Posted on: March 8, 2010 12:31 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2010 12:33 pm

Bubble teams are all Monarchs tonight


Bubble teams across the country held their collective breath last night as Old Dominion held off de facto CAA Tournament host VCU 73-69 in overtime. They wont be able to exhale (or one of them will suffocate) until around 9:15 this evening. 


While the Monarchs are certainly a bubble team themselves, the consensus seems to be that their resume is strong enough - and their competition for one of the final at-large bids weak enough - that a loss in tonight's Colonial title game will not keep them out of the big dance. ODU currently appears on all but four of the brackets utilized by the Bracket Matrix website, where they're seeded as high (or low) as 9th and as low (or high...we really to come to a consensus on this) as 12th. 

Here's a quick look at Blaine Taylor's team's tournament profile:

Record: 25-8, 15-3

RPI: 37

Stength of Schedule: 100

Record Against RPI Top 50: 1-3

Record Against RPI Top 100: 7-7

Key Wins: At Georgetown, vs. Charlotte, vs. Marshall

Key Losses: None

I'm not sure it's single-digit seed-worthy, but it looks immensely better when you put it side-by side with the resumes of the other teams fighting for those last 11 and 12 seeds. Just like Maggie Gyllenhaal...when she coached at South Alabama.

The best thing ODU has going for it may be its lack of anything that could resemble a bad loss. The Monarchs dropped three league games and they were to teams that finished second fourth and fifth in a very strong mid-major conference. Their five non-conference losses all came to squads (Missouri, Northern Iowa, Mississippi State, Dayton, Richmond) that are either definitely in the tournament or just on the outside looking in.

So the Rhode Islands, San Diego State and Pac-10 teams of the world should all be wearing their Gerald Lee jerseys this evening when Old Dominion takes the floor against third-seeded William & Mary, which snuck by No. 2 Northeastern 47-45 on Sunday. ODU took care of the Tribe in both meetings between the two during the regular season. 

Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and ESPN has the coverage. 

Posted on: March 7, 2010 4:49 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2010 4:57 pm

Northeastern/Hofstra headlines day two of CAA


1) Old Dominion 86, 8) Towson 56
2) Northeastern 74, 7) Hofstra 71 (2 OT)
3) William & Mary 70, 11) James Madison 65
5) VCU 75, 4) George Mason 60


The game of the postseason thus far took place last night in Richmond where second-seeded Northeastern needed two overtimes to eliminate red-hot No. 7 Hofsta.

Senior guard Matt Janning scored a season-high 26 points to lead all scorers, out-dueling CAA Player of the Year Charles Jenkins who led Hofstra with 24. Janning, a four-year starter, hit a three with 45 seconds left in the second overtime to put the Huskies up for good. 

It's the first time Northeastern has advanced to the CAA semis since 2005-2006, the first year they were a member of the conference. They'll now face William & Mary, which jacked up a tournament-record 36 three-pointers on its way to holding off the upset bid of 11th-seeded James Madison.


Form held with the exception of VCU's surprisingly easy victory over No. 4 George Mason. 

Larry Sanders put on his postseason face and recorded his 12th double-double of the season, netting 17 and snatching 12 rebounds. The Rams will face rival and top seed Old Dominion in the other semifinal. The Monarchs rolled over Towson, 86-56. 


Matt Janning saved the best performance of his senior season for the biggest stage, finishing with 26 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals in Northeastern's double-overtime victory over Hofstra. 


VCU/Old Dominion should be one of the better tournament semifinal games of the postseason. The two met in this round a year ago and the Rams prevailed and eventually won the tournament. They split their two meetings this season. 

VCU is the one team in the league that has an answer for ODU's size, and that answer is NBA prospect Larry Sanders. If Sanders can stay out of foul trouble and overcome his show's multiple Emmy snubs then I think the Rams pull the mild upset and go for the title and their fourth win in four days on Monday. 

Hofstra was the hottest team in the league at the end of the season, so there's no shame in it taking Northeastern two overtimes to eliminate the Pride. Still, the game was the third of the day, meaning a relatively short turnaround for the Huskies today. William & Mary lives and dies with the three, and tired legs certainly make the perimeter more difficult to defend.

Don't be surprised to see two upsets and a 3/5 title game on Monday. 
Posted on: March 7, 2010 4:44 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2010 4:45 pm
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Posted on: March 5, 2010 3:09 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2010 3:10 pm

CAA Tournament Preview


While the Mid-American and Missouri Valley are still the two conferences most synonymous with high calibre mid-major basketball, it's been teams from the Colonial Athletic Association that have produced the most memorable Cinderella moments in recent years. George Mason crashing the Final Four and VCU knocking out Duke on Eric Maynor's clutch jumper were two of the biggest NCAA Tournament stories from the past decade.

