Fact: Virginia has won four straight games since a two-game losing streak and garnered 39 of 42 first-place votes to remain atop the Atlantic 11, a bimonthly reader poll of the top 11 men’s basketball teams from among the 27 Division I men’s basketball programs in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
Fact: Maryland, which has also won four straight, is second, followed by Virginia Tech, VCU and George Mason.
Fact: Georgetown has had better seasons.
Fact: Towson jumped back into the poll at No. 10 after four consecutive wins.
To the pith, which is brimming with alternative facts . . .
1. Virginia (15-3, 5-2 ACC) 417 points (39 first-place votes) | Previous: 1
Next: Tuesday at Notre Dame, Sunday at Villanova.
With their new dynamic scorer in the lineup, the Hoos are beating opponents with their Shayok-and-Awe offense. (Michael Freeman)
The exceptional performance of Jack Salt against Clemson was so spectacular and hard to believe that I thought I was watching Sean Spicer speaking to the press. (Sean McLernon)
Virginia accomplishes what only Falcons QB (and potential NFL MVP) Matt Ryan could do: win at Boston College. (Ted Wheeler)
Vegas has stopped taking bets on over/under during U-Va. games. (Joe Limarzi)
Nice palate cleanser in between conference games against No. 1 Villanova on Saturday. (Chris Olson)
The Kyle Man-bun Guy might want to start looking at a haircut as he has averaged less than five points a game over the past five games. (James Schneider)
2. Maryland (17-2, 5-1 Big Ten) 379 points (3) | Previous: 2
Next: Tuesday vs. Rutgers, Saturday at Minnesota.
When asked to defend the legitimacy of his team’s 17-2 record in light of their 64th-ranked strength of schedule, Mark Turgeon explained that if you look at “alternative facts,” the Terps have the toughest schedule in the country. Period. (Grant Kronenberg)
Melo Trimble is doing such a good job handling the pressure of a massive leadership role for the Terps that President Trump wants to call him to get some advice. (Sean McLernon)
The Terps have solved the midwest with consecutive wins against Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. How about Turgeon for DNC Chairman? (Chris Olson)
Terps fight the patriarchy by establishing a “gender neutral” zone around first place in the Big Ten. (Richard Hsu)
Fans are starting to wonder whether the polls and computers are using alternative facts to suppress Maryland’s national ranking. (Russell Meyer)
Dick Vitale must never broadcast a Maryland game. The exploits of the Terps’ three star freshmen would have us on “diaper dandy” overload. (Michael Freeman)
Leading the Big Ten this year gets you the dubious honor of being Extremely Average. (James Schneider)
3. Virginia Tech (15-4, 4-3 ACC) 326 points | Previous: 3
Next: Thursday at North Carolina, Sunday vs. Boston College.
The Hokies are the Women’s March of ACC men’s basketball — they are vastly exceeding expectations and scaring the hell out of traditional conference powers. (Sean McLernon)
Especially with the Hokies doing well in the ACC, how has Virginia Tech marketing not nicknamed Cassell Coliseum the BuzzSaw? (Michael Freeman)
The Hokies replicate their in-state rival Virginia by getting a big road win at Clemson. No word on whether Buzz Williams is also considering replicating Kyle Guy’s man-bun. (Ted Wheeler)
Buzz Williams winning so much in coal country you’ll be saying, “Buzz, stop winning. You’re winning too much.” (Chris Olson)
Buzz Williams really should keep his jacket on, because Clemson didn’t get hot from three in Sunday night’s tilt until the coach stripped down. (Russell Meyer)
Virginia Tech defeated Syracuse for the first time since 1978. I don’t know how that’s possible either. (Dan Caro)
4. VCU (15-5, 5-2 A10) 294 points | Previous: 4
Next: Friday vs. Dayton.
With its whirlwind propensity to force turnovers, VCU’s defense should, in honor of our new president, be nicknamed “American carnage.” (Michael Freeman)
The Rams routed LaSalle on Sunday by 38 points, a margin of defeat that must be about as demoralizing as walking past empty bleachers during your own presidential inauguration parade. (Sean McLernon)
Looks like VCU got caught up in some New York City havoc in a stunning loss to Fordham. (Jared Kotler)
Last time VCU was rated this high, they were still called “Calmness.” (Matt Ipri)
5. George Mason (13-6, 3-3 A10) 189 points | Previous: 5
Next: Wednesday vs. George Washington, Saturday at U-Mass.
