Back again, for the infrequently posted but still fascinating Atlantic 11, ranking the best of DMV Division I men’s basketball.
Four different teams here are separated by a combined two votes: Virginia Tech/Maryland, and Richmond/Norfolk State . By next week, it’ll probably turn out that Rick Santorum actually finished first.
The 11 teams haven’t changed much in recent weeks, nor have No. 1 Georgetown or No. 2 Virginia, but the four schools after that keep jostling for position. VCU and George Mason took 3 and 4 this week, with Virginia Tech and Maryland down to 5 and 6.
The Hoyas and Cavs remain the only nationally ranked programs from the area, at 9th and 19th in the AP and 10th and 21st in the coaches poll. No other local program received a single vote.
In RPI matters, Georgetown — at No. 14 — is the only top 50 program. Virginia is 52nd, followed by Virginia Tech (70th), Loyola (81st), VCU (84th), Norfolk State (93rd) and Maryland (97th).
Local rankings and wry comments below.
1. Georgetown (16-3) 376 (34)
Next: Saturday at Pittsburgh.
The Otto Porter. A Perfect winter refreshment for a cold day. Smooth flavor, with a strong finish. (John Albers)
Tied Harvard for least amount of Field Goals Made in a win, clearly smart kids know how to do more with less. (Peter Keszler)
Between Otto Porter and Tyler Hansbrough, it’s pretty clear that there isn’t anything for tall guys to do in southeastern Missouri except learn how to draw fouls. (Markus Videnieks)
Hoyas tried to give away game to Rutgers, could only get store credit, decided to keep the win instead. (J.P. Finlay)
In the past two weeks, Hoyas have faced Cashmere Wright, Moe Harkless, Cleveland Melvin, and Wally Judge. Is this college basketball or Fox’s Animation Domination lineup? (Ivan Snyder)
After my mobile home joke about Mountaineer fans that ran in this column two weeks ago, I received two e-mails from angry West Virginians. It feels awful to know that I offended people, and that only two people in West Virginia have Internet. (Max Wasserman)
2. Virginia (15-3) 335 (4)
Next: Thursday vs. Boston College, Saturday at N.C. State.
The best shooter on the floor for the UVA-Tech game was the guy who won a Harris Teeter gift card at Halftime when he made three of four three-points in 30 seconds. I wish I just made that up. The T-shirt cannon guy had pretty good aim, too. (Jake Leffler)
I just got bored looking at the boxscore from Sunday night. (Markus Videnieks)
They shoot worse than a blind man at a carnival, but they defend like the Soviets at Stalingrad. (Chris Olson)
The Cavaliers missed 13 of 14 three-point attempts against Virginia Tech, so why is everybody all over Billy Cundiff for missing one of three? (Gavin Weiss)
The Cavaliers shooting seven percent from three-point range wasn’t good enough to beat Virginia Tech or Ron Paul in the South Carolina primary. (John Albers)
3. VCU (16-5) 248
Next: Wednesday at Towson, Saturday at Georgia State.
Freshman Briante Weber, with a CAA leading 2.5 steals/game, has been dubbed the “Ramburglar” by VCU faithful. There really isn’t a joke in here. (Jake Leffler)
Play Towson on Wednesday, which is unranked in this poll and hasn’t won a game since Dec. 29, 2010. JaVale McGee’s mom thinks Atlantic 11 voters are being too tough on Towson though. (Markus Videnieks)
Pretty sure the Rams won’t be looking past Hofstra to their match-up with an 0-20 Towson team on Wednesday. (John Albers)
Things less impressive than beating William and Mary in OT: Walking and chewing gum simultaneously; Beating Ron Paul in a GOP Primary. (Jamie Jones)
4. George Mason (16-5) 234
Next: Wednesday at Hofstra, Saturday vs. James Madison.
With Bill Murray in attendance on Saturday, the Patriots have successfully attracted more A-list celebrities than the Wizards have this season. (Andy Minor)
Could the presence of Bill Murray at the Patriots game against Towson signal a sequel to the Patriots’ Cinderella story of two seasons ago is in the works? If so, I hope it’s better than Caddyshack 2. (John Albers)
Projected as a 14 seed in the NCAA tournament, making them the current favorite to be the team that beats Georgetown in the first round. (Max Wasserman)
This is the Patriots team that won this weekend without the help of Billy Cundiff. (Markus Videnieks)
Making Paul Hewitt jokes was easier when the team was tanking. (Jamie Jones)
If Paul Hewitt squints real hard, wins over JMU Dukes and Delaware Blue Hens look like a team over the Duke Blue Hens. That’s close enough, isn’t it? (Ivan Snyder)
Jim Larranaga probably wants to switch places with Paul Hewitt, but there’s no way you leave GMU to go back to the ACC. (Chris Olson)
5. Virginia Tech (12-7) 206
Next: Wednesday vs. BYU, Saturday at No. 6 Maryland.
