Commonwealth Power Rankings, February 25th

Clap your hands and welcome VMI to the Commonwealth’s top five basketball teams!




23-5, 14-1

Sure, the Hoos are hot now, but they haven’t gotten out of the quarterfinals of an ACC tournament since 1995.Gary Cope


10 PTS


20-7, 8-4

The Rams have lost more games this February (3-3) than the past three Decembers (18-1) combined. Does that matter? No, not really.Aaron Williams


16 PTS


18-9, 8-4

Is that loss to George Washington going to be the one that keeps the Spiders out of the Tournament?Ross Catrow


21 PTS

William & Mary

17-10, 9-5

The Tribe didn’t just lose to College of Charleston, they lost by 33 points. And yet, are still the 4th best team in the Commonwealth.Gary Cope


26 PTS


17-10, 10-4

The Keydets are on a roll and are a legit threat in the Big South tourney.Gary Cope


38 PTS

Virginia Tech

9-17, 2-12

Four straight close games. This team hasn’t quit. They’re still bad, but they haven’t quit.Gary Cope


40 PTS


18-11, 8-6

Ya Ya Anderson is 34-of-78 (.436) from 3-point range in wins and 15-of-54 (.278) from range in losses. When he’s hitting shots, Radford can beat anyone in the Big South.Aaron Williams


41 PTS

George Mason

9-17, 3-10

Taking Saint Louis to OT is cool, but its not as cool as beating Saint Louis in OT.Mike Barnes


44 PTS


16-11, 11-4

The Pirates have won 7 of 8 with their only loss coming on the road in 2OT. Since 12/29, Hampton has played seven overtime periods. Seven!Aaron Williams


45 PTS

Old Dominion

13-15, 7-6

Can we just call the CUSA the Texas League?Mike Barnes


50 PTS

Norfolk State

16-11, 10-3

Wait, the Spartans are four of the last five and 9-3 in the MEAC? That’s tied for second place right in front of Hampton. I thought this team was bad?Ross Catrow


54 PTS


11-17, 6-8

JMU is clearly still learning, but beating Drexel and the Bru Crew is a big win.Mike Barnes


13 PTS


10-19, 4-10

Hey! Liberty stopped a seven-game losing streak with a win over Campbell! That’s something!Ross Catrow


69 PTS


8-19, 3-9

So, you’re saying there’s a chance?Gary Cope

Contributors: Mike Barnes (W&M, Shades of 48), Ross Catrow (VT; RVANews), Gary Cope (VT; Tech Hoops), Curt Dudley (JMU), Aaron Williams (VCU; RVANews)

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Why are these power rankings deliberately anti-Uva? I’m a VCU fan and even I recognize how ridiculous the descriptions for UVA and VCU are this week. Both are good teams, UVA is playing much better than VCU at this point…can’t this be positive on them? And does it matter that VCU can’t win away from home? Of course it does, I’m pretty worried this team won’t show up in the tourney…and in all likelihood their second round matchup is a #1/#2 seed, they’re definitely getting bounced without a lot of luck.

    At the end of the day, if these rankings (or at least the descriptions you put with the rankings) are going to be biased toward VCU, that makes sense but say it outright.

  2. How can the power rankings be “anti-UVa” when UVA is in the top spot?

    To recap, VCU beat 1.) UVa in Charlottesville, 2.) VTech at the Coliseum, and 3.) Richmond, 4.) ODU, and 5.) GMU at home– How are the commonwealth power rankings not going to be biased when one team has swept every in-state match up?

    The Rams’ losses to St. Joe’s, UMass, and St. Louis were all within a score before foul shots and the loss to GW was flipped to a definitive win in the rematch (1-1). Each of those teams are post-contenders with top-50 RPI’s. General rule of thumb, home court advantage is worth 6pts in the A10. If you can beat that spread the game’s a toss up on a neutral court.

    And at the end of the day, only one team in the Commonwealth has swept 5 in-state rivals this season including a top-ranked UVa.

  3. Jeremy on said:


  4. Agreed. The panel clearly all voted UVA #1, but the reluctance and bitterness is oozing off my computer screen. Respect for Jeff to acknowledge a team playing better than his own. Yes, we lost to VCU, but it was a 3 point November loss. No one thinks about November. The hot teams in Feb/March are the ones that matter. You can write me off as an upset fan, but I think Jeff’s complaint is telling. Why not praise the wahoos for an 11 game win streak? I’m going to second Jeff, this post needs a bias disclaimer at the top…”Do not read unless you are a VCU fan”. My suggestion? Get over the fact that the Rams lost 2 close games, hand UVA a non-backhanded compliment, and make this a power rankings worth reading.

