Tuesday, December 12, 2006
With a month gone in the college basketball regular season, it appears the local men's programs have a long way to go to duplicate their overall success of last season, which was a banner year for several area schools.
Following Sunday's loss at Boston College, Maryland was ousted from this week's Associated Press top 25, which means that for the first time this season no local team occupies a spot in the rankings.
The Maryland women's basketball team, on the other hand, remained atop this week's poll, receiving 46 of 49 first-place votes. The Terrapins, who defeated Temple on Sunday, will not play again until Dec. 21, when they meet Loyola in Baltimore.
In the men's poll, Maryland (42 points), Virginia (37) and Georgetown (24) received votes. A week ago, Georgetown, which began the season with a No. 8 ranking, and Virginia dropped out of the rankings.
The Washington area became somewhat of a college hoops hotbed last season, when George Mason reached the Final Four, Georgetown returned to national prominence and George Washington finished the regular season with the best record in the country. Among local programs, Georgetown entered this season with the highest expectations, but the Hoyas (6-3) have stumbled during the season's first month, losing to Old Dominion, Oregon and Duke -- the first two at home.
Despite being unranked, Maryland (16th) and Virginia (26th) remain well positioned in the Ratings Percentage Index, a statistical measurement of a team's strength that is considered by the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Other local RPI numbers include: Georgetown (63), Virginia Tech (90), George Mason (111), Navy (114) and George Washington (123).
-- Eric Prisbell