The fifth season of Atlantic 11 voting on D.C., Maryland and Virginia men’s basketball teams ended last March with George Mason on top for the first time.
The sixth season will begin with three-time champion Georgetown back in its familiar No. 1 spot.
But at least certain fun things happen in the first poll of the year, when no one knows who’s good and new voters are still getting their legs. No less than eight teams received at least one first-place vote. No fewer than 23 of the area’s 27 teams landed on at least two ballots. And Virginia, which finished 10th a year ago, starts this season at No. 2, virtually unprecedented territory for the Cavs. (Votes were cast on Tuesday, I should note.)
Over the last five years, our local teams have sent 7, 6, 5, 5 and 6 teams to the NCAA tournament. Early indications indicate those numbers might be hard to match this year. But we’ll all see together, you, me, the voters, Paul Hewitt, Mike Lonergan, Mark Turgeon, and everyone else. This will be fun. If you want even more fun, check this out.
1. Georgetown (2-0) 468 (25)
Next: Tuesday at Kansas.
It remains to be seen how much fight the Hoyas have when they start their Big East schedule, but so far they're 2-0, with both wins by knockout. (Ali Mohamadi)
Picking a pre-season No. 11 in this poll makes me understand how Mike Shanahan feels when he was to pick a starting QB every week. Uh, Georgetown? I guess? (Markus Videnieks)
Upcoming trip to Maui still a little too close to China for the Hoyas liking. (John Albers)
2. Virginia (2-0) 396 (11)
Next: Friday vs. TCU.
Mike Scott, still living off the glory of being a better pitcher than Nolan Ryan in RBI Baseball, looks to finally establish himself as an elite post player this year. (Markus Videnieks)
Words cannot express how disappointed I was upon learning that Cavaliers recruit Evan Nolte is not Nick Nolte's son. (John Albers)
3. VCU (1-0) 350 (4)
Next: Thursday at Seton Hall.
Shaka Smart turned down a job at N.C. State, which Debbie Yow has added to her list of things Gary Williams is at fault for, also including hurricanes, bears and snow. (Chris Bocquet)
Troy Daniels was 5-15 from the floor, all threes, against St. Francis (PA). His offensive game is less diversified than Mark Brunell's investments. (Markus Videnieks)
Well, that was fun. (Max Wasserman)
4. Virginia Tech (3-0) 349 (5)
Next: Sunday vs. St. Bonaventure.
“This year Virginia Tech makes the NCAA tournament!” said Seth Greenberg, as he passed Sisyphus on his way up the mountain. (Devin Perry)
Do East Tennessee State and Monmouth even have RPIs? (Raven McMillian)
The Hokies supposedly beefed up their non-conference schedule to avoid being on the bubble yet again. Campbell and Monmouth must have had pretty killer recruiting classes this year. (Gavin Weiss)
1% of the teams control 99% of the automatic bids. #OccupyTheBracket (Max Wasserman)
Three early wins give Hokies the inside track for an NIT bid. (Mike Steele)
Hokies get the inevitable out of the way and play in preseason NIT. (James O’Hara)
5. George Mason (2-1) 311 (3)
Next: Saturday at Florida Atlantic.
Guard Andre Cornelius was assessed with a charging foul before the Patriots' season even began. (John Albers)
Former Georgia Tech coaches I would have considered ahead of Paul Hewitt if I was Mason: Bobby Cremins, Chan Gailey, John Heisman. (Markus Videnieks)
6. Maryland (1-0) 301 (3)
Next: Thursday at Alabama.
Maryland students changing their "Garyland" signs to say "Markland,” not heeding history's warnings about Mark Duffner. (Mike Steele)
Not to be outdone by UNC playing on an aircraft carrier, Maryland has proposed a future game be held on an 18-wheeler stuck on the beltway. (Gavin Weiss)
Terps football coach Randy Edsall would like you to know that basketball season has started and would appreciate it if you would, you know, go pay attention to that for a while or something. (John Albers)
ACC fans everywhere wonder if Turgeon also has excessive sweat problems, or if they need a new cheer. (James O’Hara)
The towel guys in College Park are surely going to miss Gary. (Joshua Meredith)
7. Old Dominion (1-1) 161
Next: Wednesday vs. Howard, Saturday at South Florida.
ODU's Chris Cooper nearly had a triple-double against Long Island, notching double-digits in points and rebounds, and uh, what's the third one there? Points, rebounds, and, uh, the, uh, um, the EPA? (Gavin Weiss)
I understand facial hair is starting an "Occupy Blaine Taylor's Upper Lip" movement. (John Albers)
8. Richmond (1-1) 148 (1)
Next: Thursday vs. No. 11 Hampton, Saturday vs. Sacred Heart.
Life after Kevin Anderson hasn’t been easy for Richmond. But at least their Kevin Anderson didn’t commit $12 million to Randy Edsall. (Markus Videnieks)
9. George Washington (1-1) 128 (1)
Next: Monday vs. Detroit.
School’s new motto is "Raise High," which sounds like something out of Fiddler on the Roof. (Joshua Meredith)
GW was on the receiving end of a 21-0 run against Cal on Monday, which I believe is called a "Redskins first quarter." (Gavin Weiss)
If you are taller than 6-foot-6 and are able to catch a ball, please report to the Smith Center. You are the new starting center. (Andrew Wiseman)
10. James Madison (1-0) 87
Next: Saturday at LaSalle.
How come everybody goes for the obvious Digital Underground jokes with Humpty Hitchens and no one says he's the long-lost son of Christopher Hitchens or something more cerebral like that? Because Christopher Hitchens never got busy in a Burger King bathroom. (Raven McMillian)
11. Hampton (1-0) 55
Next: Thursday at No. 8 Richmond, Sunday at Rutgers.
Pirates motivated to face William & Mary upon learning that the Tribe had Rum. Matt Rum. (John Albers)
Also receiving votes: Navy 37, American 25, Loyola 21, William & Mary 19, Morgan State 11, Liberty 8, UMBC 7, Md.-Eastern Shore 5, VMI 5, Coppin State 3, Mount St. Mary’s 3, Radford 2.