RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Wednesday, March 16

S14: Best College Basketball Teams in Virginia

Sort of put this off, even though no one will read it except like me and two other people, one of which will barely care and came here from a random google search for something like "Virginia Tech NCAA tournament sucks", and the second one will be a chick hoping I go off on some wacky and entertaining tangent, but I won't by the third team, so they'll bail. So here is the weekly updated standings for best college basketball teams in the state of Virginia, as ranked by best win-loss percentages...
#1: VIRGINIA WESLEYAN BLUE MARLINS (25-5, #1 last week) - Wesleyan's season finally ended last Friday night at Williams College in the Division III round of 16. Williams won out the weekend, and is in the D3 Final Four, in Salem, Virginia, this coming weekend. You better go get you some. Best all-whiteboy basketball in the country going on down there.
#2: RANDOLPH-MACON YELLOW JACKETS (25-5, #2 last week) - Season over.
#3: EASTERN MENNONITE ROYALS (22-5, #3 last week) - Season over.
#4: FERRUM PANTHERS (23-5, #4 last week) - Season over.
#5: OLD DOMINION MONARCHS (27-6, #5 last week) - The CAA's good year actually might've hurt their top two teams, as after Old Dominion won the CAA title last Monday, they got a #9 seeding in the southeast tournament, which, if they win, means facing a #1 seed the first weekend, and #1 seeds tend to always advance through the first weekend at least. Not to mention Old Dominion is paired up with last year's national runner-up in the Butler Bulldogs. But this Butler is not last year's, with their wonderkid whiteboy Gordon Heyward having gone professional. Plus, somehow they got sent only to Washington, DC, which actually should give ODU a decided home court advantage for tomorrow's second round game. If they can win, they should also have a pretty hefty support network going on in the second round against Pitt as well, who is not exactly infallible. Other big travelling team in DC is gonna be UConn, whose fans will probably be more than happy to boo Pitt as well. Do not surprised if the Monarchs shock motherfuckers and make it to the Sweet 16.
#6: GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS (26-6, #6 last week) - Mason's in the same boat as ODU, having been given a #8 seed, which looks good and respectable, except as you go through brackets and potential match-ups, tends to doom teams. George Mason's opening opponent is Villanova on Friday, in Cleveland. If Mason can pull off a victory, which is questionable because their winning streak was crushed into oblivion in the CAA tournament, and it will be hard to get that mojo back against a Big East team with senior guards. And if they win, they'll basically be playing the #1 team in the country in Ohio State in a road game, so don't expect George Mason to shock the world this year like they did five years ago.
#7: RICHMOND SPIDERS (27-7, #7 last week) - The Spiders were considered a bubble team to make the tournament, and I was stoked to think five teams from Virginia might make the field. Richmond ended up winning the Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City to get an automatic berth, which was probably wise as they were only given a #12 seed, meaning they most likely would not have made the tourney otherwise. They open up against a lackluster Vanderbilt team, playing in Denver. Being a few #12 seeds tend to win every year, and U of R's history as an upset maker in NCAA tourneys, they have a good shot at winning. In fact, most tourneys have at least one team that is a #12 or #13 seed make the Sweet 16, and the #4 Louisville/#13 Murray State match-up has similar upset capacity (Murray State was a first round shocker last year, knocking off Vanderbilt), and if you're filling out 19 different brackets, a good double upset pick would be Richmond/Murray State in the Southwest.
#8: HAMPTON PIRATES (24-8, #9 last week) - Hampton won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tourney to make the field of 68. And being MEAC teams are usually thrown into the ridiculous play-in game before getting gobbled up by a #1 seed, it's a success story for Hampton that they didn't have to do that much. They open the tournament on Friday in Charlotte against the evil evil Duke Blue Devils. Only heartless robots actually root for Duke. In fact, when I discover people I know like Duke, it actually makes me question them as a person. Seriously.
#9: SOUTHERN VIRGINIA KNIGHTS (24-8, #8 last week) - Season over.
#10: VCU RAMS (23-11, #10 last week) - VCU was the shocker of the tourney. I had pegged them an automatic for the NIT, and when the selection show was on, I was on the phone with my wife when they announced VCU as one of the First Four games at-large bids, and I was speechless. If they can get it together long enough to get through a shitty USC team, in Dayton, Ohio, tonight, they will move on to play Georgetown in Chicago on Friday. The Hoyas are banged up and have been stumbling pretty badly here at the end of the season. I am hopeful the Rams win tonight, upset the Hoyas on Friday, and give Purdue an exciting game on Sunday. Of course the Rams have not played three good games in a row since January, but hey, I can be hopeful beyond logic can't I? That's what being a fan is all about.
#11: CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT CAPTAINS (18-9, #11 last week) - Season over.
#12: VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES (21-11, #13 last week) - When I thought five teams would make the tourney, I did not expect VCU to be the fifth. It's almost comical how Virginia Tech gets dissed every year, yet every year, they don't win enough games or have enough solid non-conference victories to guarantee themselves an entry. This year was no different, no matter how much Seth Greenberg bitches and moans. They won no big games out of conference, and their only real signature victory in conference was against Duke at home. They followed that up with a pair of losses, including against Clemson at home. If you figure Clemson and Tech made it to the ACC semifinals, and Clemson was announced as one of the play-in at-large games, you can point to that single game that Tech lost as what probably broke the camel's back. So fuck them. They are a #1 seed in the NIT tournament, which means nothing, and host Bethune-Cookman, who was the regular season champion of the conference Hampton snagged the automatic berth from, in what should be a lopsided game, as Malcolm Delaney will probably get ugly as fuck on an HBCU team at home out of anger.
#13: JAMES MADISON DUKES (21-11, #12 last week) - The Dukes, even after their unexpected loss to lowly William & Mary, got invited to the College Basketball Invitational. Most power conference teams, if they did not get invited to the big tourney or the NIT, will pass on the two lower tournaments, because it costs you a couple thousand per game to throw, and no one gives a shit. But smaller schools will jump on it because they get to play longer, practice more, and hopefully build towards a better year next year when they could shoot the moon and be a bottom feeder in the Big Dance. James Madison did just that, losing to Davidson in North Carolina last night. I have not updated their record for this game yet, because I am still pretending it is Monday.
#14: RANDOLPH WILDCATS (18-10, #14 last week) - Season over.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to take issue with the Virginia Tech assessment: beat no one? Um, Duke? They won two games in the ACC tournament, fished the season with respectable record of ...beat Penn State earlier in the year, and PSU is (in) at 19-14..PSU was 17-14 entering its conference tournament by the way...

