Saturday, March 5, 2016

Day Two CAA Predictions with Alan Boston

Conference tournaments can be such a blast. How about Monte Ross using some junk defenses (box and one, triangle and two) to help his crippled team go to the wire. Holden was out of his mind to keep his team in it, but you have to love the coaches creativity. It is why 30 second shot clocks suck. It is why basketball purists should hate the rule changes. Strategy should matter. People need to read the other side of things.

The Citadel coach dismissed his starting point guard an hour before tip off in their tournament game. They went to the wire. Conference tournaments are totally cool for strategy and surprise. They are also ridiculous and make  a mockery of many wildly successful seasons.  It's the beauty of the game.

The Previews:

Hofstra relies on 3 pointers but was just 3-18 from 3 pt land in their home win over Drexel. Game two found Hofstra with short rest on the road and having just lost their 6th man to injury. They rallied from 13 down for the win. Conference tournaments are a new season. Drexel showed some resolve against Elon. Drexel will have to play a perfect game to win. That is not in Drexel's DNA. They nearly blew a big lead vs an Elon team that is not nearly as potent. They could not beat Hofstra when Hofstra shot poorly or at home, in a great spot. They will be playing a fresh team after they played a game to the wire. Drexel's new season, ends sadly, with just the one win.

Hofstra 81 Drexel 59

William and Mary rallied from 18 down to beat JMU at home but then failed against a banged up JMU team in the road finale. For the typical Colonial Conference 4/5 game, this is a brutally tough match up.  Two well coached, experienced and somewhat talented teams doing battle. It seems by the results that JMU has been able to control tempo and make things tough on William and Mary's beautifully run offense. Logically, they look like the right side. However, my heart gets in the way. I am a huge Tony Shaver fan. I so want William and Mary to get in the NCAA tournament. That way, there would be at least one team outside of the Ivy league (Until Amaker brings in a top ten class to Harvard?) that has a basketball program that is not built by hook or by crook, there will be one basketball program outside of the ivies and the patriot league that cares about their academics and there will be at least one school, that I would enjoy watching.

Here is hoping Shaver finds a way. He usually does.

William and Mary 76 James Madison 72

Year 2 of Pitino ball  led to a 1 seed for UNCW. Props to Coach Keats for their wild success. But success that is not entirely expected during the regular season often leads to quick outs in the conference tournament. College of Charleston surprisingly struggled with undermanned Delaware to get to UNCW. The Dub is also in year 2 of a new coach. Their coach however is a disciple of coaching genius Greg Marshall.  Getting through the day one struggle will lead to a big effort today. Their coach figures to have a big advantage. College of Charleston lost twice during the year to UNCW. It will not happen a 3rd time. Typical conference tournament upset.

C of C 59 UNCW 52

Towson won the first game at Northeastern 78-72. Northeastern - this happens often when a team loses at home- won the road rematch, 47-44.  Towson's win was more impressive. Towson was also the slightly better team for most of the year. Northeastern did have their problems. The team completely imploded when Quincy Ford got hurt. Even with a healthy Ford, Northeastern had a down year. Although Towson was a hair better during conference, they are the overachievers. In conference tournaments, I always want the underachieving team. Backing Bill Coen is never a bad idea either.

Northeastern 60 Towson 57

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