College Basketball

Matt Rennie and Eric Prisbell
Washington Post College Sports Editor and Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 22, 2006; 11:00 AM

Washington Post College Sports editor Matt Rennie and Washington Post staff writer Eric Prisbell were online Wednesday, Feb. 22, 11 a.m. ET to examine the college basketball season.


Matt Rennie: Hello, hoops fans. Eric and I have a special guest with us this week: Hoyas beat writer Camille Powell. So if you have a special interest in JTIII's boys or the Big East in general, you won't have to tolerate my and Eric's usual ignorance.


MCI Center: Now that we have 3 ranked teams in the area with GW, Mason and Georgetown, isn't it time to make the BB&T a two day, 4 team local event along with Maryland?

Matt Rennie: we've been saying that in this chat long before the teams were ranked, but each one has its own reasons for not wanting to play the others. Too bad. It would be fun for the fans and, oh yeah, the players.

Camille Powell: Not to mention fun for the local media, too. There are DC-area players on all three teams, and the sense I get from them is that they would love to have the chance to play each other.


Montgomery Village, Md: Hey guys.What's the over/under on the number of Big TEN teams you mention in this chat? Usually it is about 2. They will have at least 4 and maybe 5 or 6 teams in the tourney, can't they get any love here?

Eric Prisbell: Sure, I liked this Michigan State team in Maui when I was there and will have a tough time picking MSU to be out before the elite eight. Ohio State will get its share of time in this chat next year when the Thad Five recruiting class arrives. Iowa intrigues me because of the coaching situation. McDermott would be a great fit for the job if Alford moves to Bloomington.

The Big Ten will get six or seven in the NCAAs, no less than six.

Matt Rennie: The Big Ten is an interesting league. We've maintained here that it is second only to the Big East this season in overall strength, and I've seen plenty of bracket projections with Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State and Iowa getting 3 seeds or higher. That's depth. But that said, I think the Spartans are the only legit Final Four contender in the bunch.


Arlington, Va: As a highly-embarrassed Missouri alum, I'm interested in your thoughts as to who the Tigers' next coach will be. I am a big fan of UAB's Mike Anderson. Would he leave for MU, and would he be a good fit? If not, what names have you heard?

Matt Rennie: I think Anderson likely ends up in the SEC eventually. Maybe Creighton's Dana Altman?

Eric Prisbell: I agree with Matt. I always figured Mike Anderson -- whom I like a lot -- would take over for Heath at Arkansas, but now it looks like the Hogs could get in the NCAAs. I think Dana would be the perfect fit to clean up Missouri.


Washington, DC: First of all, I love these chats. And, I really don't care about the bickering between the GW, Georgetown, and Maryland fans. I think it's all pretty funny. Anyways, assuming my Tar Heels finish the season 10-6 in the ACC regular season, then have one win and one loss in the ACC Tournament, where would you see them seeded in the NCAA Tournament? Also, will Roy Williams get ACC Coach of the Year, or maybe Sendek or Leitao? Hansbrough as ACC and National Rookie of the Year?

Dook is Puke, Wake is Fake, but the team I hate is NC STATE! Go TAR HEELS!

Eric Prisbell: I thought Roy had the award in the bag until UVA's win last night. Let's see what the Cavs do the rest of the way. Leitao is not out of that race yet. Yes, Tyler gets national freshman of the year. I was disappointed by McRoberts, but I think he will be a star next season when Redick and Williams finally leave campus.

Matt Rennie: As far as a seed goes, I'd say a 6 or 7 is probably realistic, barring an ACC tournament run.


S. Rockville, Md: Eric,

I can't believe you wrote that Florida State's best win this season is over Clemson. A season sweep over UVa, including being the only ACC team thus far to win in Charlottesville, isn't better than beating Clemson? That's either a slap in the face to FSU or to UVA (currently 7-6 in the ACC), which is it?

