A few observations:
* Richmond continues to be an Atlantic 11 enigma. Second-best national ranking of the local teams, second-best national RPI, second-best winning percentage in the area, and yet the Spiders seem perpetually stuck at No. 4. I'd spend more time trying to figure this out, excpet as previously noted, I'm on vacation in Miami and am supposed to be doing things other than analyzing the voting patterns of Markus Videnieks and the Thighmaster.
* As our teams do the dance of the dull, Maryland re-claimed second place from Virginia Tech, while Virginia and William & Mary and VCU continued to do jigs amid the soft undersection of this poll. Everyone else stayed the same.
* Georgetown fell to 10th in the AP and 13th in the coaches' poll. Richmond is 23rd/24th. Virginia Tech is 27th/26th, and Maryland is 28th/28th. This is likely the area's best showing in the polls in several years. Also, no region in the country is as strong in the 23rd-28th portion of the national polls. No contest there.
* Georgetown slipped to 12th in RPI, and will now be an acceptable deep upset pick in March. Richmond remained at 27th. Maryland kept climbing and is now up to 37th, while Old Dominion fell hard from 33rd to 41st. Virginia Tech moved up to 44th, William & Mary moved up to 48th, VCU moved up to 62nd. Virginia dropped out of the top 100 and maybe shouldn't be counted on for an NCAA tourney run at this point.
* Current NCAA tourney projection: still six teams (Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Richmond, Morgan State, CAA champion, unless Northeastern wins it.) I'm going to say two Sweet 16 teams.
Here are the totals. We have team, record (through Sunday's games), points and first-place votes. Last week's standings are found below.
1. Georgetown (18-7) 601 (45)
--Next: Tuesday at Louisville, Saturday vs. Notre Dame.
--Considering the rest of last week's events at Verizon Center, at least Georgetown didn't trade Greg Monroe after the Syracuse game. (Markus Videnieks)
2. Maryland (19-7) 554 (15)
--Next: Wednesday vs. Clemson, Saturday at No. 3 Virginia Tech.
--"Hey Cliff, it's Gary. I need you to do me a huge favor. You've got to do this for me Cliff. Huge. Quickly. Bye." (Chris LoBianco)
3. Virginia Tech (21-5) 487 (2)
--Next: Wednesday at Boston College, Saturday vs. No. 2 Maryland.
--Wait, you mean having the 152nd-hardest schedule in the country doesn't adequately prepare you to face Duke? (Gavin Weiss)
4. Richmond (22-6) 462 (1)
--Next: Sunday at Xavier.
--Only team in the area to have played presidents (George Washington), kings and queens (William & Mary) and saints (St. Bonaventure). The Spiders are a fourth-grade social studies teacher's dream. (Jamie Jones)
5. Old Dominion (21-8) 368
--Next: Tuesday at Georgia State, Saturday vs. No. 7 VCU.
--How did the Monarchs end up playing a February game in Northern Iowa? Did a cornfield tell them to do it? Was Kevin Costner their bus driver? (John Albers)
6. William & Mary (19-8) 259
--Next: Wednesday vs. Towson, Saturday at UNC Wilmington.
--Will have a nationwide contest to determine the school's new mascot after being sued by A Tribe Called Quest. (Chris Bocquet)
7. VCU (19-7) 229
--Next: Wednesday vs. James Madison, Saturday at No. 5 Old Dominion.
--Rams were able to hold Akron's Humpty Hitchens to nine points Saturday because they know his tendencies: He likes to rhyme, he likes his beats funky, he's spunky, he likes his oatmeal lumpy. (Markus Videnieks)
8. Virginia (14-11) 182
--Next: Tuesday at Miami, Sunday vs. Duke.
--If the Cavaliers were an asteroid, we'd be about two days away from seeing all of humanity wiped out in the impact. (Jamie Paquette)
9. George Mason (16-12) 126
--Next: Wednesday at Delaware, Saturday vs. Northeastern.
--Patriots played College of Charleston closer than UNC, which used to mean something. (Scott Allen)
10. Morgan State (20-9) 108
--Next: Monday at Md.-Eastern Shore, Saturday vs. Norfolk State.
--Lost the "I Cheated At Cal Reunion Bowl" to Murray State on Saturday. (Devin Perry)
11. George Washington (14-11) 57
--Next: Wednesday vs. La Salle, Saturday vs. Charlotte.
--Karl Hobbs now competing with Karl Marx and Karl Rove as "Most Reviled Karl in Foggy Bottom." (Gavin Weiss)
Also receiving votes: Radford 17, Mount St. Mary's 11, James Madison 5, UMBC 3, American 2, Navy 1, Norfolk State 1.
Last week's rankings
2. Virginia Tech
5. Old Dominion
7. William & Mary
9. George Mason
10. Morgan State
11. George Washington