Even in defeat, the CAA has been represented well. A year ago VCU came within a bucket of eliminating UCLA, which was looking to improve on its mark of three consecutive Final Fours. In 2003, UNC-Wilmington was beaten by defending national champion Maryland on a Drew Nicholas buzzer-beater. 

There was talk in January of as many as three teams from the Colonial making it into the NCAA Tournament, but stumbles by the conference's top-dogs have brought it back down to one-bid status. Still, there are probably as many as seven squads that are capable of winning this tournament and winning another game or two in the big dance.

Regardless of which team emerges from the tournament unscathed, no one wants to see the CAA champion pop up below their name on Selection Sunday. 

SITE: Richmond Coliseum: Richmond, Va.

DATES: March 5-8

SET-UP: All 12 league members are invited, with the top four teams receiving byes into the quarterfinals. Teams 5-12 begin first round play this afternoon


Old Dominion (23-8, 15-3) knocked off Georgetown in December, but the consensus is still that they have to leave Richmond with the league trophy in order to make the NCAA Tournament. ODU's three conference losses all came on the road, but two of those losses came to VCU and George Mason, one of whom the Monarchs will all-but-certainly meet in the semifinals. 

Though the league is extremely deep, it's Old Dominion that is probably most apt to win a game in the NCAA Tournament, and that's because of its size. The Monarchs frontline of Gerald Lee, Frank Hassell and Keyon Carter goes 6-10, 6-8 and 6-8.



William & Mary (20-9, 12-6) is the No. 3 seed and earned a first round bye for the first time since the tournament expanded in 2002. A year after going 10-20, the Tribe won 20 games for just the third time since 1952, winning at Maryland and Wake Forest along the way. 

Northeastern (19-11, 14-4) is the two seed, but is still looked at as a bit of a long-shot. The Huskies have to travel nearly 600 miles to Richmond for the tournament, where, more times than not, they're forced to play de facto away games against teams with campuses less than an hour from the Coliseum. In three seasons, head coach Bill Cohen has yet to lead Northeastern past the quarterfinal round, but he certainly hasn't had a team this good. 

VCU (20-11, 11-7) is the No. 5 seed, but they may as well be hosting the tournament. The Rams are the highest scoring team in the league, have the confidence of being the defending champs and possess the single-greatest weapon in the league in big-man Larry Sanders. 

George Mason (17-13, 12-6) has dropped six of eight, but the Patriots have made it to the CAA title game in each of the past four seasons. 


Seventh-seeded Hofstra has won six straight and nine of their last ten. They won at Northeastern by 11 and can lay claim to Charles Jenkins, the league Player of the Year. 


Charles Jenkins (Hofstra) - The most talented offensive player in the league, Jenkins leads the Pride in scoring (20.4 ppg) and totaled 110 points in the last four games of the regular season. 


Larry Sanders (VCU) - Named the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season, Sanders is a 6-11 game-changer who might end up being a first-round selection in this summer's NBA Draft. 

Gerald Lee (Old Dominion) - The best player on the league's best team. 

Denzel Bowles (James Madison) - Enters the tournament averaging just under 21 points and nine rebounds a contest. 


Saturday's quarterfinals and Sunday's semifinals will be carried by CSS, Comcast, CSN New England and ESPN FullCourt. Basically, if you subscribe to the DirecTV college sports package, you'll be able to see these games.

The final will be carried by ESPN on Monday at 7 p.m. 


Friday, March 5

Game 1: No. 9 UNC Wilmington vs. No. 8 Towson, 12 p.m. ET
Game 2: No. 12 Delaware vs. No. 5 VCU, 2:30 p.m. ET
Game 3: No. 10 Georgia State vs. No. 7 Hofstra, 6 p.m. ET
Game 4: No. 11 James Madison vs. No. 6 Drexel , 8:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, March 6

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 Old Dominion, 12 p.m. ET
Game 6: Game 2 winner vs. No. 4 George Mason, 2:30 p.m. ET
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. No. 3 William & Mary, 6 p.m. ET
Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. No. 2 Northeastern, 8:30 p.m. ET

Sunday, March 7

Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 3 p.m. ET
Game 10: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 5:30 p.m. ET

Monday, March 8

Game 11: Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. ET

COIN FLIP TOURNAMENT RESULT (Heads is better seed, tails is worse seed)

Northeastern over Old Dominion


James Madison 


Old Dominion gets a scare from VCU in the semifinals but then rolls over Bill & Mary in the nationally-televised championship game, making all potential first-round opponents take notice. 

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