Your DMV Guide To The 2014 NCAA Tournament

Maryland didn’t make it this year. Neither did Georgetown. Virginia Tech and George Mason and JMU didn’t either. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have our fun. Here’s a quick guide to DMV teams and their draw in this year’s field of 68:

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*No. 1 seed Virginia vs. No. 15 Coastal Carolina in Raleigh on Friday — They stay in the East, the same region as Villanova (2), Iowa State (3) and Michigan St. (4). Don’t be shocked if Michigan St., not UVA, is the popular Final Four pick.

*No. 5 VCU vs. No. 12 SF Austin in San Diego on Friday — Seth Davis predicted an upset in the Selection Sunday show. Winner (probably) gets UCLA in the round of 32. Let’s go Rams.

No. 8 George Washington vs. No. 9 Memphis in Raleigh on Friday — Unless Coastal Carolina makes some history, the winner gets UVA. George Washington vs. Thomas Jefferson!

*No. 15 American vs. No. 2 Wisconsin in Milwaukee on Thursday — Wisconsin in Milwaukee!

John Wall Is Shooting The Wizards To The Playoffs

Please welcome guest contributor Bryan Frantz to Mr. Irrelevant. Here he is on John Wall and your Washington Wizards.

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The Wizards are having their best season in years. They stand at 33-31, sixth place in the East and 3.5 games away from third. The five seasons before this Washington went 19-63, 26-56, 23-59, 20-46 (lockout-shortened season) and 29-53.

The collective misery of the Eastern conference, arrival of Marcin Gortat, improved health of Bradley Beal and improved play of Trevor Ariza are obvious contributors to the success. One topic that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, though, is John Wall’s jumper.

His shooting has never been something to brag about; his career shooting percentage sits at a modest 42.5 percent, and his three-point percentage hovers around 29.5 percent. Wall is making 33.9 percent of threes this season, though, and he’s shooting 3.7 per game (two more than his previous career high). Take a look at the shot charts:

John Wall’s 2012-13 Shot Chart

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John Wall’s 2013-14 Shot Chart

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His three-point shooting has become a legitimate weapon, to the point that defenses have to respect his jumper. This spreads the floor and opens up Ariza and Beal in ways that simply didn’t exist last season, which leads to more quality shots all around. The Wizards, as a team, are shooting 38.6 percent from three this season, up from 36.5 percent last season.

But it’s not just open threes the Wizards are getting. Washington is shooting 45.6 percent overall from the floor, tied for 11th in the league. That’s a huge increase from 43.5 percent of last season, when they were tied for 27th.

Shockingly enough, making more shots leads to more points. Washington is scoring a respectable 100.5 points per game this season, which is astounding considering they tied for last a year ago with 93.2 points per contest.

Again, this is not entirely attributed to Wall improving his shot. But a point guard needs to have an outside shot to become elite. Derrick Rose, injuries aside, makes for a great case study. In his rookie season, Rose averaged 0.9 three-point attempts per game and made just 22.2 percent. He improved mildly in his second season, and by his third season he had turned his three-point shot into a weapon. That year Rose shot 4.8 threes per game, knocking them down at a rate of 33.2 percent.

So while Wall has always been able to get his points — he’s never dropped below 16 per game — he now gets them from all over the floor. Defenses have a new element to defend, and his teammates benefit from it. The Wizards win.

Redskins Free Agency Has Been … Good?

There have been plenty of Hot Takes about the Skins’ free agency activity, so let’s add another to the pile: It’s actually been pretty successful, all things considered. Here are five reasons why:

1. They’ve addressed needs. Sure, the secondary is still a dumpster fire at this point, but the Redskins have more holes in their roster than a single free agency period can fill. But they’ve done well to shore up some of those gaps. They signed WR Andre Roberts, who NFL types seem to unanimously agree is a high quality No. 2 option, offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao, who is a strong pass protector but needs work in run blocking, offensive lineman Bruce Campbell for pocket change (or a quarter-million dollars to you and me), special teamer Adam Hayward, and veteran cornerback Tracy Porter, who is a guy that plays a position at which Washington is horrible. These probably aren’t the moves that immediately take them from a 3-win team to back atop the division, but they will make the team better and none of them are cap-crippling longshots.

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Redskins Sign Wide Receiver Andre Roberts

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Don’t know the money yet, but the Skins moved fast on Cardinals WR Andre Roberts:

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Roberts enters his fifth season out of The Citadel. A former third-round pick, he has 182 catches for 2,123 yards and 11 touchdowns for his career. Last season, Roberts, who clocked a 4.36-second 40-yard dash out of college, last season recorded 43 catches for 471 yards and two touchdowns.

Not sure why they’re prioritizing wide receiver over more glaring needs, but noted Cards fan Will Leitch says we’ll like him, and Grantland NFL observer Bill Barnwell thinks he’s underrated. So there’s that.

Update: Jason La Canfora tweets the deal is for “4yrs around $16M, with half of that guaranteed.” SI gives the signing an A-.

DMV: Homegrown Redskins Linebacker Perry Riley Coming Back

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Skins reportedly re-signing Perry RileySkins eye WR’s Britt and HawkinsSkins fans want Jairus Byrd and Lenvil JosephKeim’s thoughts on Darren SprolesJoe Gibbs wants to ban FG’sCaps lose 3-2 to PensOvi got feistyGIFs and pics from Kuznetsov’s debutWiz lose in Miamiremarkable Marcin Gortat interviewDoug Fister is throwing a little

Footnotes: I’m glad Riley’s coming back. Sproles would be a “Offseason Champs”-type signing. Caps get Pens again tonight.

Terps Win, Finally

They’re not going to make the Tournament, but storming the court in the final ACC home game sure is nice.

Mr. Irrelevant is a D.C. sports blog covering the Redskins, Nationals, Orioles, Wizards, Capitals, Terrapins and more.