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CAA bracket, preview and schedule: Can Charleston cap its historic season with league title?

Since 1993, no team with 30 wins has missed the NCAA Tournament. Charleston currently sits at 28 and could get an at-large big should it get tripped up

NCAA Basketball: William & Mary at Charleston
Pat Kelsey has led Charleston to 28 wins so far this season.
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

The College of Charleston has been mid-major basketball’s darling this season and for good reason.

Pat Kelsey’s bunch has blown out opponents in their NCAA-leading 28-win campaign. This included a 20-game win streak, beating six programs that made the Big Dance last season.

But as many teams do, they went on a rough patch. In this patch, they lost to the co-regular season champion, Hofstra. The Pride are winners of their last 11 games.

Outside of those two teams, there’s loads of talent scattered throughout the league.

It’s going to be a fun five days in DC.



Note: All games are in Washington D.C. and all times are Eastern.

First Round (Friday, March 3), Flo Sports

Game 1: No. 13 Monmouth vs. No. 12 Hampton, 2 p.m.

Second Round (Saturday, March 4), Flo Sports

Game 2: No. 9 Elon vs. No. 8 William & Mary, Noon

Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs. No. 5 Drexel, 2:30 p.m.

Game 4: No. 10 Stony Brook vs. No. 7 NC A&T, 6 p.m.

Game 5: No. 11 Northeastern vs. No. 6 Delaware, 8:30 p.m.

Quarterfinals (Sunday, March 5), Flo Sports

Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. No. 1 Hofstra, Noon

Game 7: Game 3 Winner vs. No. 4 UNCW, 2:30 p.m.

Game 8: Game 4 Winner vs. No. 2 Charleston, 6 p.m.

Game 9: Game 5 Winner vs. No. 3 Towson, 8:30 p.m.

Semifinals (Monday, March 6), CBSSN

Game 10: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner, 6 p.m.

Game 11: Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner, 8:30 p.m.

Finals (Tuesday, March 7), CBSSN

Game 12: Game 10 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner, 7 p.m.

The Favorites

Charleston (28-3, 16-2): Since 1993, no team has missed the NCAA Tournament with 30 wins. The College of Charleston currently sits at 28.

One of the most well-put-together teams that I’ve ever watched live, the Cougars’ quick offense can catch opponents off guard and quickly make a two-possession game into a 20-point blowout.

They’re deep as well, having six players who average over 9.5 points per game. So, when the game is on the line, it’ll be hard to guess whose hands the ball will be in. Just know it’ll probably be from the 3-point line, where 37% of their scoring comes from.

Hofstra (23-8, 16-2): Winners of their last 11 games, the Hofstra Pride have one of the best backcourts in all of college basketball.

Aaron Estrada looks to be a shoo-in to repeat as the player of the year in the league, averaging 20.3 points per game on nearly 50% shooting. Tyler Thomas and Darlinstone Dubar also put up big scoring numbers on a routine basis, shooting nearly 50% from the field.

The Pride are one of two teams in the CAA who beat Charleston in the regular season, so they know how to beat the Cougars at their own game. There’s a lot of green in their KenPom offensive stats.

The Dark Horses

Towson (20-11, 12-6): Towson entered the season as the preseason favorite in the CAA, returning three all-league players. It hasn’t gone as expected for the Tigers, although they’ve found some success in offensive rebounding. Its problem has been closing out close games against good teams, going 10-4 in their last 14 games. Those four losses were all by either two or fewer possessions or in overtime.

UNCW (22-9, 12-6): UNCW knows how to win in the postseason, making last season’s conference tournament title game and winning the CBI Tournament down in Florida. Last season, KenPom said it was luck, this season he says it’s through their strong defense. They defend the 3-ball very well, only allowing teams to score 80+ points three times this season.

The Long Shots

Drexel (16-14, 10-8): Drexel is really good at home, ask Charleston. They snapped their 20-game win streak at the DAC in Philadelphia. The only problem is that this tournament is at a neutral site, so the Dragons won’t get home cooking. They'll need Amari Williams to put up strong numbers on both the offensive and defensive ends.

Delaware (16-15, 8-10): Last season’s conference tournament champion struggled for a good part of the season but is getting healthy, and the results are showing. The Blue Hens are winners of three straight, scoring 70+ in five straight games. They showed last season all it takes is getting hot at the right time.

NC A&T (13-18, 8-10): Another team who relies heavily on the 3-ball while playing a fast pace, A&T can quickly flip a game from a close one into a blowout. They have one of the most underrated guards in the nation with Kam Woods along with other athletes who once played at the Power-Five level.

Northeastern (10-19, 6-12): Northeastern has struggled the last couple of seasons but as former CAA media guy Bill Potter used to always say... “Death, Taxes, Bill Coen come March”. It seemed as every postseason until recently, the Huskies found their way to the title game. Jahmyl Telfort has that takeover ability that can help the Huskies find themselves back in that spot.

Players to Watch

Aaron Estrada, Hofstra (20.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.1 APG, 48.4% FG%)

Tyler Thomas, Hofstra (16.2 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 49% FG%)

Darlinstone Dubar, Hofstra (10.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 51.4% FG%)

Dalton Bolon, Charleston (12.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 41.8% FG%)

Pat Robinson III, Charleston (11.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 49.8% FG%)

Ryan Larson, Charleston (10.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 4.3 APG, 41.7% FG%)

Nicolas Timberlake, Towson (17.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 45.3% FG%)

Cam Holden, Towson (14.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 4.8 APG, 41.4% FG%)

Charles Thompson, Towson (12.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 56.5% FG%)

Trazarien White, UNCW (13.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 46.2% FG%)

Amari Williams, Drexel (13.6 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 51.6% FG%)

Jameer Nelson Jr., Delaware (20.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 45.1% FG%)

Jyáre Davis, Delaware (15.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 47.3% FG%)

Kam Woods, NC A&T (17.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.3 APG, 38.0% FG%)

Marcus Watson, NC A&T (14.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 42.4% FG%)

Anders Nelson, William & Mary (11.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.4 APG, 47.8% FG%)

Ben Wight, William & Mary (11.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 52.5% FG%)

Sean Halloran, Elon (13.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.0 APG, 41.5% FG%)

Max McKinnon, Elon (11.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 49.7% FG%)

Jahmyl Telfort, Northeastern (16.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 45.7% FG%)

Chris Doherty, Northeastern (8.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 53.9% FG%)

Tyler Stephenson-Moore, Stony Brook (14.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 40.5% FG%)

Jordan Nesbitt, Hampton (15.1 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 35.3% FG)

Russell Dean, Hampton (12.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, 33.3% FG)

Myles Foster, Monmouth (12.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 46.0% FG)


I think we get a Hofstra-Charleston rematch in the title game, with the Cougars getting revenge and making their first NCAA Tournament since 2018. After that, they’ll win a few games in the big dance and show their record isn’t a fluke.