Men’s Basketball: CAA Tournament predictions

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March 2, 2009

9:07 PM

We’re just three days away from the CAA Tournament. Thanks to the snow day (the College of William and Mary canceled classes Monday), I’ve had time to focus on important stuff like filling out my conference tourney bracket.

If my CAA predicting capability is anything like my NCAA Tournament expertise, I would hold off on taking these picks to Vegas.

To the blog’s reader(s), feel free to tell me why I’m wrong or, better yet, why I’m right.

First Round — Fri., March 6

No. 8 Georgia State vs. No. 9 Delaware — Noon
I’ll be honest. I flipped a coin for this game, but the coin flip supported my initial hunch: Georgia State will win.

No. 5 Hofstra vs. No. 12 UNCW — 2:30 p.m.
If I was playing odds-makers on PTI with Wilbon and Kornheiser, I’d be tempted to give Hofstra a 100 percent chance of winning, but I’m not that bold. UNCW has a 1 percent chance of winning. Hofstra runs away with this one.

No. 7 JMU vs. No. 10 Tribe — 6 p.m.
It’s always tough to beat a team three times in one season. JMU, who could play shorthanded without guard Devon Moore, defeated the Tribe twice this season by 9 points. Still, I like the Tribe to squeak past the Dukes. This year, the College won’t need a buzzer-beater to win a game.

No. 6 Drexel vs. No. 11 Towson — 8:30 p.m.
Drexel could also fall victim to the “can’t beat a team three times” theory, but I have the Dragons in the championship game, so they can’t lose Friday.

Quarterfinals — Sat., March 7

No. 1 VCU vs. No. 8 Georgia State — Noon
The Rams beat Georgia State 69-41 Saturday. This is VCU’s game (and tournament) to lose.

No. 4 ODU vs. No. 5 Hofstra — 2:30 p.m.
The conference’s hottest team, ODU, last lost Feb. 10 to none other than Hofstra. I think the Monarchs, who have won five consecutive games since then, will remember that loss.

No. 2 George Mason vs. No. 10 Tribe — 6 p.m.
George Mason is not invincible. The Tribe nearly upset a then unbeaten CAA-leading Patriot team in January. Mason struggles away from home, and tournament-goers always pull for the upset. Nevertheless, the Tribe will lose.

No. 3 Northeastern vs. No. 6 Drexel — 8:30 p.m.
Northeastern’s late-season swoon continues. The Huskies, who started 10-1 in conference play, finished 2-5 down the stretch. Drexel coach Bruiser Flint’s boys finally make a game-winning play late Saturday in Richmond.

Semifinals — Sun., March 8

No. 1 VCU vs. No. 4 ODU — 3 p.m.
I’ve already stated the tournament is VCU’s to lose. Eric Maynor will not be denied his final chance to dance. This game could be the best of the tournament.

No. 2 George Mason vs. No. 6 Drexel — 5:30 p.m.
Drexel avenges two 1-point losses to the Patriots with a 1-point win of its own. Sure it seems unreasonable, but so did the Tribe’s run to the title game in 2008.

Finals — Mon., March 9

No. 1 VCU vs. No. 6 Drexel — 7 p.m.
Poor shooting finally catches up with Drexel. The Dragons shoot a league-low 37.5 percent from the floor and won’t keep up the pace with the home team Rams. Maynor dances again. If he beats Duke again, there’s no telling what I might do.

Be sure to check back with flathatnews.com for an in-depth look at the Tribe’s first-round game against James Madison.

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