Eric Prisbell: Good point. I would agree with you that the win in Charlottesville is better. But my article focused on RPI implications, and as of yesterday Clemson was the highest rated team in the RPI that Florida State has beaten. UVA obviously got a boost last night and I think 9-7 in the ACC might do it for the Cavs. If they beat Maryland in the final game at U-Hall, that could be the clincher. I've been a fan of Leitao's since he was at DePaul. He will win at UVA.

Matt Rennie: Getting this team into the NCAA tournament would be truly remarkable. And this without the players he's recruited.


Washington, DC: You boys read USA Today?

How 'bout them Colonials?

I'd ask if you are making it to the Smitty tonight, but I'm sure you guys have to beat traffic, or go on a dinner date, or rent a neat movie...

Eric Prisbell: Dude, go watch Howard the Duck.

Camille Powell: I spent $10 of my hard-earned money to stand for two hours in the Smith Center to watch GW play UMass last week. Fun experience, but not the prettiest game I've ever seen.


Washington, D.C.: Shhhhhhh........ Whatever you do, don't start talking up my Jayhawks. We like that we're not getting any attention yet.

Matt Rennie: I've heard that from sources as far away as Italy, but you may soon be out of luck. The Big 12 regularly flies beneath the radar, and the Jayhawks' seeding will likely be hurt by their struggles in the nonconference. But they appear to be coming together at just the right time.

Eric Prisbell: They have developed so much since the Maui tournament. The other young team that could be dangerous next month is LSU, with Big Baby Davis.


Washington, DC: Prisbell,

I watched N. Iowa last weekend and I can't get over how you maintained they were better than GW for much of this year.

What were you thinking earlier this year and how could you miss the strength of GW when they were developing right under your (and the Post's) nose?

Eric Prisbell: I've said GW was a Sweet 16 team for almost the entire season. I feel that way now as well.

I felt Northern Iowa had a decent chance to reach the Sweet 16 and still feel that way, although it depends on the draw.

I've given GW respect since the beginning. Just hope Hobbs does not wind up back in the Big East next season -- at Cincy.

Matt Rennie: Perhaps if GW-Georgetown doesn't materialize, we could schedule a GW-Northern Iowa game, which will make sense only to the dozens of people who read this chat.


Washington, DC: Rennie and Prisbell,


We got Wolf Blitzer, Red Auerbach, Mark Warner, etc., etc. but so far no Rennie or Prisbell at a Colonials home game, what gives?

Matt Rennie: Don't forget Feinstein. You get him all the time, too.

Eric Prisbell: I have to do my NIT bracketology, which I do twice daily.


Arlington, Va: Matt and Eric,

UConn lost to Villanova by 5 in Philly last week. 'Nova is going to Storrs on Sunday. They're clearly both worthy of #1 seeds in the tournament. Who gets to play in DC in the regionals and who gets sent out West, assuming Duke gets to go to Atlanta?

And, on a NEUTRAL court, say Madison Square Garden in the Big East final, who wins? Huskies or Wildcats?

Eric Prisbell: Nova. UConn is up and down. I don't think they get the most out of the talent. I'd lean toward both for the Final Four, but I don't know if Uconn brings its best effort each game for 40 minutes.

Matt Rennie: Well, I think that neutral court game may decide who gets to come to MCI Center. There will be a lot at stake for a lot of teams in the Big East tournament this season.


Boston, Mass: Hey Camille,

How far do you think Duke will go in the tournament? If they played G-town 100 times, Duke would win 95. They got jobbed by the home cooking at the Phone Booth.

Camille Powell: I thought that Duke was the team that got all the calls... I think Duke is a Final Four team, but I like Connecticut better.

Matt Rennie: Oh, so now a DUKE fan is complaining about the officiating in its one loss all season? Now THAT's funny.


