Reporting Pete Medhurst
The CAA has played its way on to the national landscape in College Hoops, thanks in part to final four runs by George Mason and recently departed VCU.
This year featured ambitious scheduling, not overwhelming, but good enough to get some RPI points if the teams picked up victories. Problem for the CAA, unless Virginia gets really good real quick, that right now is there best win.
Two teams, Mason and Delaware have beaten the Cavaliers. Since then, Delaware has gone ice-cold and Drexel, which has had much fanfare heading into the last two seasons, continues to struggle at 2-5. Again, the problem is not lack of schedule, William & Mary, who beat lifeless ODU Saturday, heads to Purdue and Vanderbilt late this month. Delaware played their way into two neutral court chances against Kansas State and Pittsburgh and lost. The Blue Hens then got drilled by Duke by 35 when the Blue Devils were in prime position for a let down.
Mason is developing a minor resume with the win over UVA and the Mercer win looks much better now that the Bears beat Florida State yesterday. The Patriots had a nice chance against Maryland in the BB&T classic and while the game was close, you never felt Mason was ever going to stop Dez Wells enough the make Maryland really sweat it late. Mason was tight with Bucknell on the road, but, fell by five. The Bison have a win at Purdue and beat Columbia on Saturday in front of a sold out crowd in New York. Columbia had just pounded Villanova on the road by 20.
The league had a tough summer, with VCU and ODU announcing they were leaving, and two other teams, UNC-Wilmington and Towson being declared ineligible for the post-season due to APR violations. College of Charleston is coming and good news is that could be a great destination city for the CAA Tournament.
Seven teams will congrigate in Richmond for the CAA Tournament. Anything can and likely will happen. It’s becoming clear though, that they will only get the winner in the NCAA Tournament this year.