  5. Ross Catrow on said:

    @all We’re missing a UVA contributor this week (just added the list of contributors to the bottom of the post), and the UVA comment was provided by a VT sportswriter! So it’s not VCU-specific bias, just anti-UVA bias. JK JK (mostly).

  6. @firstRyan-
    Are you really going to make the argument that because VCU beat teams with the following kenpom rankings that they should automaticallynodoubthavetobe first?
    UVA- 6th (this is a GREAT WIN, but it was in NOVEMBER, no one is giving credence to this beyond the fact that it was a great non-conference win)
    VaTech- 186 (and ken pomeroy was a tech grad!)
    Richmond- 65 (a quality win, not the best team in the world, but a qual win)
    George Mason- 128

    Bringing Vegas spreads into the equation is meaningless, yes losing a road game is not as bad as losing a home game, but you can’t legitimately quantify that (no, not even by looking at every game this year) and neither can any of the writers you took the “6 points in the A-10” from.

    And don’t use a self-defeating argument. If you’re going to say VCU beat UVA and not say “it was on a last-second ridiculous 27-footer”, then don’t say “it came down to foul shooting”. AKA, a win is a win…a loss is a loss. I can admit UVA lost to VCU at home, the end. Please admit your Rams aren’t looking like world-beaters lately.

    Shoot, even looking back at your entire post you are presenting one-sided facts, using RPI to justify your losses while ignoring it for those wins…saying that these rankings aren’t biased, then SAYING THAT THEY’RE BIASED.

    No, at the end of the day, the following rankings say that UVA is better than VCU at this point in the season:
    AP Poll
    Coaches poll
    Their records
    Every bracketologist
    ESPN writers power rankings
    And yes, even our dear Tech friends at RVA News :)

  7. Thomas on said:

    ouch i gotta agree with adam but u didnt have to be so harsh dude! both great teams, uva is definitely better though and ryans case for vcu is weak. gotta say tho, give somemore love to the hokies ross!! they could be pretty good in a couple years

  8. Aaron Williams on said:

    Take the anti-UVA snark from the VT writer with a grain of salt. The comment is interesting and the core of it is factual. UVA is playing some of the best basketball in the country. I hope they win the ACC. In the past they haven’t been very successful in the ACC Tournament.

  9. Ross Catrow on said:

    @Thomas Totally agree! They’ve shown a lot of promise these last couple games–maybe even enough to save Coach Johnson’s job. We’ll see about that though.

  10. Steve on said:

    Sure, the Hoos are hot now, but they haven’t gotten out of the quarterfinals of an ACC tournament since 1995.

    It is true though.

  11. Hi Adam,

    We’re on different pages– If you compare in-state rivalries, there’s a clear winner. Forget what KenPom wrote about a home game being worth 6 points in the A10. Forget the A10. I’m not making an argument that winning all of your games in the commonwealth makes a *national* ranking. I’m making the argument that winning against your *in-state rivals* is winning against your in-state rivals.

    I appreciate that the ACC is a great conference, but how do the rams have a stronger strength of schedule than the hoos? It doesn’t entirely matter because you can only indirectly compare W’s and L’s between conferences. If teams don’t play each other, it’s all theory. Different playing styles, different one-on-one match-ups. Of course, sometimes they do play each other and sometimes they lose on their home court. And if you were just looking at performance metrics between two teams, or those teams and other teams in the Commonwealth, that would be a multiplier. Either way VCU is either the best team in the Commonwealth or they beat the best team in the Commonwealth on their home court. Is that worth a point?

    You can interpret the rest of those statements above about the A10 as related to standings in the 6-bid conference, previous poster’s comments on their chances, and VCU’s post-season performance in which the conference losses are too close to be statistically meaningful towards drawing a conclusion. I would even give a lowly ranked George Mason an outsiders shot at sweeping the A10 Championship if they could edge someone out for the bottom spot, and provided VCU doesn’t solve St. Louis’s court strategy, but that’s just writing in a longshot.

  12. The commonwealth power rankings rank the best teams in the state, it’s not predicated upon who has played the best against in-state teams. Also, anybody offended by the comments about UVA or VCU should look at the comments about the other teams half the time, it’s intentionally snarky; take a joke.

    Anyway, to legitimately argue that VCU is better than UVA right now is kind of silly, despite a head to head win in November. Rankings like this are very “what have you done for me lately” and UVA has done a lot more than VCU.

    Anyway, go Tribe. It’s our year!

