Mid-Atlantic College Hoops Power Rankings: Several teams in contention for an NCAA bid

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Mid-Atlantic College Hoops Power Rankings: Several teams in contention for an NCAA bid

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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George Mason, GW offering free basketball tickets to government workers during shutdown

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George Mason, GW offering free basketball tickets to government workers during shutdown

Out of work because of the government shutdown? Some local college basketball teams are hoping to add some entertainment during this trying time.

The George Mason University and George Washington University athletic departments are offering free tickets to all federal employees during the government shutdown. The complementary tickets are for all home men's and women's basketball games. 

For tickets for George Mason games in Fairfax, VA and George Washington games in Foggy Bottom, federal employees are asked to show their government ID to each respective box office to get the complementary tickets. Both schools are offering this deal as long as the government is still shut down. 

The George Mason Patriots next game is Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. ET where the men's basketball team plays Davidson. The George Washington Colonials men's basketball team plays Dayton on the same day and time.

Additionally, the Capital City Go-Go, the Wizards G-league affiliate, are giving away tickets to those affected by the furlough. The play on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. ET in Congress Heights. 

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2018 Preseason College Basketball Preseason Tournaments for Mid-Atlantic Teams

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2018 Preseason College Basketball Preseason Tournaments for Mid-Atlantic Teams

Preseason college basketball is sometimes difficult to watch. Top teams across the country pay low-majors to come their place for a 25+ point blowout, teams expected to contend struggle out of the gate and simply some of the basketball just is not good (unless you are the Duke Blue Devils).

Then there are preseason tournaments. They have meaningless trophies and often allow teams to travel to vacation destintations.

But, it is a bunch of college basketball games in a short amount of time. They each have a bracket, are often played during work hours, and generally have good matchups.  Essentially they get us fired up before the lull of meddlesome non-conference games in December. 

As for the Mid-Atlantic teams competing in preseason tournaments, we've got you covered. Preseason tournaments are a great way for teams to set the tone, good or bad, for the rest of the season and going into non-conference play. Several Mid-Atlantic teams could use that boost. 

Make sure to spend the next two weeks filling your appetite with local college hoops. 

Gildan Charleston Classic

Dates: Nov 15-16, 18
Location: TD Arena, Charleston, South Carolina
Teams (Bracket): Ball State, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Northeastern, Purdue, Appalachian State, Wichita State, Davidson
How to Watch: ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3
Mid-Atlantic Spin: This tournament will give the Virginia Tech Hokies a good chance to measure themselves up against other like teams. With the talent the Hokies have, even with Chris Clarke's indefinite suspension, they should be aspiring to be a top half team in the ACC and better than the No. 8/9 seed line in the NCAA Tournament. It will be no easy path for Virginia Tech to win this tournament, but nevertheless they should be considered a team that can win it all in Charleston. 

Islands of the Bahamas Showcase

Dates: Nov. 16-18
Location: Kendal Isaacs National Gymnasium, Nassau, Bahamas
Teams (Bracket): Montana, Incarnate Word, Miami (OH), Georgia Southern, Florida Atlantic, Towson, Pepperdine
How to Watch: TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: A small scale tournament that will allow Towson to be in contention to win one or two games. Last year's Tigers team would roll through this field, but Towson still needs an identity. With three games in three days, head coach Pat Skerry will look to find the Tigers' new leader(s) on the court.

U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

Dates: Nov. 16-19
Location: UVI Sports & Fitness Center, U.S. Virgin Islands
Teams (Bracket): Oregon State, Old Dominion, Kennesaw State, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Penn, Eastern Kentucky, Kansas State
How to Watch: FloHoops
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Old Dominion's first matchup against Oregon State will be pivotal one if the Monarchs want to test themselves in this tournament. They benefit from a a strong group of returners that could help carry them in the Virgin Islands to some quality wins. 

Air Force Reserve Tip-Off Tournament

Dates: Nov. 16-18
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
Teams (Bracket): Michigan, George Washington, South Carolina, Providence
How to Watch: ESPN/ ESPN2/ ESPN3
Mid-Atlantic Spin: After dropping two games that George Washington should have easily won, don't expect them to get their first win in this tournament. The rest of the tournament should be great though.

GotPrint.com Legends Classic

Dates: Nov. 19-20
Location: Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, New York
Teams (Bracket): St. John's, California, Temple, VCU
Subregional teams: (Bracket): Bowling Green, Detroit Mercy, Hampton, Loyola
How to Watch: ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3/ FloHoops
Mid-Atlantic Spin: The Legends Classic, as it always does, features teams with a lot to prove this season. No different for VCU, the Rams are probably not in position, yet, to succeed in this tournament. If they are able to get one win that should be considered a success. Seeing post-injury Marcus Evans square off against top tier competition will likely be the most intriguing part of this tournament for VCU.

Of course the Hampton vs. Loyola contest has caught our eye. The Pirates may have a chance to actually win their whole bracket. 

Fort Myers Tip-Off

Dates: Nov. 19, 21
Location: Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Cypress Lake, Florida
Teams (Bracket): Richmond, Loyola-Chicago, Wyoming, Boston College
How to Watch: FS1
Mid-Atlantic Spin: An excuse to watch a defending Final Four team, Loyola-Chicago, when they play Richmond. Otherwise don't expect the Spiders to get a win.

Battle 4 Atlantis

Dates: Nov. 21-23
Location: Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas
Teams (Bracket): Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Stanford, Butler, Dayton, Virginia, Middle Tennessee State
How to Watch: ESPN/ ESPN2/ ESPNU/ ESPN3/ ESPNews
Mid-Atlantic Spin: What a fantastic field of teams to what early season college basketball. Virginia is the best team on paper and should win the whole thing, but they cannot overlook Middle Tennessee State in their first matchup (cough, cough UMBC).

Las Vegas Holiday Invitational (Little Rock Bracket)

Dates: Nov. 23-24
Location: Jack Stephens Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
Teams: Cal Baptist, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Howard, Little Rock
How to Watch: TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Even though the Bison are considered one of the top teams in the MEAC, there are some questions still around this team. Winning this tournament will answer a lot of those questions. 

Emerald Coast Classic:

Dates: Nov. 23-24
Location: Northwest Florida State College, Niceville, Florida
Teams (Bracket): George Mason, Cincinnati, Baylor, Ole Miss
How to Watch: CBSSN, TBA
Mid-Atlantic Spin: Expected to compete for an NCAA Tournament bid, the Patriots are going to need to get some quality wins. Any victory in the Emerald Coast Classic will at least get them one for starters. There best luck to get that win will come in their second game of the tournament. Winning both games will confirm their postseason hopes.

Note: Several other Mid-Atlantic teams are scheduled to play in non-bracketed events, including Radford, Maryland and UMBC. Since there is no bracket (and no-fun), they are not included on this list. This page may be updated as tournament information changes.

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