Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday dribble: Wild CAA season comes to a close

Old Dominion has clinched the top seed in the CAA Tournament, Towson is set at No. 7, George Mason is resigned to the last spot (12th) and William and Mary is guaranteed to finish at No. 11. Everything else in this most unusual CAA season will be up for the taking tonight when the league's teams conclude regular-season play. The CAA has laid out the possibilities in painstaking detail, and there are so many it would be a fool's exercise to guess how it'll all wind up.

That's why we're going to give it a shot. Based on the likely outcomes (according to us) of Wednesday's games, the CAA's final seedings should look like:

1. Old Dominion
2. James Madison
3. Drexel
4. Hofstra
5. VCU
6. Delaware
7. Towson
8. Northeastern
9. UNC Wilmington
10. Georgia State
11. William and Mary
12. George Mason

Enjoy the games, folks. And check back Wednesday night for the actual seeding and first-round tournament pairings.

Wednesday's games

Towson (14-14, 8-9 CAA) at Old Dominion (16-11, 14-3 CAA), 7 p.m.
Nothing really at stake for the Lady Monarchs tonight, but with this being new 1,000-point club member Jessica Canady's final home game and with several of ODU's all-time greats in attendance, there's no way the Lady Monarchs want to come up short in this one. Besides, this team has been winning by whiskers all conference season. Operating at anything less than full throttle could be disastrous. In addition to Canady, the Lady Monarchs will also fete star-crossed guard Vicki Collier, who will graduate this spring. After a career marked by a series of devastating injuries, Collier's ability to contribute all season has been one of ODU's hidden success stories. Old Dominion 67, Towson 57

James Madison (22-6, 12-5 CAA) at George Mason (10-18, 3-14 CAA), 7 p.m.
The Dukes are assured a top-four seeding at the conference tournament no matter what happens here. What they may not be able to afford is a bad loss (no offense, Patriots) staining their resume should they need an at-large NCAA tournament bid. A win won't be as easy as the records suggest, though. The surging Patriots are coming off back-to-back conference wins for the first time in four years and are clearly playing their best ball of the season. And even when they weren't, the Dukes didn't embarrass them - JMU prevailed 62-50 when these teams met in Harrisonburg. JMU 72, George Mason 58

Virginia Commonwealth (18-11, 11-6 CAA) at Northeastern (12-16, 7-10 CAA), 7 p.m.
The Rams need a win and some help to avoid sliding to a fifth seed - only the top four get first-round byes - and facing the four-games-in-four-days path to the tournament title would probably be fatal to a team that relies so heavily on its starters. VCU crushed Northeastern 78-54 in the teams' CAA opener in Richmond on Jan. 3. But these Huskies thrive on home cooking, as they've won four straight and five of their last six in their own building (the lone loss came in overtime to Drexel). VCU, meanwhile, comes in having lost four of its last six. VCU 65, Northeastern 58

Drexel (17-11, 11-6 CAA) at William and Mary (11-17, 4-13 CAA), 7 p.m.
Not sure what to make of this, but Drexel has lost two straight games by the score of 60-58 and finished with exactly 58 points in four of its last six games. Furthermore, in one of the two other games in that span, a 68-67 loss to Hofstra, the Dragons ended regulation with 59. So if the often-offensively challenged Tribe can find a way to get 60, they should be cool, right? Easier said that done against the Dragons, though. In addition to the Tribe's firepower shortcomings, the relatively low number of possessions in a game involving the patient Dragons works against putting up a high number. When these teams met in Philadelphia on Jan. 7, Drexel prevailed 46-43. In a pre-game ceremony, the Tribe will honor seniors Robyn Barton, Kelly Heath and Tiffany Benson. Drexel 58 (of course), William and Mary 52

No comments:

Post a Comment