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Posted at 8:35 AM ET, 02/28/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: Virginia Tech earns signature victory

By Eric Prisbell

The four local teams with chances to grab at-large tournament bids all confront different challenges with less than two weeks until selection Sunday. There's George Mason, with its 15-game winning streak, trying to maintain a likely single-digit seed despite not playing in a power conference. There's Maryland, which has not suffered a bad loss all season, running out of opportunities for a signature win. There's Georgetown, which is hoping Chris Wright returns for an NCAA tournament, still in line for a top-four seed. And there's Virginia Tech, whose fans may still be celebrating the team's upset over Duke - a win that significantly bolsters the Hokies' tourney hopes.

George Mason
Record: 25-5
RPI: 24
SOS: 84 (78 in non-conference)
Vs. top 50: 2-1
Vs. top 100: 8-3
Best wins: Old Dominion (27), Harvard (44)
Worst losses: vs. Wofford (125), vs. N.C. State (101)
Road-neutral court: 11-5
As of today: No. 7 seed
Comment: George Mason is the hottest team in the nation, owners of a 15-game winning streak. The Patriots are in position to earn a No. 7 seed today. I'd be surprised if the best-case scenario is any better than a No. 6 seed - even if Mason beats ODU in the CAA final - because the strength of the league does not compare to that of the best power leagues.

Record: 18-11
RPI: 82
SOS: 72 (159 in non-conference)
Vs. top 50: 1-9
Vs. top 100: 4-11
Best wins: Florida State (48), at Penn State (56)
Worst losses: at Virginia Tech (53), Virginia Tech (53)
Road-neutral court: 4-8
As of today: Out of the tournament
Comment: The best thing Maryland has going for it is the absence of a bad loss. The Terps have just one top 50 win, a victory over a Chris Singleton-less Florida State team. But those who say Maryland's at-large hopes are torched are not paying attention to how soft (supremely weak) the bubble is this season. As I wrote last week, four wins - at Miami, vs. Virginia and two in the ACC tournament --- would give the Terps a reasonable chance at an at-large bid.

Record: 21-8
RPI: 8
SOS: 1 (4 in non-conference)
Vs. top 50: 8-8
Vs. top 100: 11-8
Best wins: St. John's (15), at Syracuse (16)
Worst losses: Cincinnati (41), at Temple (30)
Road-neutral court: 11-4
As of today: No. 3/No. 4 seed
Comment: With Chris Wright in the lineup, Georgetown is a solid No. 3 seed. Without him, the Hoyas are clearly not a No. 3 seed. Wright (broken non-shooting hand) is expected back for the NCAA tournament. If the selection committee has significant doubts about when Wright will return, it could affect Georgetown's seeding.

Virginia Tech
Record: 19-8
RPI: 53
SOS: 89 (150 non-conference)
Vs. top 50: 2-5
Vs. top 100: 7-5
Best wins: Duke (5), Florida State (48)
Worst losses: Virginia (146), at Georgia Tech (181)
Road-neutral court: 8-6
As of today: No. 11/No. 12 seed
Comment: The Hokies earned the signature victory they were lacking. But Dick Vitale is a bit premature in anointing Tech a tournament team. Yes, the Hokies are in at the moment. But the season is not over, and they finish the regular season with games against two bubble teams. Tech needs one of those two games

By Eric Prisbell  | February 28, 2011; 8:35 AM ET
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: A look at the soft bubble


I'm sure this has probably been asked, but is there any plan to come up with a new graphic for the top of the blog that doesn't look like it crossed off the 65 in paint? I actually hope it stays like that because I find it humorous. It shows how absurd it is that there is a push to allow even more lackluster teams into the tournament. It would be even more funny to add an extra graphic that shows an x over 64. This would show how ridiculous having even 1 play-in game was.

Posted by: octopi213 | February 28, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Now it's time for Mason to take care of business in the CAA Tournament.

Top 25, baby.

Posted by: WaPoPimp | February 28, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

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