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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 7:00 AM

It hasn’t been a great year for the Colonial Conference. And, the league has been drifting away from relevance ever since the George Mason coaching advantage disappeared. But, you still can’t afford to take the eventual CAA representative lightly in the Big Dance. That representative will be determined by the Colonial Conference tournament that begins Friday and runs through Monday Night in Baltimore.

This week’s schedule. All the games are being played at the Baltimore Arena.

 

FRIDAY’S OPENER

Hofstra (8) vs. NC Wilmington (9)

 

SATURDAY’S QUARTERFINALS

Delaware (1) vs. the groggy and tired winner of Hofstra/Wilmington

Drexel (4) vs. Northeastern (5)

Towson (2) vs. James Madison (7)

William & Mary (3) v. College of Charleston (6)

The semifinals and finals will be played Sunday and Monday. That Monday Night champio0nship game will be televised by the NBC Sports cable network.

Here’s how college basketball guru and USA Today computer whiz Jeff Sagarin have the nine participants rated as of press time. Nobody’s in the top 100 nationally with either methodology. And, only five teams are in the top 200! As we said, a disappointing season overall. But, there are teams tightly packed near the top in a way that could make for an entertaining tournament.

 

Computer Rankings by Seed

1…Delaware: #105 in Pomeroy, #111 in Sagarin

2…Towson: #127 in Pomeroy, #134 in Sagarin

3…William & Mary: #180 in Pomeroy, #173 in Sagarin

4…Drexel: #130 in Pomeroy, #138 in Sagarin

5…Northeastern: #202 in Pomeroy, #205 in Sagarin

6…Charleston: #192 in Pomeroy, #192 in Sagarin

7…J. Madison: #264 in Pomeroy, #260 in Sagarin

8…Hofstra: #273 in Pomeroy, #262 in Sagarin

9…NC Wilmington: #280 in Pomeroy, #280 in Sagarin

Bill and Mary doesn’t really fit in as a #3 seed given those rankings. The computer guys have Delaware, Towson, and Drexel in a virtual dead heat in terms of true talent. And, as we’ve seen in regular season play in the major conferences in recent days…any team ranked in the 100-130 range is capable of beating anybody in the top 10 on a given night. Most superpowers have weaknesses that can be exploited by opponents that far down on the ladder. Remember that in a couple of weeks!

 

Pomeroy’s Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ranks By Seed

1…Delaware: #57 on offense, #186 on defense

2…Towson: #58 on offense, #221 on defense

3…William & Mary: #48 on offense, #325 on defense

4…Drexel: #193 on offense, #93 on defense

5…Northeastern: #264 on offense, #135 on defense

6…Charleston: #298 on offense, #84 on defense

7…J. Madison: #288 on offense, #193 on defense

8…Hofstra: #183 on offense, #322 on defense

9…NC Wilmington: #322 on offense, #158 on defense

If you like to emphasize defense when handicapping the postseason, Drexel jumps out as a possible darkhorse to win the brackets…while Charleston may be a team to watch from off the radar for value. It’s a strike against Delaware and Towson should either survive to the Dance that they grade out so poorly on the defensive side of the ball. It’s much tougher to show a power when you don’t know how to guard people! Clearly the decent offensive rankings for Delaware and Towson suggest those teams have to outshoot their opponents.

Let’s see how the markets have been faring in this league…

 

Most Underrated ATS

William & Mary: 15-7-1

Delaware: 14-8-1

Towson: 14-9

Hofstra: 14-9-3

Well, the markets may have been trusting the computers too much. William & Mary was best in the CAA against the number this season cashing tickets at a rate better than 67%. Top two seeds Delaware and Towson are right on their heels though. Oddsmakers underestimated all the eventual top seeds.

 

Most Overrated ATS

James Madison: 8-17-1

NC Wilmington: 8-14-2

A disaster for James Madison, who was supposed to be much better than they turned out. Wilmington was also a sob story for its backers. Sharp bettors caught on to those two trends early, and made money fading these CAA stragglers.

Our Baltimore sources will be all over this event. If there’s an edge to be found, clients of JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK will be able to take advantage! You can purchase game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. This is a great time to lock in for the rest of the college or NBA seasons at great prices. You’ll make enough this weekend to cover the cost of the service!

We’ll take a couple of days away from tournament previews to focus on showcase showdowns in college hoops here in the NOTEBOOK. Saturday we’ll look at North Carolina at Duke that’s set for prime time on ESPN. Sunday, we’ll study Michigan State at Ohio State…a Big 10 battle featuring two teams who need to get things moving in the right direction if they want to matter through the month of March. Tournament previews resume Monday as we gear up for all the major events.

Fasten your seat belts…MARCH MADNESS is going to be a WILD RIDE here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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