2020 CAA Tournament: Bracket Predictions

Magic Box

This year’s CAA Tournament will take place in Washington, D.C.

Get out your calendar. Exactly TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY is March 1st. You know what that means…don’t you? Come on. Nachos, wings, pizza, taking off work — all to…watch COLLEGE BASKETBALL. With March Madness right around the corner, the CAA only has two weeks left in the regular season.

There’s myriad of ways this season could shake out, but to get everyone primed and ready to go, we offer up our predictions for #1) how the CAA regular season will play out and #2) what the CAA Tournament bracket could look like (at the bottom).

Read up, keep rootin’, and Let’s. Go. Tribe.

(2/17: an edit was made to reflect W&M holding the tie-breaker over Delaware)

WMSB: CAA Regular Season Standings Predictions

1.

Hofstra

Games Remaining

  • @  Drexel
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • Delaware
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  Towson
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • vs.  JMU
    WMSB Prediction: WIN

Predicted finish: (23-8, 14-4 CAA)

A team that has consistently proven itself amidst the chaos of this year’s parity-laden CAA, the Hofstra Pride is poised for a deep run in the CAA Tournament. Barring a monumental collapse over its final four games against beatable teams, we fully expect the Pride to walk into D.C. this year as the #1 seed in the league. 

Let’s not forget that Hofstra was the preseason #1 heading into the season; with that moniker, they’ve taken the CAA storm on the back of a #1-ranked offense, which averages a league-best 76.6 points per game. While it’s defense is middle-of-the-pack (#5), the Pride’s margin of victory is also #1 in the league, at +7.4. Look out, because Hofstra is the favorite from here on out. 

2.

William & Mary

Games Remaining

  • @  Towson
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  JMU
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • vs.  Elon
    WMSB Prediction: WIN

Predicted finish: (20-11, 12-6 CAA)

After a stretch that saw the Tribe drop 4 out of 5 games, the Green and Gold has stormed back with two consecutive wins — one against Drexel and one against red-hot Delaware. While both of those games came at home, W&M will take to the road against Towson and JMU this coming week before ending the season at home against Elon. 

Towson is a team that gave the Tribe serious fits last time out, as W&M fell to the Tigers 70-58. While we’d love a victory against Towson, it’s something we can’t safely predict moving forward; with that being said, W&M ranks top-5 in both scoring offense (#5, 71.4 PPG) and scoring defense (#4, giving up just 69.1 PPG) — showing a balanced team that can compete with anyone in the CAA at any given time.

3.

Delaware

Games Remaining

  • vs.  Northeastern
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  Hofstra
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  Charleston
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  UNCW
    WMSB Prediction: WIN

Predicted finish: (22-9, 12-6 CAA)

For a team that was predicted to finish #5 in the CAA this season, the Blue Hens have been the definition of “red-hot” in recent weeks, finding themselves ranked as high as #2 in the CAA as late in the season as last week (a title they no longer hold, thanks to the Tribe). They, like Hofstra, have gotten it done with an incredible offense — one that currently ranks #2 in the league, firing at a 75.1 PPG clip. 

If there’s one weakness to this team, it’s that their defense ranks #7 out of 10, giving up 71.1 PPG. Either way, this squad is loaded with talent up and down the roster. We expect the Blue Hens to finish the season strong with a couple big wins over serious conference contenders. But it won’t be easy, as their next three games come against three of the top teams in the conference.

4.

Northeastern 

Games Remaining

  • Delaware
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  Drexel
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • vs.  JMU
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • vs.  Towson
    WMSB Prediction: WIN

Predicted finish: (17-13, 11-7 CAA)

Suffice to say, it’s been a disappointing season for the Huskies up to this point. Luckily for them, there’s still a lot of basketball yet to be played. The preseason #3 team finds itself in the middle of the pack heading into the last four games of the season; for some reason, we’re very bullish on this team. They have the talent, the coach, and the schedule to get the job done.

If the Huskies can squeak out a win over a strong Delaware team this week, it’ll set itself up for a serious jump in the standings when the regular season is all said and done — and that’s exactly what we’ve predicted in this column.

5.

Charleston

Game Remaining

  • @  UNCW
    WMSB Prediction: WIN 
  • vs. Delaware
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  Drexel
    WMSB Prediction: WIN

Predicted finish: (17-13, 11-7 CAA)

Of all the teams on this list, it’s likely that Charleston fans would be the most upset if this scenario were to come to fruition. After entering the season as the preseason #2, while also boasting CAA Preseason Player of the Year Grant Riller, the Cougars have taken a serious tumble in recent weeks, losing three straight games — two by double-digit point totals, and one against Elon (where Charleston lost by 7). 

