Tough Outs: CAA's NCAA Tourney Rep Figures To Make Noise

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Colonial Athletic Association teams are proven tough outs in the NCAA Tournament: In 2018, Charleston went down to a final possession (and questionable non-foul call) against Auburn, UNC Wilmington took both Virginia and Duke to the limit in 2017 and 2016 and Northeastern went to the wire with Notre Dame in 2015. 

No CAA team since VCU in 2012, a season removed from its remarkable Final Four run, has advanced past the Round of 64 in the Big Dance. That could well change this coming March, and a mid-February game between William & Mary and Delaware underscores why. 

The raucous, back-and-forth affair between the Tribe and Blue Hens at Kaplan Arena on Feb. 15 delivered an intensity befitting the final stretch of the season. 

“What an atmosphere,” said Tribe coach Dane Fischer in his postgame press conference, lauding the Gold Rush day crowd for elevating William & Mary to an 81-77 win. “Every play we made seemed just a little bit bigger today.” 

Both William & Mary and Delaware have at times looked like the potential standard-bearer for the CAA, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if either leaves Washington D.C. in a few weeks with the Colonial’s automatic Tournament bid secured — certainly if they continue to play with the fire shown in Williamsburg, ignited by each team’s best player: Nate Darling and Nathan Knight. 

On an afternoon when former Tribe legend Marcus Thornton’s jersey was retired, another William & Mary star likely bound for the NBA in Knight delivered 33 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. 

“Every timeout, every huddle,” Knight said in the postgame press conference, “The biggest thing we talk about is not fraying.” 

Thornton’s William & Mary team in 2015 fell short of earning the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid; the 2020 Tribe have the pieces not only to make the field but win while there. 

So many of the most memorable moments in 1st Round history featured star players and future NBA’ers rising to the occasion: Bo Kimble in Loyola Marymount’s 1990 run; Steve Nash in Santa Clara’s 15-over-2 upset of Arizona in 1993; Wally Szczerbiak’s 30-point per game average in Miami U.’s 1999 Sweet 16 run; Steph Curry nearly gunning Davidson’s way into the 2008 Final Four. 

Knight is a different style of player, but uniquely skilled compared to much of the college basketball landscape. He has the back-to-the-basket game, the toughness on the boards, the pesky length to alter shots defensively of a throwback five, but steps out from behind the 3-point arc effectively. 

Play too far up on the jumper, and Knight can do this. 

He’s one of the nation’s top scorers at 21.2 points per game, he’s eleventh in rebounding at 10.9 per, and Knight is one of 30 finalists on the Naismith Award watch list. 

In a sport where an individual star can carry a team deep, having one of the country’s best in Knight could make William & Mary an intriguing dark horse. But the Tribe would have to make history and get there. 

Delaware’s still in the mix for a regular-season championship despite Saturday’s loss. Darling nearly shot the Blue Hens to a critical road W, actually outscoring Knight with 36 points. 

The eruption pushed Darling to No. 13 in the nation in scoring at 21.6 points an outing. With the importance of and emphasis on perimeter scoring in the college game, the presence of a consistently effective guard oftentimes translates to a dangerous Tournament matchup. 

And the same foundation Darling provides Delaware has helped shaped the theme of this CAA basketball season, where any number of teams look like viable conference tournament champions. 

The Colonial’s unpredictable campaign mirrors that of the national college basketball scene, where upsets are the norm and few squads – if any – look like firm Final Four contenders. 

Amid such chaos, a dependable star can provide the stability to navigate the Madness. 

Makur Maker Taking A New Path, Hoping To Set HBCU Trend

Makur Maker became the first five-star recruit to commit to an HBCU.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Jarrell Brantley, Devontae Cacok Collect NBA G League Honors

Former Colonial Athletic Association standouts Jarrell Brantley (College of Charleston) and Devontae Cacok (UNCW) were each named to the All-NBA G League First-Team and the G League’s All-Rookie Team, the league announced on Friday.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Euroleague Announces 2020-21 Season

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

In May, it was announced that the Euroleague and Eurocup seasons would be cancelled. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

CAA Announces All Teams Will Compete In 2020-21 Conference Tournaments

The Colonial Athletic Association will provide every team in every sport the opportunity to participate in their respective conference tournaments during the 2020‐21 season as the league announced its championships schedule on Tuesday.

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup Seasons Cancelled

The Euroleague Commercial Assets Shareholders Executive Board met remotely on Monday, May 25, for the fourth time since the season was suspended on March 12 due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global pandemic.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

Youth Sports Leaders Form PLAY Sports Coalition

400+ youth sports leaders join forces to form the PLAY Sports Coalition to support young athletes through COVID-19.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

PacWest & FloSports Announce 3-Year Partnership

null

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

FloSports Acquires Streaming Rights To Complete Basketball and Volleyball Seasons Across The Conference’s 11 Member Institutions In California And Hawaii 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

2020 Cayman Islands Classic Returns To FloHoops For Second Year In A Row

FloSports, the innovator in live sports streaming and original content, and Caymax Sports Ltd. announced that the 2020 Cayman Islands Classic will once again return to FloSports for the second consecutive year and third year overall. The highly regarded preseason tournament will be broadcast on FloHoops November 23-25 and will showcase all 12-games across the three-day event.

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In

COVID-19 Might End The Age Of Skyrocketing NCAA Expense Sheets

Ten billion, three hundred fifty-seven million, one hundred forty-nine thousand, fifty-one dollars. 

Create a free account to unlock this article!

Get Started

Already a subscriber?  Log In