Monday, February 28, 2011

JMU loss puts CAA top seed back in play

JMU's stunning 75-73 loss to Hofstra Sunday didn't just snap the Dukes' 13-game winning streak. It also smudged the Dukes' otherwise solid resume for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament should JMU fail to invite themselves by winning next week's CAA shindig. Losing by two on the road is hardly a disgrace, but Hofstra's RPI (146 according to is by far the worst of the teams that have beaten JMU this season. The other six teams with wins over the Dukes, ranging from Duke (RPI 3) to Monmouth (90), all have RPIs inside the Top 100. JMU's own RPI (40) is still well within the range of teams that will get serious at-large consideration. But the Hofstra loss won't help.

Finally, dropping that game to Hofstra puts the CAA regular-season title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament back in play with one game remaining. The Dukes can clear all this up Wednesday with a win at home against UNC Wilmington. But if JMU loses again, well.... With the help of Old Dominion sports info ace Dustin Semonavick - OK, "help" is way too flattering to us; we were clueless so he flat-out told us the deal - here are the potential scenarios and resulting seedings for JMU, ODU and UNCW:

- JMU defeats UNCW and Old Dominion wins at Drexel
1. JMU           16-2
2. ODU          15-3
3. UNCW      14-4

- JMU defeats UNCW; ODU loses at Drexel
1. JMU           16-2
2. ODU          14-4
3. UNCW      14-4
ODU wins tiebreaker with UNCW because the Lady Monarchs beat the Seahawks in the teams' lone regular-season meeting.

- JMU loses to UNCW; ODU wins at Drexel
1. ODU          15-3
2. UNCW      15-3
3. JMU           15-3
The Lady Monarchs would get the top spot because of their 2-1 record against the other two teams. UNCW would finish 1-1 against the others while JMU would be 1-2.

- JMU loses to UNCW; ODU loses at Drexel
1. UNCW      15-3
2. JMU          15-3
3. ODU         14-4 

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