Patriot Center: I still think the MVC is the best mid-major league out there, but how about some love for the CAA? The MVC went 5-5 in BracketBuster games over the weekend and the CAA went 6-2 with Mason winning on the road at Wichita St. Hofstra or UNCW should join Mason in the NCAA's next month.

Matt Rennie: This chat is a CAA lovefest. Dan Steinberg wrote a story on the strength of the CAA back in late December, so it's no surprise to us. Clearly, the league deserves two bids whether Mason wins the league tournament or not.

Eric Prisbell: We love the CAA in here almost as much as the MVC.

The CAA deserves two bids and might get three if the rest of the power bubble teams continue to slide.


GMU-What?: Mason wins a huge bracket-bustin' upset over Wichita St. and gets a decent page 1 blurb in the sports section but no pics. Georgetown loses its THIRD IN A ROW and gets a huge picture and story that dominates page 1. Where's the love for Mason, guys? First ESPN top 25 ranking EVER and still no respect for them. What gives?

ps Maryland, you still out there?

Eric Prisbell: Huh. I did a big write up on GW and Mason the other day. we've been behind Mason the most in these chats. They are a great story. I love the emails i get from Mason fans because they are so excited.

The emails i get from Maryland fans are a little different.

Among the four-letter words and vile taunts I heard recently from fans at a Maryland game was this:

"This team is so hard to watch."

Sums up the season.

Matt Rennie: Yeah, I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for, my friend. Mason was on Sunday's front -- much to consternation of GW fans.

Seriously, folks, I love the enthusiasm, but the sports section is never going to mirror the content of a fan message board. We've got three good teams now -- and another that isn't completely dead yet -- and often only room for one college basketball story on a section front, especially during the Olympics. No one's out to get anyone -- I make most of the decisions regarding play for college stories, and I don't have any allegiance to any of these team -- but you have to understand that not only are there readers who don't care about your team, there are readers who don't care about college basketball. Pity them.


Hoya Saxa: Well, I do love these chats already, but the addition of someone who knows the Big East and Hoyas is great. Not to be a downer, but would the Hoyas still be a lock if they repeat last year's slide? Also, has Thompson had any special meetings, similar to the one following the first WVA loss, to address the recent slump (3 tough games, but still 3 losses)?

Matt Rennie: These next three games are critical. You never want to lose three straight in late February, but let's be fair: Two were on the road, and two were to very strong teams. The key thing to watch is how the Hoyas execute offensively and how they shoot from long range. Hibbert is becoming a force, and Green isn't going to have many games like he did in Marquette.

Camille Powell: I agree with Matt that these next three games are huge, especially considering the opponents. Georgetown doesn't really have any bad losses on its resume (save for possibly Vandy) but a loss to Rutgers or USF would be. The Hoyas were in a much stronger position going into the final six games than they were a year ago. As for the recent slump, I don't think anyone needs to be reminded of what happened last season.


Washington, DC: Camille,

With the Hoyas planning to lose to 'Cuse and in the first round of the Big East Tourney, would now be a good time to get a group rate on NIT reservations with Prisbell?

Eric Prisbell: The venerable Mr. Gallo has volunteered to cover the entire NIT and put out an NIT special section.

I'd rather cover Coppin State in the NCAAs than the NIT.

I'd rather the 8-year-old national AAU tourney than the NIT.

I'd rather cover a duck-duck-goose tournament.

Matt Rennie: And I don't think the Hoyas are going to the NIT, anyway. The Terps? Well, that's another story.


new Mizzou coach?: What happened to Quin?

Matt Rennie: Uh, are you kidding? Snyder and the school have parted ways, my friend, and not exactly amicably.


Washington, DC: Camille,

What can you do to make a GW vs. G-Town game happen?

I know some media members say it dosen't involve them or they have no power, but I think a big part of making the game happen is local media pressure, thoughts?

Camille Powell: I'm hoping that the NCAA tournament committee can do what no one else seems to be able to -- match up GW and G'town. With the winner facing Mason.

