia limping to the finish line.

Posted by: mikeinrockville | March 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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