Drexel Basketball: CAA playoff picture

Tavon Allen CAAAs the CAA season came to a close Saturday, fans learned one thing: the bid for the big dance is wide open. Delaware traded wins with both Towson and Drexel, who other than William & Mary, are the faces of this year’s conference. No team is traveling to Baltimore next week with their heads down because anything is possible, which seems to be a recurring theme in the CAA.

In 2013, the fourth-seed James Madison won. In 2012, the second-seed Virginia Commonwealth won. And in 2011, the second-seed Old Dominion won. What I’m trying to say is that no one would be surprised if first-seeded Delaware was upset along the way. Before I go into the Drexel basketball team’s draw, I’ll list the rankings just as a reference:

1. Delaware

2. Towson

3. William & Mary

4. Drexel

5. Northeastern

6. James Madison

7. Charleston

8. Hofstra

9. North Carolina-Wilmington

The Dragons will meet Northeastern in the first round on Saturday, March 8th at 2:30pm. They split the season series with the Huskies, beating them in double overtime back in January and losing to them by just two on Saturday. There’s no saying who will win this game, but here are a few notes that will help the Dragons fight for another game.

To begin, their first matchup resulted in the second most points they surrendered this season, 88. Some fans may say, “Yeah, but they won,” but any Drexel fan knows that scoring over 70 points is a feat for the Dragons, so don’t expect them to win any shootouts in the tournament. Dartaye Ruffin did not play in this game, but he will be active for Saturday’s showdown. Chris Fouch and Frantz Massenat scored 31 and 27 points, respectively, which will need to be prevalent as well. Tavon Allen also had a strong performance with 18 points.

Drexel lost the second game 54-52 in heartbreak fashion after leading a majority of the second half. On the offensive end, Fouch shot the ball well again scoring 26 points, but the rest of the team didn’t seem to hold up their end of the bargain, with Massenat being the only other player that scored more than four points. On the latter, while the Huskies didn’t put up huge numbers, their scoring was evenly distributed, which was also featured in the first game.

It will be a close affair, but if Drexel can shut down two of Northeastern’s four shooters and get a couple buckets themselves, I think they will be able to win this game. They have played exceptionally well on neutral courts this year and I don’t expect that to change next weekend.

If they were to beat the Huskies, most would assume that their next game would be against Delaware, but I wouldn’t be too soon to predict that. If Hofstra can get out of thi play-in game against UNC-Wilmington on Friday, it’s no saying what will happen against the Blue Hens, as they only lost to them by seven and four this season. But for now, let’s focus on the first one and look for Drexel to take down the Northeastern Huskies.

In the battle of the two original co-op schools, which team will be outworked?