To me, it appears the criteria for VT changes from year to year...

How in the hell can the USC slugs get in at 19-14, make that 19-15? Low RPI, etc. etc...coach suspended for one game prior for being "likes to fight guy" with a fan...super!

Tennessee: 19-14; oh, and coach suspended for 8 games for cheating...great message NCAA...

Michigan: 20-13 gets them a 8th seed?

I could go on...still, VT was deserving this year, as they were last year.

Unfortunately, VT appears to have found itself on the bad side of some NCAA politics; yes, somewhat humors, but no cool...

Lastly, if VT were to play VCU tomorrow at the Seigel Center...I'd put major jack on VT running them out of the gym....even with only 7 players (including Farmville Paul)....

Raven Mack said...

yeah but if they played at Siegel Center 3 weeks ago, I'd take VCU all day every day. That's the thing, VT always bitches about being excluded, but if you do what you need to do to not be in the 60th to 70th realm of teams, you don't have to worry. They consistently do not do that. And beating Duke at home is the only mark for them. Penn State? Shit man, they're hardly any better than USC or VCU, so that's not really a resume win. And yeah the criteria could change every year, but you get yourself over the hump. I think that's my problem with Tech and specifically Seth Greenberg (I root for all state teams, and pull for both UVA and Tech to be good) - he's done a good job of establishing them, but he can't get them beyond this. At this point they have a very well established reputation as a high mediocre team. There is no fucking way Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney in their senior years should have been a bubble team. Tech should have been at least the third best team in the conference, and should have been challenging to be the best. Instead they were swimming around with half-assed maybe good teams like Clemson and Boston College, and it bit them in the ass.
As far as defending other major conference low-level at-larges over Tech, I can't. I am of the opinion I'd rather see the second or third best team from most of the better mid-major conferences than the 5th or 6th best team from a power conference. Seeing mediocre major conference teams win one/lose one the first weekend every year is far less enthralling than seeing a mid-major get their one shot out of every 8 years. And that's Tech had they got in - win one maybe then lose one.
I think one other thing (in my long-winded response) that always gets me is teams bitching about not getting into the tournament because they are one of the best 68 teams in the country. Doesn't matter. The tournament is not to decide the best 68 teams, it is to decide the best team. If you have to argue to make your point you are the fifth best team in the ACC on a down year, you have no rightful claim whatsoever to pretend you should have a chance to be the best team in the country. Power conference entitlement is what is ruining college basketball (and football) more than anything else.

Damn, that was almost a whole post. Also is this Ligon?

Anonymous said...

Hey dude - yea, it's Ligon, thanks for the follow-up.

Don't get me wrong, VT worked very hard to play their way out of the tournament...still, I go back to the fact that using "measurable" criteria (and even the "eye test" as on of the selection committee uses) I don't see how VT could be excluded over the likes of Southern Cal (just plain suck), Michigan (13 losses), Tenn (see above comments) Penn State...well, you get the idea. I don't have a big of issue with VCU though, however, they too flopped down the stretch and they still managed an invite...

I don't know if you have read this, but former selection committee members are starting to go "wikileaks" on the selection process...one story has a former committee member stating that during his tenure a majority of the fellow committee members hardly watched hoops (during the season) and basically had to brought "up to speed" so-to-speak about the season and team they were about to select...not to mention, several of the committee folks were like assistant AD from places like Austin Peay!! I'd rather see an more transparent process, and hell, why not broadcast the actually selection process - like a city council meeting or something???


Also, to VT misfortune four significant season ending injuries hurts - to three likely starters..that's huge...hell last night (NIT), Paul D. actually played some "real" minutes...

Still, as a lifelong VT fan, it appears their basketball team has sort been typecast as the consummate "bubble team" - and I guess that's not all bad...

Anyhow, I am over it, all in for VCU today...I know its sort of fucked up a VCU alum, would have greater allegiance to another school; but in short, I always tell people that these college sports we so love, are nothing more than professional athletics where everyone gets paid except for the actual players...

Lastly, thanks again for the blog. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your writing. I am due for a t-shirt soon too, but I'd prefer to drop by the Mack compound on my way down to the 'ville to pick it up!

Raven Mack said...

Holler at me on Facebook, we can catch up.
Yeah, I feel the same... I mean if Tech or UVA either one were more dominant I'd feel allegiance to them over VCU probably. As it stands, mid-majors are the majors in Va right now, which kinda sucks. I do think Greenberg might've maxed out, and I'm hopeful for Tony Bennett working out. But damn man, it's been a long time since anybody from the state made it through the first weekend of the NCAA tourney if you overlook George Mason's one run.

Ligon said...

Um check that Raven...i just watched VCU dismantle Purdue...now my question is how in the hell did this team finish 4th in the CAA? Damn..they look good, lots of size, and depth...very impressed...good shot to go even further, go Rams!