CAA hopes to build on last year’s success with 2007 basketball championship

CAA hopes to build on last year’s success with 2007 basketball championshipAnyone who follows college basketball should remember how George Mason University stormed the NCAA tournament in 2006 becoming a legitimate bracket buster and running all the way to the final-four. Insiders knew this kind of power existed inside the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and the GMU Patriots showed America. Don’t look for GMU to repeat in 2007 but Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion, Drexel or Hofstra   all have the potential to make some noise. Today all the teams from the CAA get the chance to show America how good the league is when the basketball championship tips off Friday at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Va.

Tournament play begins with four first-round games on March 2 followed by four quarterfinal contests on Saturday. The semifinals are set for 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday with the title game at 7 p.m. on Monday. Monday’s championship game will be televised by ESPN.

The top four teams in the CAA standings are all playing well. Old Dominion (23-7) has won 11 straight and 13 of its last 15. ODU’s streak is tied for the 5th-longest in the nation currently and it’s the longest for the Monarchs since 1979-80. VCU (24-6) has won 15 of its last 18 games and 22 of 26. Hofstra (22-8) has captured 16 of its last 20 games. Drexel (22-7) has won six of its last seven and 20 of its last 25. Also the same four conference leaders all have winning records on the road this season and are a combined 42-17 (.712). Drexel  leads the way at 13-4, which includes victories at Villanova, Syracuse, Creighton, Hofstra and Saint Joseph’s. The 13 wins is tied with Vermont for the most in Division I. VCU has an 11-2 road mark, while Old Dominion is 8-5, including a triumph at Georgetown, and Hofstra is 10-6.

William and Mary open’s up quarterfinal action playing Georgia State at noon on Friday as a -4 ½ point favorite with the total set at 127. At 2:30 p.m. Northeastern (-8 ½, total 127 ½) plays Delaware. Tonight Towson (-3 ½ total off) hooks up with UNC-Wilmington followed by the nightcap with George Mason (-11 ½, total 122 ½) playing James Madison.

All lines and totals on the CAA tournament can be found at .