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CAA Shows It Can Play With The Big Boys

Colonial Athletic Association owns several victories over top ranked conferences to start the season.

William & Mary couldn't succeed in adding Virginia to the list of teams that have fallen to the CAA this season.
William & Mary couldn't succeed in adding Virginia to the list of teams that have fallen to the CAA this season.
Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

"The league is back, and then some," was Pat Skerry’s  reaction to being told the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has gone 15-2 in non conference games this week.   The remarks from Towson University’s head coach came after a 83-61 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the 15-2 mark on the week, the league is 48-26 in non conference action on the season a nifty .648 winning percentage.   Towson is slightly better than that average with its 6-3 mark.  Leading the stellar play of the league is UNC Wilmington at 5-0 on the season , followed by Northeastern University at 6-2.

Racking up some impressive wins against Power Five conference teams has helped the CAA reach 11th in the most recent RPI league ratings.   To date the CAA owns a 3-2 record against the ACC, with Northeastern providing the biggest win a 78-77 win over 15 ranked the University of Miami late last month. The SEC couldn’t escape the early season success of the CAA either, as LSU fell 70-58 to the College of Charleston.

Hofstra  University  which has certainly shown why it was picked by the leagues SIDS, Coaches and Media as the pre-season No. 1 team, owns impressive victories over Florida St. of the ACC and St. Bonaventure and LaSalle of the A-10.  In fact, the CAA owns an overall winning record against the A10 as well with a 5-4 mark.

The league has found perhaps the most success against Conference USA with a 6-0 mark against the league that has former CAA member Old Dominion as a member.   ODU was one of those six losses falling to William & Mary, which got the CAA off to the hot start with a season opening 83-68 win over North Carolina St. of the ACC.

The CAA has not had more than the one automatic bid that goes to the conference tournament champion for the NCAA Tournament since the 2010-11 season when it had three teams make the field.  All three of those teams have since departed the conference, VCU and George Mason to the A10 and ODU for Conference USA.   However Skerry feels that trend could change this year, "The league is playing great.  It’s possible there could be multi team bids for consideration to the NCAA or NIT tournaments.

Most teams have three to four more non conference games remaining.  That will give each team and the CAA a chance to build it’s "resume" as the NCAA committee likes to refer to how it evaluates teams at selection time.

One thing is for certain, once league plays every team in the CAA has proven it can play with just about anyone on a given night and that will certainly make for an entertaining 18 game conference season.