Score one for the skinny soy latte side of Virginia over the country ham sector as Mason knocks off Richmond. (Michael Freeman)
6-foot-2 guard Marquise Moore is in the top 10 in the nation in rebounding, proving that even the smallest can play bigly. (Chris Olson)
Looking for supremacy in battle of the Georges this week as they host GW. (Paul Frampton)
6. Richmond (11-8, 5-2 A10) 170 points | Previous: 7
Next: Wednesday vs. Richmond, Saturday vs. Rhode Island.
Like the movie franchise, the Spider men started off well, but their last two efforts have been lacking. (Chris Olson)
7. Georgetown (10-10, 1-6 Big East) 169 points | Previous: 6
Next: Wednesday vs. Creighton, Saturday at Butler.
Those weren’t double-digit loses to Providence and Xavier, they were alternative wins. (Chris Olson)
Georgetown now with wins over U-Conn. and Syracuse. If only the old Big East still existed. (Jared Kotler)
Stuck in last place in the Big East in late January must leave the Hoyas feeling weird and sad and befuddled about how this could happen, which is similar to how most of D.C. feels right now. (Sean McLernon)
After beating Maryland at home early in the year, the 16-0 Hoyas have never looked back. #alternativefacts (Joe Limarzi)
The Hoyas have a superb shot at an NCAA tournament bid if an “alternate fact” selection methodology is used. (Michael Freeman)
Trouble continued in the nation’s capital this week, and also Georgetown played poorly. (Kate Gaziano)
My goodness, I think the Bowie Baysox had better attendance numbers last year than this year’s Hoyas basketball program. (Michael Hoffman)
There is no truth to the rumor that JT3 was overheard on the phone trying to schedule an emergency game with St. Leo’s. (Mike Dean)
8. Old Dominion (11-8, 4-3 CUSA) 106 points | Previous: 8
Next: Thursday at Rice, Saturday at North Texas.
ODU is officially ranked 336 out of 347 Division I teams in scoring offense with 62.2 points per game, but Sean Spicer’s numbers have them scoring 1.5 million points per game. (Sean McLernon)
Monarchs have seen this before: a coronation, anger from the fourth estate, a popular uprising outside of the palace. Let them eat cake. (Chris Olson)
9. George Washington (10-9, 2-4 A10) 80 points | Previous: 9
Next: Wednesday at George Mason, Saturday vs. Saint Louis.
GW snaps their losing streak with a win over Duke, er, the Dukes. (Jared Kotler)
Snapped a three-game losing streak against Duquesne. So maybe it’s something else going on in DC that made their namesake roll over in his grave. (Chris Olson)
10. Towson (12-9, 4-4 CAA) 63 points | Previous: Not Ranked
Next: Thursday vs. College of Charleston, Saturday at Northeastern.
Four-game winning streak after four game losing streak. At least they are consistent. (Paul Frampton)
The Tigers fried Delaware’s Blue Hens twice in nine days. Maybe coach Pat Skerry should be the next of those rotating KFC TV commercial colonels. (Michael Freeman)
Swept the season series against Delaware. First state in the Union, maybe; definitely not the first state of basketball. (Chris Olson)
11. UMBC (13-6, 4-2 America East) 30 points | Previous: 10
Next: Wednesday at Stony Brook, Saturday vs. New Hampshire.
After an embarrassing 27-point loss to Albany, do the Retrievers run laps or just get a light rolled-up newspaper tap on their noses? (Michael Freeman)
Sure, the Retrievers have lost two games in a row, but that’s only if you ignore the alternative facts that have UMBC winning those games and every other game this season by 100-0. (Sean McLernon)
Dropped out: William & Mary
Also receiving votes: William & Mary 18, JMU 14, Liberty 4, Morgan State 2, VMI 2, Coppin State 1, Norfolk State 1.