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Colonial Notebook

March 3, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Colonial Notebook

by Beth Iskoe

With only one game remaining in regular season action, the CAA men’s
tournament pairings are all set except for the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds.
UNC Wilmington (20-6, 14-3) secured the top spot Saturday afternoon when it
handily defeated second-place Virginia Commonwealth 80-63 for its fifth
consecutive victory. The two seniors that have carried the Seahawks the past
few years went out in style, as guard Brett Blizzard hit on five-of-ten
three-pointers and scored 26 points, while center Craig Callahan had sixteen
points and added seven rebounds.

The Rams (17-9, 12-6) retained their second seed by virtue of No. 4 George
Mason’s win at the buzzer over No. 3 Drexel (17-10, 12-6). Patriots senior
forward Jesse Young tipped in a rebound as time expired to give George Mason
(16-11, 11-7) an exciting 57-55 victory. The win was Patriots head coach Jim
Larranaga’s 100th victory at George Mason.

Delaware (14-13, 9-9) secured the fifth seed by defeating No. 10 Towson
74-69. Senior guard Ryan Iversen led the way by scoring 21 points. Old
Dominion (12-14, 9-9) secured the sixth seed and stayed out of the dreaded
play-in game by knocking off No. 9 Hofstra (7-20, 6-12) by the score of

William and Mary’s 75-72 win over James Madison (12-16, 8-10) Saturday means
that either team can earn the No. 7 seed and face Towson (4-23, 1-17), a
team that only managed one CAA victory all season. If William and Mary
(12-14, 7-10) beats UNC- Wilmington tonight, the Tribe will claim the No. 7
seed and if the Seahawks win, the Dukes will secure the No. 7 seed.

Pairings and Predictions

On Friday, the No. 8 seed will face No. 9 Hofstra in the first play-in game
at 5 p.m., while the No. 7 seed will face No. 10 Towson. I predict that
William and Mary will lose to UNC Wilmington tonight, and thus fall to the
No. 8 seed and will then be upset by No. 9 Hofstra, 63-58. No. 7 James
Madison will then have no problem crushing No. 10 Towson by the score of

Saturday, No. 1 UNC-Wilmington will quickly shoot down any hope of another
Hofstra upset by crushing the Pride. Blizzard will score 31 points and
Callahan will pull down sixteen rebounds in the Seahawks’ 76-59 win. In the
following game, No. 4 George Mason will avenge an earlier season loss to No.
5 Delaware by coming from behind in the final five minutes of play to knock
off the Hens 59-57.

After winning eight straight and then dropping its past two decisions, No. 2
Virginia Commonwealth will rebound in a big way when it defeats No. 7 James
Madison 72-63 in the third game on Saturday. Senior forward Willie Taylor
will lead the Rams with 21 points. In Saturday’s final game, No. 6 Old
Dominion will shock No. 3 Drexel, as senior forward Ricardo Marsh pours in
27 points and grabs 13 rebounds.

On Sunday, No. 1 UNC-Wilmington will move closer to securing another NCAA
Tournament bid when it survives a scare by No. 4 George Mason. Blizzard will
hit a three-pointer with 15.3 seconds left to pull the Seahawks ahead and
give them a hard fought 76-74 win. In the second game, No. 2 Virginia
Commonwealth will easily discard upset-minded Old Dominion, as junior guard
Domonic Jones will score a game-high 22 points in the 71-61 victory.

In a rematch of last season’s CAA Tournament Championship game, No. 1
UNC-Wilmington will again knock off No. 2 Virginia Commonwealth and take the
conference’s automatic bid. Once again, Blizzard will come up huge, as he
will make seven three-pointers and score 28 points in the Seahawks’ 71-66


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