Hi there. I'm Jen. You don't know me, but you will. Here's what you need to know right now: I'm about to help you right a terrible wrong. Look, I grew up in that Commonwealth due west (no, not that one, the one you had to give up way back in 1792). And I went to school in that state directly to your south. Both of those states have a reputation as hoops hotbeds, and the TV numbers (ergo, dollars), back that up. This is due, I suspect, in no small part to the fact that serious competition from other sports is, well, generally lacking. Not much in the way of pro sports teams over the years has really captivated the interest of folks in those states. (I know, there are pro hockey and American-style football teams in North Carolina, but really.)
The way I see it, there is no reason that the Commonwealth of Virginia shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath as those other two states when it comes to hoops. You, in fact, are the most populous state without a major professional league franchise! The demographics of your population aren't that different from Kentucky's and North Carolina's, either. However, you're going to have to get there a different way - your major conference schools just aren't going to cut it. Not enough alums from one, and too much American-style football at the other. No, your TMM friends are going to take you to the promised land. Which I'm calling the Virginia Hoops Lovers Athletic League (VHL).
Let's start with the current crown jewel: VCU. Not only do you get national recognition, but you also get enough success to form the basis of some great rivalries. Would the folks at ODU and Richmond like two shots per season at the currently highest profile TMM team in the Commonwealth? I suspect so.
ODU has its own local partners, Hampton and Norfolk State, and fostering those local rivalries can't be anything but good for a growing area of the state. Plus, with the notoriously terrible traffic in the Norfolk area, the fewer teams that have to get there from the interstate, the better for everyone involved.
If it's going to be a Virginia league, there's got to be some connection to the Founding Fathers. Virginia's known as the "Mother of Presidents," after all. We can't have Thomas Jefferson's school, but if you've ever seen the William & Mary campus, you know it more than compensates. (And when it's finally, finally the Tribe's year to qualify for the tournament, you want to be on that train, right?)
Having VMI in your conference is a definite plus - the Keydets' unique style of play will always draw some interest. And Liberty and Longwood could both use the schedule boost from what the Big South currently provides.
Radford represents the far western point of the conference - 300 miles from Norfolk. Although right now they look like they might not be able to challenge for the top half of the conference, you never know - they only lost to Wake Forest 67-79 in the first game this season. Who knows what conference play will bring for the Highlanders this very season?
Now, I know you're wondering about those teams up in Fairfax and Harrisonburg. I've been around long enough to learn: that's not real Virginia, right? Plus, you have to leave some teams for the non-conference schedule. Or "realignment."
TMM teams in the Commonwealth of Virginia: call me. Your time is now.
PS - What's that? You want a logo? Look, that's not really my skill set. But I have this friend...