Eric Prisbell: I want a GW-Houston game in a 5-12 matchup.

I want a GW-UConn Sweet 16 matchup.

And how about a Northern Iowa-Maryland matchup out in San Diego early in the day. Sounds good to me.


McLean, Va: If the Hoos win one, maybe two games in the tournament, are they dancing?

Eric Prisbell: I think they need three more -- two in the regular season and one in the ACC tourney. Very possible.

Last night changes everything.

March 5: Terps vs. UVA, playoff game.

Matt Rennie: A playoff game in the last night of an old building. I think I'd favor the home team in that one.


Washington, DC: For Editor Rennie,

What should readers expect in terms of the depth of coverage at the Post for local teams?

I see GW all over the national media these days, read your response last week where you basically said a local paper dosen't do those types of stories, but have yet to read anything that is insightful for me as a GW fan.

What can I expect from the Post as a GW fan? Game write-ups and player bios? Can you do more?

Matt Rennie: Once the Olympics end and March begins, you can assume we'll have a columnist (as well as the triumphant return of Steinberg) with GW in the A-10 and NCAA tournaments. And we may have others invovled, as well. I'm curious as to what you learned in the SI story (other than it was in SI) that you didn't already know. It would seem there is a vocal minority out there clamoring for a lengthy A1 piece entitled "GW: Great team or the greatest team?"


Washington, D.C.: When Florida State beats Maryland tonight, will that end the Terps tourney chances? Also, just so all your readers have some sense of what they're in for, could you talk about the play of Seminole stars Al Thorton and Alexander Johnson this season?

Eric Prisbell: Thorton could be a scoring machine tonight, and Johnson has to watch foul trouble. But the player I will watch is Andrew Wilson off the bench. He could be a Shawan Robinson. Everyone makes nine threes against Maryland and Wilson could be the surprise player from the outside. Just a hunch. I think it will be closer than expected, but I think FSU wins.

Matt Rennie: And that won't completely eradicate the Terps' hopes, but it will come close.



Who is the sicker dunker, Pops, Pinnock, Regis, Hall, or Omar?

Eric Prisbell: James Gist

Matt Rennie: Now THAT's funny.


Clifton, Va: GMU versus Georgetown or GWU in the Sweet 16. Mason wins comfortably against GWU and G'town. Who has GWU played? WHat is GWU's RPI? GMU's is 20. Go Patriots!

GMU Alum Class of 81

Matt Rennie: It will be interesting to see if the committee tries to put together that type of scenario, much like the Boise Bedlam of a few years back, which also included Lefty.

Here's a first-round possibility: No. 13 seed Houston vs. No. 4 seed GW. Hello, Mr. Penders.

Eric Prisbell: Mason has a chance at a 7 seed. Three area teams could be in the second round. That would be cool.


Washington, DC: Camille, what do you think would have to happen for the MCI Center to become a good college basketball atmosphere (shot of bringing in Duke every game). Right now the atmosphere at Georgetown games can't compare to other local on-campus venues and I'm wondering if it ever will again.

Camille Powell: I've seen a huge change in the atmosphere inside the MCI Center in the 2 1/2 seasons that I've been on the beat, but you're right, it doesn't compare to the other local venues. But that's the difference between playing in an on-campus venue and a pro arena. Georgetown's students deserve a lot of the credit for making MCI into a fun place this season -- recently they've been filling the sections behind the two baskets, and a college atmosphere depends on the students. Georgetown has to work hard to make MCI an exciting place (and winning certainly helps).

Matt Rennie: MCI Center is much better positioned than the old Cap Centre was, so it's definitely possible -- at least for the bigger games. Playing in such a big building has its advantages, but it also means that nonconference games against weak teams are going to feel like ... nonconference games against weak teams.

As Camille said, the answer is simple: Just win.


Washington D.C.: Hey guys love the chats!

