Conference tournament play began Tuesday, kicking off a 12-day mad scramble for NCAA tournament berths. Up next in our previews is the Colonial Athletic Association, which boasts at-large hopeful Old Dominion and fellow contenders William & Mary, Northeastern, Virgina Commonwealth and George Mason, who each likely need to win the tournament to earn an NCAA bid.
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Date: March 5-8
Site: Richmond, Va. (Richmond Coliseum)
No. 8 Towson vs. No. 9 UNC Wilmington
No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth vs. No. 12 Delaware
No. 7 Hofstra vs. No. 10 Georgia State
No. 6 Drexel vs. No. 11 James Madison
No. 1 Old Dominion vs. Townson/UNC Wilmington
No. 2. Northeastern vs. Hofstra/Georgia State
No. 3. William & Mary vs. Drexel/James Madison
No. 4. George Mason vs. Virginia Commonwealth/Delaware
Favorite: Old Dominion (23-8, 15-3)
Contenders: Northeastern (19-11, 14-4), William & Mary (20-9, 12-6), George Mason (17-13, 12-6), Virginia Commonwealth (20-8, 11-7)
Did you know: Fifth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth could become the first team to win the CAA tournament without being a top-four seed was East Carolina in 1993.
Outlook: If Old Dominion is going to earn an automatic bid and avoid sweating out Selection Sunday, the top-seeded Monarchs will have to earn it. One potential semifinal opponent is Virginia Commonwealth, which is essentially playing at home, where it went 16-1 this season and already defeated Old Dominion. Another is George Mason, located only two hours away from Richmond. Northeastern and William & Mary are the best teams on the other side of the bracket, though the slumping Tribe finished the season just 6-6.