  13. Jeremy on said:

    To clarify, my amen was directed towards the first comment about the anti-uva nature of the post, not the VCU love fest that snuck in between. The point was valid, this poll has generally been VCU oriented. Back on January 28, the last time VCU was at the top, the comments were: VCU (A head to head victory at UVA, as well as wins on the road last week, keep the Rams atop the Commonwealth Hill) and UVA (The Wahoos are playing their best basketball of the season, but the win over Virginia Tech looks more like a CAA win than an ACC win). All love for VCU and a back-handed compliment for UVA. That was a week in which it took VCU double overtime to beat a team that is 4-8 in the conference and sub 500 overall. If this ranking were the best teams in the state as compared intra-state wins, maybe the win back in November would mean something. As it is, however, this ranking is how well is each Virginia team doing in the whole of men’s basketball. Every single indicator says Virginia is significantly ahead of VCU. No, UVA has not ever made it very far in the ACC Tournament, but again, completely irrelevant to their current ranking. The point is, it’s not the first time UVA has been degraded in these rankings while VCU received nothing but praise. Finally, tournament records. The commentator chose to focus on the ACC, but let’s look at the one that really matters, the NCAA. Sure VCU made it to the final four in 2011 (even though GMU did it first), but VCU only has 12 conference appearances and other than 2011, has never made it past the second round. Their record is 12 and 12. UVA has been to the final four twice, the tournament 17 times, has a record of 22-17 and has made it past the second round 6 times and to the second round 11 times. Don’t pick random facts to attack UVA without doing the same to VCU.
    PS: Tech has shown moments of brilliance this year. I hope they keep the coach for a few years, I’d like to see what he can do.

  14. Jeremy-

    Glad you agree. I’m totally on the same page with you on what you said about the Jan 28th rankings. Josh, you’re right about the comments generally being snarky, but the Jan 28th rankings offer some more proof that there’s a little more to it than that. In fact, those Jan 28th rankings somehow saw VCU flip with UVA, even though all UVA had done that week was beat Tech by 20 at home (the expected result). Either way, it’s clear, as Jeremy says, that UVA is the best in the state, and hopefully they seal the deal with 2 wins this week.

    And Tech definitely has a better team than their record (and probably could be ranked 4th)…I agree with all

  15. If the Governor’s Classic were a dedicated 8 team double elimination tournament all of this would be moot. VCU is either the best team in the state or they beat the best team in the state. I’ve tried plugging that into the equation a couple of different ways and even if we round it off and say that early season games don’t count (Because, really, when would two non-conference opponents have a shot at each other?), the remainder still includes a fair amount of snark for the comparative loss.

    I digress— Mason and VCU were making runs when they were in a single bid conference. UVA is *supposed* to be number one in the state. They have alumni money, a new stadium, and a half dozen more shots at ranked teams each season than the rest of Virginia’s schools (I’m consciously omitting VT). That’s why people are kind of derisive about a program that lost to ODU in all of their ruinous glory last season– a program that lost to VCU earlier this season. And frankly, I doubt UVA wins the match-up next season when they have to play at the Stu.

    You’re *supposed* to reap the benefits of your conference’s ranking environment. But you’re also supposed to win. So, I’ll say UVa is number one-ish when they aren’t dropping games to in-state rivals. When they are, VCU is number one-ish.

    (And let’s be honest, if you’re on this article and you follow Southern, CAA, A10, and MEAC; the only match-ups that matter all season are on this list).

  16. Robson Bassett on said:

    @Ryan – you are easily the most delusional VCU fanboy around (somehow eclipsing Aaron Williams, and that’s saying something). I hope this page is still available next season after the Hoos win in RVA.

  17. Two delusions:
    1. UVA theoretically won against VCU or it doesn’t count.
    2. Being ranked #1 on the Commonwealth Power Rankings is a biased insult.

    See y’all in Richmond next season, happy hoops!

  18. Aaron Williams on said:

    Why am I delusional? Much to the chagrin of everyone in the city of Richmond, I was the first of the voters to put UVA #1.

  19. Justin on said:

    1) Ryan’s comment is symptomatic of psychotropic drugs


  20. Ryan on said:

    “Sure, the Hoos are hot now, but they haven’t gotten out of the quarterfinals of an ACC tournament since 1995.”

    And it looks like they might draw Maryland in the quarterfinals…. *foreshadowing*

  21. Robson Bassett on said:

    Really glad to see that this page IS still available after that smack down on Saturday. I’m also curious as to why there are no Commonwealth Power Rankings this year? Could it be because VCU would be, at best, 3rd on the list?

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