College basketball season is less than a month away from conference tournaments, and with it NCAA Tournament bids.
This is a great time to see how the local landscape is doing and which teams potentially could make some noise on Selection Sunday.
The typical players are at the forefront; Virginia is one of the top teams in the land and Maryland is back in the national conversation. However, the rest of the Commonwealth is in good hands. There is a good possibility that eight teams from the state of Virginia could be dancing in March.
Below are all the teams, ranked from the Mid-Atlantic area (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC) that have a chance to make it to the big dance.
1. Virginia (20-1, 8-1 ACC)
This is not last year's Virginia Cavaliers team. They are better.
DeAndre Hunter, Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy all bring home 10 points apiece every night. Their offense is now middle of the pack in the country, while their defense remains No. 1.
2. Virginia Tech (18-4, 7-3 ACC)
The Hokies brought back so much experience from last year's squad and will be making it back to the NCAA Tournament for the third season in a row.
Doing an outstanding job in nonconference play (11-1), Virginia Tech emerged as one of the nation's serious contenders. And if they keep their head above water in the packed ACC, the Hokies will really prove how talented they are.
3. Maryland (18-6, 9-4 Big Ten)
Maryland is finally living up to expectations, minus their obscure loss to Illinois at a neutral court (which might not be that bad of a loss anymore). With the Big Ten having another poor showing as a conference, the Terps are rising to the occasion.
Bruno Fernando staying was the best thing to happen to the Terps this season. He's been fantastic averaging a double-double on the season and allowing the team to be run an inside-out offense when need be.
They can win in multiple different ways, the good sign for a tournament team.
4. VCU (16-6, 7-2 Atlantic 10)
As the first bubble team in these rankings, VCU is reclaiming their identity as a defensive squad. Unfortunately for them, though, they are having to rely on their nonconference resume with the Atlantic 10 having a down season.
Their best win from noncon is turning out to be over Hofstra, but to counter they also had an inexpiable home loss to Charleston. There's not much there in a resume for VCU, but they are a team that collectively will be better than several NCAA Tournament teams.
5. Georgetown (15-8, 5-5 Big East)
Could the Hoyas sneak their way into an NCAA Tournament bid? They're currently tied for third in the Big East and recently nabbed a decent road win at St. John's.
Can the legend of Mac McClung keep the team chugging to the end of the season?
6. Liberty (20-5, 9-1 Atlantic Sun)
All the metric systems are rewarding the Flames for their season so far. Liberty is ranked 61st on KenPom and 55th in the NET Rankings. Three of their five losses have been to teams from the top six conferences. But, there is no way the committee is going to give the A-Sun two teams in the NCAA Tournament. Liberty has to win the A-Sun title in their first season with the conference.
7. George Mason (13-10, 7-3 Atlantic 10)
Take away the 0-3 start (losses to Penn, American and Georgia Southern) and the Patriots don't actually have a bad record. But those games still count and will prevent the team from an at-large bid in any postseason tournament.
However, they've greatly increased their defense which could propel the team to contention in for the A-10 title.
8. Old Dominion (19-6, 9-3 Conference USA)
The Monarchs are an intriguing team and sit atop their conference. They are right on their way to returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since they were in the CAA.
Notable wins for them this season include VCU and Syracuse. But, they have to win their conference to get in.
9. Radford (17-7, 9-1 Big South)
Remember these guys? They had two big upsets during the nonconference season over Notre Dame and Texas. They are another team with a tough defense that could provide a mismatch against some of the top teams in the country. Three of their starters are from last year's NCAA Tournament and Big South championship team, and are looking to do it all again.
10. UMBC (14-10, 6-3 America East)
Early on in the year everyone's favorite Cinderella team was struggling. But as of late, the Retrievers have turned it around. They've won five of their last six contests with two of those victories coming over the top two teams in the America East.
And we all know they love the underdog story.
11. Norfolk State (13-10, 8-0 MEAC)
The Spartans are running away with the MEAC. With a big presence in the paint no other team has had an answer. However, based on how the MEAC Tournament is set up though, and some close wins, they probably won't win the conference title.
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