In Sundays's Post on page 12 you had the crystal ball piece forecasting the seeds for the upcoming tournament. Much to my surprise I saw FSU seeded 12th. Was this a misprint or do they really have a shot?

Eric Prisbell: No misprint. I was fed up at that point. FSU was my last team in. They did not deserve it, but no one else did. I was NOT going to put Maryland in. FSU had a little better road record than the Terps so I threw the Noles in.

I should have given Coppin State a 12 seed as an at-large over FSU and Maryland.

Then again, Gary Williams says the ACC will get seven teams in.

Matt Rennie: The last four or so at-large bids are going to go to some very borderline teams, moreso than in years past. It will be interesting to see if the committee looks beyond the power conferences to fill out the final slots.


Fairfax, Va: Eric, great article yesterday about Mason (and GW too). So how about those Patriots? Think they're a lock for the NCAA yet? Think any other CAA teams have a shot?

Eric Prisbell: Thanks. Not quite a lock, but getting closer. Wilmington and Hofstra are in contention for at-large bids.

Where is Wil alum Bret Blizzard, one of my favorite all-time players along with former NYC legend Scientific Mapp.

Matt Rennie: Thursday's Mason at Hofstra game is a big one. The Pride -- why can't they still be the Flying Dutchmen -- have as much at stake as Mason did Saturday at Wichita.


Washington, DC: Worst coaching job of the year? Pitino? Prosser? Tubby? Mike Davis? Quinn Snyder? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Eric Prisbell: Quin.



Matt Rennie: I'll go with Hawley-Smoot.


Washington, D.C.: Camille,

What do you think about JTIII basically using a 6-man rotation? I think it's really coming back to hurt us in the home stretch. These last few games we've lost all seem to turn on our poor shooting at the end. I know the Princeton should keep these guys less tired, but I think the season is catching up with us, and the same might have happened last year.

Camille Powell: I think the season is going to start catching up with a lot of teams, not just Georgetown. Part of the problem last year was that the starters were having to carry such a heavy load in practice as well as the games, and that contributed to the fatigue. This year's team is deeper, it's the second season in the system, and that has helped.

Matt Rennie: And a LOT of teams are going to be fatigued down the stretch against Villanova. Chasing the 'Cats around will make anyone's legs weak. I think the Hoyas will be okay.


Washington, DC: So, when are you going to invite Camille Powell in on these chats? Or has she already rebuffed you?

On a related note, how many more games must Georgetown win to make the tourney? I'm thinking two of our last three and a win in the tourney should seal it.

Give me scenarios man! I NEED scenarios!

Camille Powell: I should have rebuffed Matt and Eric, to make up for having to cover a Maryland NIT game last year while Eric was off having at the NCAA's. As for your question, I think your scenario is right on -- that would give G'town 20 wins and a winning conference record, to go along with the Duke and Pitt wins.

Matt Rennie: She just hasn't let go of that NIT game, even after I bought her lunch. Yeah, 20 wins and the Hoyas are all good. 19 would have them sweating, but still might be enough.


Bethesda, Md: So, it seems now whenever someone points out how vastly overrated GW is, one of you responds with, "Only 1 loss is only 1 loss." And I guess you have a point... wait a minute!

One loss is not ONLY one loss when your SOS is 235. There are only 15 teams in the top 65 RPI with a SOS over 100, and the next closest to GW is Akron, with 193. (CBS Sports online)

I mean, if the 49ers beat the tar out of only Patriot league college football teams except for one loss to the Seahawks would you actually claim they deserve to be considered among the best?

You're either pandering, blind, or both.

Matt Rennie: The schedule is what it is, Bethesda. GW has beaten everyone that's been put in front of them, save N.C. State. Do we know as much about the Colonials as we would if they had played a Big Ten schedule? No. Would they have only one loss if they had? No. But keep in mind that part of the reason the A-10 looks weak is that GW is beating everybody. If you decide that GW isn't that great, then you're never going to be impressed with their conference wins because you can dismiss then by saying, "Oh, [fill in team] must not be any good."

