RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Monday, February 28

S14: Best College Basketball Teams in Virginia

It doesn't look like I'm even going to get to use those tickets to the CAA tournament, which is a bummer, as I've been looking forward to that. The tourney brackets broke just right so conceivably it could be George Mason, Old Dominion, VCU, and James Madison for an all-Virginia semifinals Sunday, which would be interesting to see live. I mean, it's not like we're talking ACC tournament in 1982 or anything, but still knowing that if the CAA is lucky, it might get a second at-large berth to the NCAA tournament (which usually does not happen), the really only guaranteed way into the Big tournament is to win this one. Oh well. If you want to buy my tickets, hit me up. Second tier, right at center court, last year we were beside the ESPN camera pretty much, like I could throw ice on the camera dude without trying. ESPN camera dudes are assholes by the way.
So here is the updated list. Division III wrapped up their conference tournaments. The CIAA tournament goes on this week for Division II. And ACC still has some conference play, but most of the other Division I groups are down to their conference tournaments as the only thing left. College basketball is winding the fuck down.
#1: RANDOLPH-MACON YELLOW JACKETS (24-4, #2 last week) - Macon ended up in the ODAC finals yesterday, not against their main rival in Virginia Wesleyan (last week's #1) but Randolph College, which is the artist formerly known as Randolph-Macon Women's College, but I guess has dudes now. Macon won the championship, and got the ODAC's automatic berth into the 61-team NCAA Division III tournament field. That nonsense will be announced this afternoon. I would doubt that Macon will be one of the three teams getting a bye into the second round though.
#2: VIRGINIA WESLEYAN BLUE MARLINS (23-4, #1 last week) - Division III only has 19 at-large berths, but Virginia Wesleyan, even though they were upset Saturday in the ODAC semifinals by Randolph, should still get an at-large berth into the tournament. Division III is so much more interesting, because the teams don't travel as far geographically. Every team in the ODAC, except one, is based in Virginia, so the majority of their schedule is here in-state, with forays into neighboring states that are closest. So when you get to the NCAA tournament, with 41 conference champions, possibly right away, but definitely after the first round, you are venturing into uncharted territories. How do you know how fucking good DIII teams from like Indiana or Illinois are? No clue. Still though, Wesleyan considers itself a national championship contender again.
#3: GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS (25-5, #4 last week) - Mason has been on an unending roll, with the longest current winning streak in Division I basketball. Some of the players have stopped cutting their hair or shaving in honor of this winning streak, which is fucking awesome, because a couple of them are starting to look like the youngest crackheads on earth. I pull for VCU, so it pains me to say that I do not think George Mason can really be slowed down this coming week in the CAA tournament. They seem dialed the fuck in, which might bite them in the ass if they end up getting a high #8 seed in the NCAA tournament, which would put them against a #1 seed the first weekend potentially. Kind of better to sneak in as a #12 or #13 and claw your way into the second weekend of the Sweet Sixteen.
#4: EASTERN MENNONITE ROYALS (22-5, #3 last week) - My poor Mennonite girls of Harrisonburg at the demolition derby will be sad, as Mennonite dropped in teh quarterfinals of the ODAC tourney. Some folks say that any team with 5 losses or less stands a shot at an at-large berth into the Division III tournament (I actually was looking at fucking nerd ass Division III basketball sites yesterday to see how people thought the thing would break down... there's actually bracket predictions for even that... we are an O.C.D. ass world with the interwebz), but it seems highly doubtful that one conference would get three teams into the thing, even if the ODAC might be the best D3 conference. And Virginia Wesleyan will get the bid before Eastern Mennonite.
#5: FERRUM PANTHERS (23-5, #5 last week) - Ferrum lost their conference championship game to North Carolina Wesleyan, which cost them an automatic entry into the D3 tournament. It is highly doubtful, even with only 5 losses, a second USA South team will get into the tourney, but hey... there's hope I guess.
#6: OLD DOMINION MONARCHS (24-6, #6 last week) - Best bet for ODU, and for the CAA probably, is for Old Dominion to win the CAA tourney this coming weekend, get the automatic berth, and then George Mason get an at-large berth. I hate the Monarchs because the ODU fans who come to the games are like ultra-retarded. I mean, it's fucking Old Dominion! At least VCU kids know they go to a shitty artsy school and make stupid banners.
#7: RICHMOND SPIDERS (22-7, #7 last week) - Richmond is kind of lost to me because they play in the Atlantic 10 Conference. They've got two more conference games this week before the A-10 tournament in Atlantic City next week.
#8: SOUTHERN VIRGINIA KNIGHTS (21-8, #10 last week) - USCAA (whatever that is) Division I tournament takes place this week in somewhere in Bumfuck, Pennsylvania. Southern Virginia is the #2 seeded team in an 8-team field, and plays Marygrove on Wednesday.
#9: HAMPTON PIRATES (20-8, #8 last week) - The Pirates have one more Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season game before the MEAC tournament next week. They'll be anywhere from a #2 to #4 seed, and really, Bethune-Cookman looks to be the top team to win their automatic berth, but there are three or four other teams - Hampton included - that could knock them off and turn it into a battle royal for the NCAA tournament berth.
#10: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (19-8, #12 last week) - Seems like Tech might've actually helped itself for once by beating #1 Duke in Blacksburg this past weekend, but you never know. If they do end up making the NCAA tournament, it seems like one of those two play-in games for at-large teams was custom-made for Virginia Tech, who always was the first team left out in previous years.
#11: JAMES MADISON DUKES (21-10, #11 last week) - The Dukes are playing good, and have a dude named Humpty. They wear purple. All of these are good things.
#12: VCU RAMS (21-10, #9 last week) - Rams are falling apart. Last year, you could tell they weren't as good with just Larry Sanders (now with the Milwaukee Bucks) because nobody could take over the game. This year, even with a good group of talent, there's still no one who can take over the game. And they've been dropping games to everybody at home, so playing the CAA tourney in the Richmond Coliseum is not going to be such a home-court advantage most likely. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see them gone before Sundays semifinals.
#13: CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT CAPTAINS (18-9, #13 last week) - Once Christopher Newport lost to Ferrum last Friday in the USA South Conference tournament, their season was over.
#14: VIRGINIA UNION PANTHERS (15-8, unranked last week) - Union's been on a run to end the season, and goes into the CIAA tournament this week as the #2 seed from the North division, which gives them a bye into a Thursday afternoon game against whoever wins the late game on Wednesday between St. Paul's and Livingstone. Historically Black College & University Small-Time Tournament Action in Central North Carolina Fever! Catch It! Seriously though, I bet that'd be a good ass time. You know there's old dudes rocking some serious ass colorful suits up in that joint.

Gone from the list from last week: Liberty Flames.

1 comment:

Raven Mack said...

In case you are some D3 basketball nerd who comes here via google, Ferrum and Eastern Mennonite did not make the field. Randolph-Macon plays Avernia later this week, at St. Mary's college in Maryland, who is the host of their 4-team bracket. Virginia Wesleyan hosts a 4-team bracket, playing Delaware Valley, with Franklin & Marshall vs. N.C. Wesleyan in the other side, potentially setting up a historic spiritual border battle between Virginia Wesleyan and North Carolina Wesleyan on Saturday. Just in case, you know, anyone cared.