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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