By that standard, you could say the same thing about the ACC and Duke.

Eric Prisbell: Hey, hey, hey, why bring up your West Coast bias in this chat with the Niners reference?

This chat is fast becoming unruly.

I don't think GW is overrated. They deserve a 4 seed but I would not be surprised if the committee slides them down a little because of the schedule. (See 2002 Gonzaga, which got a raw deal with a 6 seed)

Speaking of SF, next time in the Bay Area, be sure to stop by Flight 001 on Hayes St. for the best luggage. Great place. No Niners jerseys, though.


Not about a George school: My Kentucky boys have been terrible against good teams

and only good half the time they play against bad teams,

but it looks like Tubby's benching experiment has got

them coming together a little bit. Assuming a win over

Mississippi tonight, do you think they are in the tourney

this year even if they lose against Tenn, Fla and LSU?

At this point I think I can be somewhat optimistic that they

are getting better near the end, they might pull off a win

or two against a ranked team, and they could help their

status in the SEC tourney. Could we see maybe a 6 seed?

Or are they stuck at 8 or 9, assuming they don't lose out?

Eric Prisbell: Kentucky, like Maryland, is in trouble. I don't think the Cats can get as high as a 6 seed.

This is the opposite of the college football season, which saw an old-school revival. Old-school programs and coaches have struggled this year: Syracuse, Pitino, Kentucky, Indiana, Arizona, Maryland.

Matt Rennie: I think if the 'Cats rallied to win the SEC tournament, you could see a better seeding but if they fall in the semis, you're looking more at that 8-9 range.


Sec. 100 Hoya Season Ticketholder: Happy to have Camille on board today. I've got my fingers crossed for the rest of the season, since I don't think any of the remaining games are THAT hard, but with the Hoyas you never know...with that said, what's the early word on next year, what with Ewing Jr. no longer red-shirted and some good recruits coming in?

Camille Powell: So much of the G'town excitement before the season began seemed to be driven by the future (the great recruiting class). The player I'm most curious about is Ewing Jr., because he will have spent a year practicing in the system while the frosh will have to adjust. The current players seem to love Ewing, and Jeff Green has often mentioned how excited he is to play with him. I also probably should've nominated Ewing for sickest dunker, based on what I saw at Midnight Madness.

Matt Rennie: The future looks very bright for the Hoyas. This season is just an appetizer, albeit a tasty one.


Bethesda Md: Why no love here for the women's game? Why isn't there a Post reporter following Maryland, surely one of the more interesting turnarounds in the past three years? Go Terps!

Matt Rennie: Kathy Orton was with the Lady Turtles both for the win in Chapel Hill and the loss in Durham and will be with them in the NCAA tournament, likely joined by a columnist if Maryland makes the kind of run it's capable of.


Boston, Mass: Come on Camille, you like UConn better? Duke has been getting jobbed by the refs since Gary Williams launched his anti-Duke jihad in the 2001 Final Four. Go HHS.

Matt Rennie: Boston, I'm posting this just so people can see the diversity of opinions out there. now YOU try making everyone in this bunch happy.

Camille Powell: Typical Duke grad.

(Lions rule!)


Maryland: George Mason at the 25 spot, baby! ... Great day to be a Patriots fan! You guys have been giving us props all year long, saying we are certainly worth more than many give us credit for. But did you guys honestly see a Top 25 berth coming? We fans sure were hoping, but it was one of those "won't believe it 'til you see it" type of things.

Also, do you think this is a legitimate ranking? Because what we're hearing now from bitter high-conference fans is that this proves the polls are a joke since "we haven't haven't beaten anybody," or "the CAA is a pathetic conference in comparison to others." ... their words, not mine.

Eric Prisbell: Sure, it is legit. Nevada crept in the AP poll. Mason should be right there with the Pack. The number that will be more important than the ranking: the seed Mason gets in the tourney.

