IT’S OFFICIAL! Even though the Tribe suffered a crushing defeat today to a lowly Drexel team, W&M has emerged victorious. William & Mary fans were praying for an Elon win tonight, and that’s exactly what they got. Had UNCW defeated Elon, the Seahawks would have won the CAA outright. However, Elon played incredibly hard at home on Senior Night and knocked off UNCW by a score of 74-55–proving once again that any team in the CAA can win on any given day.
This marks the FIRST time in program history that William & Mary has ever won the CAA regular season; the team has also qualified for an AUTOMATIC berth in the NIT tournament, and guarantees another banner hung in Kaplan Arena. Technically, there is still an insane four-way tie atop the CAA, but W&M holds tiebreakers over all other teams. The four at the top are W&M, UNCW, JMU, and Northeastern– all with CAA records of 12-6.
While William & Mary has performed somewhat questionably against the bottom teams in the league, the Tribe has defeated and holds strong head to head records against the top squads in the CAA; that is the sole reason why W&M has won the regular season. Led by all-time leading scorer Marcus Thornton, the team will need to get back on track in the CAA tournament. Today’s loss to Drexel is both alarming and a head scratcher.
Daniel Dixon’s return from injury didn’t give the team the spark it needed. To be fair, Drexel shot over 55% from beyond the arc today, but should that have even happened? Was that a product of poor defense or excellent shooting (from a 7-man Drexel team)? Either way, the Tribe will need to quickly shore up their defense if they want to have a shot in this year’s CAA Tournament. We know the that offensive firepower and depth are there this year, but this team will only go so far as their defense takes them.
Speaking of the CAA Tournament, the updated bracket is posted below. W&M has automatically “advanced” to the quarterfinal round by virtue of their record and will play the winner of Towson vs. Elon in their first game. William & Mary beat Towson twice this year, and split the series with Elon.
If W&M advances to the semifinals, the team will play the winner of Hofstra vs. JMU– the Tribe beat JMU twice this season, and also won both games against Hofstra. All things considered, this side of the bracket has the Tribe avoiding Delaware, Northeastern, and UNCW until (if they make it) the Championship game. In the end, this is a GREAT deal for the Tribe; the team holds a combined 7-1 record against all of its potential opponents up through the semifinal game. However, this doesn’t mean everything, as we all know that the CAA Tournament is a different animal. Anything can happen.
The CAA Tournament begins in Baltimore this coming Saturday for W&M. Get ready to come out and represent the CAA Regular Season Champs this weekend! LET’S GO TRIBE!!!