But like Northeastern above, the Cougars’ schedule is a relatively “doable” one moving forward; the hardest contest for CofC comes against a strong Delaware team. It’s certainly within the realm of possibility for the Cougars to take down Delaware, reclaiming a top-3 finish at the end of the regular season — but that shows just how little wiggle room the Cougars currently have. Their margin for error is razor thin; CofC will need to win out to finish near the top of the standings this season.

6.

Towson 

Games Remaining

  • vs.  W&M
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • vs.  Elon
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  Hofstra
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  Northeastern
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS

Predicted finish: (18-13, 11-7)

Like Charleston, Towson’s current margin for error is razor thin, but winning 3 or 4 of its final 4 games can seriously catapult the Tigers to a top-3 finish this season. A team that handily beat W&M the first time out, we have Towson conservatively winning two games, with a serious possibility of winning three out of the final four.

In this ranking scenario, Towson finishes with the same CAA record as both Charleston and Northeastern above; however, the Tigers lose the head-to-head matchups against both teams — thus relegating them to a 6th-place finish. But let’s not bother with win/loss shenanigans here. If Towson can win 3 or 4 games down the stretch, the Tigers will be set up for a serious run in this year’s CAA Tournament — something they’re certainly capable of this season.

7.

Drexel

Games Remaining

  • vs.  Hofstra
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  Northeastern
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  UNCW
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  Charleston
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS

Predicted finish: (14-17, 7-11 CAA)

After a strong start to CAA play, the Dragons have fallen off in recent weeks, dropping 6 of their last 7 contests. And unfortunately for Drexel, outside of UNCW, their final four games come against strong opponents in Hofstra, Northeastern, and Charleston. The preseason #8 team, we have the Dragons finishing as the #7 seed going into the CAA Tournament. 

8.

Elon

Games Remaining

  •   JMU
    WMSB Prediction: WIN
  • @  Towson
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  W&M
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS

Predicted finish: (11-20, 7-11 CAA)

It’s been another forgettable year for Elon, as the Phoenix currently rank #9 in scoring offense and #8 in scoring defense. This team doesn’t seem to have the talent to seriously compete in the CAA just yet, but with 1st-year Head Coach Mike Schrage at the helm, we’re willing to give them a pass until their new head man can install both his system and his guys moving forward. 

9.

UNCW

Game Remaining

  • vs.  Charleston
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  Drexel
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs. Delaware
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS

Predicted finish: (8-23, 3-15 CAA)

Talk about how the mighty have fallen. When we think of UNCW basketball, we think of Kevin Keatts and Devontae Cacock. With Keatts now the Head Coach of NC State, and with Cacock pursuing a pro career, the Seahawks have been left in rebuild mode. Surprising all, the ‘Hawks let go of their Head Coach during the season — something that is largely unheard of in today’s CAA. And although “interim” coach Rob Burke was able to inject some life into the program upon taking over, the Seahawks are currently in no position to make any significant noise this season. 

10.

JMU

Games Remaining

  • vs.  Elon
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • vs.  W&M
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  Northeastern
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS
  • @  Hofstra
    WMSB Prediction: LOSS

Predicted finish: (9-20, 2-16 CAA)

Perhaps the most disappointing team in the CAA this season has been the James Madison Dukes. The Dukes were picked #4 in the CAA preseason poll, only to have accrued a meager 2-12 conference record up to this point in the season. Moving forward, it unfortunately looks as though their Head Coach (JMU alum) Louis Rowe is on his way out, with the Dukes’ defense ranking dead-last in the CAA (giving up 76.4 PPG). With that being said, JMU has actually had a solid offense, which currently ranks #3 (72.9 PPG). Either way, this has been a miserable season for those in Harrisonburg — but hey…there’s always football, right?

WMSB: CAA Tournament Bracket Prediction

If everything shakes out the way we described above, CAA Tournament seeding could look something like the below bracket. Note that Elon, UNCW, Drexel, and JMU would be playing on the first day — with Hofstra and Delaware securing the top two seeds (waiting to play the winners of the first two contests). W&M would draw Towson, while Charleston would battle Northeastern in a heavyweight bout.

Updated Bracket

From W&M’s perspective, and all things considered, this would be an ideal pull; the Tribe would fall on the side of the bracket that somehow completely avoids powerhouses Hofstra/Northeastern/Charleston until the Championship round. 

Even with that as the case, this tournament scenario could also spell a first-game loss for the Tribe if it ran into a hot Drexel team — but hey, that’s how the CAA has been this season. More than most other years, this season looks to be a complete crapshoot in the CAA Tournament. It’s truly anyone’s year. Why not ours?

#WeBelieve

LET’S GO TRIBE 

 

2 thoughts on “2020 CAA Tournament: Bracket Predictions

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