They’re doing so begrudgingly. As I write this column, the featured story on ESPN.com’s college basketball page is an insider post raising skepticism about Virginia’s 13-0 start, including its two wins this week, at home over Davidson (10-2, RPI 37) and at Miami (10-4, RPI 97).
(The writer then goes on later in the column to write a rah-rah blurb about how great Maryland has been this season. Maryland, at 14-1, without any note about the one that put the one in 14-1.)
But the point about the D was made to buttress the point that the Cavs are only serving to fuel their skeptics with their play of late. Keep in mind that this is a team that is 13-0 against a schedule tougher than Duke’s, tougher than UNC’s, which is to say, not exactly chopped liver.
To wit: UVA is 3-0 vs. the RPI Top 25, 5-0 vs. the RPI Top 50 and 8-0 vs. the RPI Top 100. Duke, one spot ahead of Virginia at #2 in the national polls, is 1-0 vs. the RPI Top 25, 4-0 vs. the RPI Top 50 and 6-0 vs. the RPI Top 100.
Virginia defeated #4 RPI VCU on the road by 17, defeated #14 RPI Maryland on the road by 11, beat #23 RPI George Washington at home by 15, beat #37 RPI Davidson at home by 11, beat #49 RPI Harvard at home by 49.
Ratings are snapshots in time, and there’s a lot of basketball to be played between now and April, and a lot can happen between now and then. I’m not saying here that what Virginia has done to start 13-0 makes the Cavs a lock to do anything in particular in March and into April. Despite what too many people like to think that they believe, nothing is a done deal three months out.
What I am saying is that UVA’s 13-0 start is legit, that these ‘Hoos, the defending ACC regular-season and tournament champs, are for real, and that it boggles my mind that this is still not sinking in with the Duke-obsessed.
– Column by Chris Graham