Blog Entry

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:16 pm
  •  
 

We all know about the CAA. There was George Mason and its magical Final Four run back in 2006. There was last year's improbable First Four to Final Four march from Shaka Smart and VCU.

This has been a league that has warranted -- and earned multiple bids to the NCAA tournament.

That may not be the case this season.

Drexel finished 25-5 overall and 16-2 in league play. Bruiser Flint's Dragons have won a school-record 17 consecutive games entering the CAA tourney. They have a couple of young studs in freshman forward Damion Lee and sophomore guard Frantz Massenet. The problem was Drexel got out of the gates slow, losing to Norfolk State, Virginia, St. Joe's and Delaware all within the first three weeks of the season.

VCU, despite losing most of the core that led the Rams to the Final Four a year ago, still managed to earn the No. 2 seed -- and could challenge Drexel for the crown, especially with the league tourney based in Richmond. George Mason's new coach Paul Hewitt relies on veteran big men Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison, but his backcourt will be the key. Old Dominion, which not unlike VCU was thought to be in rebuilding mode due to its youth, earned the fourth and final bye.

Brad Burgess is on the verge of breaking an NCAA record for most starts in a career. (AP)

The CAA may be down a bit -- and could wind up as a one-bid league -- but it'll still be a dogfight.

****

TOURNAMENT BRACKET

Schedule: March 2-5

Title game: Monday, March 5 (7 p.m. ET)

BEST PLAYERS

  1. Ryan Pearson, George Mason
  2. Frantz Massenat, Drexel
  3. Bradford Burgess, VCU
  4. Damion Lee, Drexel
  5. Kent Bazemore, Old Dominion

Conference RPI: 15

KenPom.com rating: 13

Sagarin rating: 14

NCAA Tournament Locks: None

NCAA Tournament Bubble Teams: Drexel, VCU

Last NCAA Tournament Appearances:

  • Delaware Blue Hens, 1999, No. 13 seed, lost to Tennessee in the first round, 62-52
  • Drexel Dragons, 1996, No. 12 seed, beat Memphis, 75-63, in the first round; lost to Syracuse, 69-58, in the second round
  • George Mason Patriots, 2011, beat Villanova, 61-57, in the second round; No. 8 seed, lost to Ohio State, 98-66, in the third round
  • Georgia State Panthers, 2001, No. 11 seed, beat Wisconsin, 50-49, in the first round; lost to Maryland, 79-60, in the second round
  • Hofstra Pride, 2001, No. 13 seed, lost to UCLA, 61-48, in the first round
  • James Madison Dukes, 1994, No. 14 seed, lost to Florida, 64-62, in the first round
  • Northeastern Huskies, 1991, No. 16 seed, lost to North Carolina, 101-66, in the first round
  • Old Dominion Monarchs, 2011, No. 9 seed, lost to Butler, 60-58, in the second round
  • Towson Tigers, 1991, No. 16 seed, lost to Ohio State, 97-86, in the first round
  • UNC Wilmington Seahawks, 2006, No. 9 seed, lost to George Washington, 88-85 (OT), in the first round
  • VCU Rams, 2011, Lost to Butler, 70-62, in the Final Four
  • William & Mary Tribe - N/A

-- Jeff Goodman

  •  
Category: NCAAB
Tags: COL, Jeff Goodman
 
Comments

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:28 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

>The selection committee decideds at-larges, not the conferences.

Guess who was on the Selection Committee the year George Mason made the Final Four. George Mason's AD.

>But seriously, the tourny sells out every year for the finals and semis and this year for session 4 in the quarters is sold out, tell me why they would leave Richmond

To go to a bigger venue like Washington or Philly where they can sell even more tickets.




Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:26 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

You were saying, Mr. ODU? How did you like that beatdown by Drexel?

If all the CAA wants to be known for is a Virginia conference, keep your tournament in Richmond every year. I thought the CAA wanted more of an Eastern presence, that's why they expanded to teams in Philly, New York, Boston, and Atlanta.

How about the Verizon Center in Washington? There are many more seats than in Richmond. It's a major market and all of the DC media will more heavily cover the event. It's closer to Northeastern, Hofstra, Delaware, Drexel, Towson, and I think George Mason wouldn't object at all.

If the Northeastern CAA schools keep getting treated like second class citizens, we'll go back to the America East or join the MAAC. Then we'll see how good your conference is without us.



Since: May 26, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 4:31 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

You're an idiot.  You accepted the invitation into the CAA because you knew it was an upgrade.  Did you think it would be a cake walk?  Did you think they would move the conference tournament up into the nasty area Drexel is in.  Nobody would go.  Most of the schools are down south.  CAA would take a hit big time.  I guarantee nobody in Drexel athletics is crying the blues like you.  They know they are in a great conference.  Please think before you type.  You have 3 great VA programs in GMU, ODU and VCU.  Yes, they have made the NCAA because their programs are just flat our really good.  Drexel probably will not win the CAA tournament.  If they do, kudos.



Since: Dec 27, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:04 am
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

The selection committee decideds at-larges, not the conferences. Drexel and to an extent Hofstra were effed in '06, that is true. Also, last year two CAA teams were at-large bids, both from VA, why, because they won games. I love Hofstra, Northeastern, Drexel, Delaware, and Towson, Georgia State, UNC-Wilmington, but they just need to get better and they are making strides. Georgia State improved tons, Drexel is solid this year and is a young team, so they should be solid for a while, as is Delaware. Northeastern has some really good freshman. But seriously, the tourny sells out every year for the finals and semis and this year for session 4 in the quarters is sold out, tell me why they would leave Richmond (aside from the venue, but they are working on getting a new one). Plus the conference headquarters is in Richmond. Grow up, stop whining.



Since: Feb 28, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:52 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

Nice to see your passion for your loser teams. If they were worth anything they would win regardless of venue. Reality belies your wishes so far, but best of luck to your teams in the future.



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:29 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

Go Drexel! I'm sick of the Virginia schools always winning the conference. I'm also sick of this tournament always being in Richmond. Why doesn't the CAA just hand the Virginia schools championship after championship? Only one non Virginia school from the CAA has made the NCAA Tournament the last ten seasons. Hofstra should have gotten in over George Mason in 2006. They only beat them twice that year, including in the CAA semifinals.



Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:08 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: CAA

Basically youre saying Drexel shouldnt have lost any games in Nov/Dec and be undefeated to get into tourney??  Please.  They totally deserve an At Large.



Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:02 pm
 

What-to-know tourney previews: SEC

Miss Sate going to win it.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com