7 or 10 would be better than 8 or 9, I think. Stay away from memphis.

Matt Rennie: What's not legit? A lot of observers will say, "Do you REALLY think so and so is one of the best 25 (or 10) teams in the country?" Well, why not? What's so impressive about LOSING to ACC or Big Ten teams?


Beached Terrapin: Eric, saw my first Terps game at the new arena over the weekend and was amazed and appalled at all the empty student seats. Has that been a problem this year, and is anyone at the university concerned, or even noticing? Are the chances that the Terps win one of the next two games closer to slim or none? And any chance I won't have to study up on my NIT pool?

Oh, and not to leave him out, Matt does a hell of a job on these chats too. You guys are as entertaining and informative as it gets here online.

Eric Prisbell: Thanks a lot.

I saw Gary scan the stands when he walked in. There were a decent number of empty seats Saturday. I figure it will be worse for the NIT.

There is a good chance Maryland will enter the Miami game having to win three straight, including the ACC tourney first round game. Tonight's game will say a lot. Fact is: Gary might be getting the most he can out of this team right now. They are flawed and limited in areas.

Matt Rennie: If the Terps miss the NCAA tournament for a second straight season, it will be VERY interesting to see what type of reception next year's team gets. Basketball is still the marquee sport over there, but eventually people might not want to keep coughing up big donations for the right to buy seats for an NIT team. I think everyone, including Gary, will look at next season as a fresh start, but that will last as long as the first disappointing loss.

Thanks for the kind words, too.


Washington, DC: Camille,

I'm a GW fan, but think G-Town has a nice team this year. I'm not sure how much you know about GW, but from your perspective where could the Hoyas give GW trouble?

I just don't think the Hoyas could score enough to keep up, but no one can say for sure until the Thompson's decided it's ok to play GW.

Camille Powell: I've watched maybe three GW games, and the reason why I went to see them in person was I wanted to get a gauge on just how fast they are. I think G'town's style would give GW trouble, because the Hoyas force you to defend them in the halfcourt for long stretches, and I don't know how well GW does that.

Matt Rennie: That's a pretty fair analysis, but how would the relentless athleticism and depth of GW affect the Hoyas? Maybe we'll find out in March.


Another Question from Sec. 100: Camille, where's the press box at Hoyas games? I look for you every time. Where do you sit? (Don't worry, I'm not a stalker, just a former jounralist.)

Eric Prisbell: I've heard that one before. Then one day, as you're writing away on deadline, someone taps you on the shoulder who is dressed as a banshee or a troll and it's downhill from there. Just kidding.

Matt Rennie: You wonder why I never leave the office?


Washington, DC: Maryland is 4-9 against top 100 RPI teams. Seton Hall is 7-7 against RPI 100 teams. Will either make the tournament?

Eric Prisbell: Maryland needs to win two of the next four and then win in the first round of the ACC tournament. Maryland's road record is 1-5 - awful.

Seton Hall is an odd, odd team. The two losses by 40 points hurt them, even though it was against great competition. They rocked NC State, beat West Virginia. And they are 7-3 in their last 10. I think they probably need two more wins, even if one comes in the Big East tourney.

Remember, the final few at-large spots will be occupied this year by very average teams. The Big East can definitely get nine teams in.


Washington, DC: La Salle comes into Foggy Bottom tonight on a 7 game win streak, any chance the Colonials stumble against a hot team?

Matt Rennie: That's the only team in the A-10 even close to as hot as the GW. This would be a huge game for LaSalle, the kind of win that could vault them into an at-large position. But unless Steven Smith manages to get Pops in early foul trouble, I don't see it happening. Even if that happened, I think the Colonials' depth would be too much.


Matt Rennie: That's all we have time for, folks. Sorry we didn't get to everyone. Thanks to Camille for joining us. See you all next week.


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