With the top three seeds already clinched, Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association action finalized the league’s tangled middle tier ahead of the CAA Tournament in Charleston, SC next weekend. UNC Wilmington (26-5, 15-3) and College of Charleston (23-8, 14-4) secured the top two seeds on Thursday, and will have healthy fan turnouts at the southernmost city to ever host the conference’s postseason.
Towson is the three seed, despite losing their final two regular season games at UNCW and at William & Mary. The Tribe, with their 83-79 win over the Tigers, clinched the four seed.
Rounding out the teams receiving a Day One bye are Elon and Northeastern, the five and six seeds respectively. The league’s bottom four teams - James Madison, Hofstra, Delaware and Drexel - will play on Friday, March 3 for the right to take on the top two seeds in the quarterfinals. The full bracket is below.
It’s only fitting that the Seahawks and Cougars separated themselves from the pack over the final day of play, as the conference season was a two horse race all year. After winning the conference tournament last season, UNCW was a favorite to repeat during preseason polling. They lived up to expectations from wire to wire, setting a record for single season wins and capturing their first outright regular season title since 2006.
The Cougars, continuing their progression under third year coach Earl Grant, handed Wilmington their sole home loss this season and finished one game back of the Seahawks in CAA wins. Charleston will have the advantage of playing the tournament about 20 minutes from campus.
Towson, Elon and Northeastern all got within striking distance of UNCW and CofC at varying points during the year, but could not break through. However, each team is capable of getting hot for a three game stretch.
The CAA Championship game will be broadcast on Monday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network.