Tribe barely hanging on to first-round bye
February 15, 2008
With four games remaining on the Tribe’s CAA schedule, it’s time to take a look down the road and map out where the College could land in the seeding of the conference tournament. After its second-straight road loss, the College enters the regular season’s home-stretch with two road games and two home games remaining.
p. Sitting in a tie for third with UNCW in the standings behind VCU and Mason, the Tribe needs at least two wins for a shot at a top-four seed and a first-round bye in the CAA tournament. And with Northeastern and Delaware just one game back in fifth, the College has hungry teams in its rear-view mirror, waiting for the Tribe or Seahawks to stumble so that they can steal their spot.
p. **The Road Games Remaining**
Towson — Saturday’s contest at Towson will be no easy task for the Tribe, as the Tigers gave Mason a scare Wednesday night, trimming a 20-point deficit to six before fading late.
Mason — The game at Mason provides a tough test for the College. In the team’s lone matchup of the season, the Tribe will seek its second-straight win at the Patriot Center Feb. 27. Mason has not dropped a home conference game this season.
p. **The Home Games Remaining**
Drexel — Playing Bruiser Flint’s Dragons has never been considered a gimme win for the Tribe. This matchup is no different in that sense, but it is a must-win for the College, considering Drexel will enter the game with one of the CAA’s worst records.
VCU — Conference leader and likely conference tournament no. 1 seed VCU travels to Kaplan Arena Mar. 1 for Senior Day. The teams met in December when VCU was 4-3 and the Tribe 1-4, but since then each team has upped its level of play. Eric Maynor and Jamal Shuler have the ability to give the College’s backcourt all it can handle and more.
p. **Ways to Clinch a Top-Four Seed**
Sure-fire way — Win out. It’s an unlikely scenario given Laimis Kisielius’s toe injury (which could potentially keep him out a week), a road game at Mason and a date with VCU, but not impossible. Obviously Saturday’s game at Towson becomes a must-win in this scenario.
p. Next-best — Take three out of four. Beat Towson and Drexel and steal a game from Mason or VCU. Tribe has a better chance of beating just one, but the odds are still not in their favor.
Get lucky — Split the last four games, beating Towson and Drexel, and hope the teams behind the Tribe falter.
p. **Most Likely Scenario**
The Tribe takes two of its last four and finishes at 11-7 in the conference. Given the difficult finishing stretch of UNCW and the relatively easy path for Delaware, the College could find itself in a three-way tie for third place and possibly find itself on the outside looking in at a top-four seed.