I think merely setting foot in Blacksburg is in and of itself a BYU honor code violation. Advantage, Hokies. (Markus Videnieks)
On Wednesday, the Cougars of BYU invade Cassell Coliseum, and on March 15, cougars of another sort will invade western Virginia for the Elton John concert. (John Albers)
Their win at Virginia raised their RPI to 68 in the country, or just about one spot higher than their rank will be on Selection Sunday. (Jake Leffler)
Trying valiantly to get themselves back on the bubble. (Peter Keszler)
With a win over a ranked team, let the Greenberg NCAA-lobbying train start its 2012 journey! (Jacques Arsenault)
With one conference win under his belt, Seth Greenberg went from CBI bubble bath to NIT bubble watch. (Empty Trophy Case)
At 12-7 after a rousing win over Virginia, one gets the feeling that Seth Greenberg actually likes living on the bubble. (Gavin Weiss)
If a win over Virginia is what it takes to allow me to make another month of bubble jokes, I’ll pay that price. (Jamie Jones)
Like the Atlantic 11 poll, Hokies’ offense took the last two weeks off. (Mike Steele)
6. Maryland (12-6) 205
Next: Wednesday vs. Duke, Saturday vs. No. 5 Virginia Tech.
Well at least they can always beat Temple in footba...oh. (Max Wasserman)
Duke (coming off a loss) playing Maryland (coming off two losses) is like a hungry lion coming after a wounded zebra. (Ivan Snyder)
The Gary Williams court-naming ceremony, a 9:00 tip-off, and Duke on national TV: I’m sure the students will be on their best behavior. (Markus Videnieks)
On Wednesday, the Terps will host Duke in the inaugural game on Gary Williams court. The start of the game is expected to be delayed due to excessive moisture on the playing surface. (John Albers)
Jordan Williams will miss this week’s court dedication to Gary Williams due to a D-League game conflict. See what happens when you drop out of school early? You make bad decisions. (Steve Lightman)
The status of Alex Len’s ankle is the difference between a double digit and a 20+ point loss to Duke. (Peter Keszler)
Defensive lineman A.J. Francis reserved three of his top 6 most-hated list for U-Va. One for each of the losses he’s been apart of. (Jamie Jones)
7. Old Dominion (12-9) 108
Next: Wednesday at UNC Wilmington, Saturday vs. William & Mary.
The key to beating UNCW on Wednesday will be shutting down their shooting guard, Adam Smith -- likely by arguing that his economic theories do not make him the most job-creatingest job creator in the CAA. (Markus Videnieks)
8. Loyola (14-5) 98
Next: Friday at Niagara, Sunday at Canisius.
Now entertaining Baltimore until spring training. (Chris LoBianco)
The MAAC leads the nation in number of teams with weird animals for mascots. (Max Wasserman)
The earmuffs children wear to Loyola games now serve to keep them warm, in addition to muting the words of Jimmy Patsos. (John Albers)
9. Richmond (11-9) 79
Next: Wednesday vs. Fordham, Saturday at St. Bonaventure.
Suffered back-to-back losses against George Washington and the Minutemen, but the schedule should get easier as they get Benedict Arnold and the Continental Army at home.
10. Norfolk State (15-6) 78
Next: Saturday vs. Morgan State.
Tearing through the MEAC like it’s November and they’re Georgetown. (Max Wasserman)
Norfolk State looks like the front-runner to win the MEAC this year and get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Tough news for their Irish lads, Kyle O’Quinn, Chris McEachin, and Rodney McCauley, as this could really screw up their St. Patrick’s Day plans. (Markus Videnieks)
11. American (13-7) 53
Next: Wednesday at Bucknell, Saturday at Lafayette.
Defeated Army and Navy in the same week. I’m curious to know whether that counts as treason. (Kyle Minor)
The Eagles improve their record on Phil Bender Day to 9-0 with a victory over Army, prompting a movement to make every day Phil Bender Day. (John Albers)
Also receiving votes: George Washington 23, Radford 10, Mount St. Mary’s 5, James Madison 3, Towson 3, Liberty 2, Longwood 2, Maryland-Eastern Shore 2, VMI 1.