With a late-season chance to prove that the gaudy records of the CAAs top four teams are based on more than 38-0 against the bottom six teams, the CAAs 2012 elite were perfect this weekend in Bracketbusters. And they took it one step farther. The top six teams all won. Six-for-six.
Once again, the rest of the country is now tuned into what we already know–the CAA plays high level basketball, NCAA tournament basketball. It’s simply too obvious now–unavoidable really–and 10 guys in a room three weeks from now will never tell me differently.
Bruiser Flint believes its about how the CAA looks, the venerable eye test.
“People wanted to see ‘what are they gonna’ do?’” Flint says. ”I think our league has done a great job passing the eye test, not just us. Our conference as a whole.”
Ron Hunter offered this morning to call it a conference season and go play the Valley and Mountain West for two weeks, to show the strength of the CAA.
We all know RPI is a flawed measure. It’s an archetypical but outmoded system still being used as a baseline for other, very important statistical measures. That makes no sense, but whatever. We know, and they know. We just have to believe.
Last season we believed in #3Bids4CAA and believed in VCU. That belief was based on the power of belief, its causal ability to empower change. It’s roots were an irrational belief in that the filter through which we view the world didn’t dictate three CAA teams in the NCAA tournament is an unintelligent reality.
We were rewarded.
This year, we have a different belief. It’s more belief’s resultant nature, a rational belief that the right thing will occur. Our belief is based around common sense, and what your eyes can see. We believe in correct decisions and we believe that what we are being told about eye tests and evaluations is the truth.
Hang on to that belief, because the raw numbers are not even close. The CAA didn’t get the job done in November.
A bad November, in my mind, is far less damning than a mediocre January and February that gets certain teams to 10-6 in certain conferences. I go back to Friday–I don’t see the logic in November meaning just as much as February for evaluation of a March tournament. I’m not saying November is irrelevant–just not even close to as relevant.
Or as a friend of mine shouted at me over the phone: Just Watch!
So we’re not going to stress over RPI, SOS, etc. over the next couple of weeks. I know VCU, Mason, and Drexel are NCAA tournament teams. Shoot, five of Kentucky’s 26 victims have come within 10 points of the Wildcats. ODU, the CAAs fourth place team, did that.
We’re going to enjoy the end of the regular season and what will be one hell of a CAA tournament.
By the way, here’s the ultimate storylines:
Drexel sandblasted Cleveland State in Cleveland. The Dragons raced out to a 19-5 lead, let it slip back to an eight-point game, but quickly turned the game into a laugher. Drexel was dominant and there really isn’t much more to say, other than the Dragons were the most impressive Association squad.
VCU beat back Northern Iowa, winning despite the Valley Boys shooting 53% from three and 56% overall. The Rams put four players in double figures and closed strong. Darius Theus had seven points and three assists in the game’s final five minutes. Think he’s ever heard of Dennis Eckersley?
Mason toyed with Lamar, got bored and let them back into the game, but closed strong in a Saturday victory. Perhaps the biggest positive: Andre Cornelius, nearly invisible since his return from suspension, drilled a back-breaking three with about two minutes to play. Mason with one more weapon?
Old Dominion, a battle-tested and unfearing road warrior, bombed in 12 threes and dumped Missouri State. Yes, ODU and “made 12 threes” are in the same sentence. Kent Bazemore was locked in and scored 28 points. Here’s another interesting item: ODU was outrebounded, both offensively and defensively, but won.
Not to be outdone, Delaware and Georgia State both won. Monte Ross was unhappy with his team’s offense but praised the defense in postgame. The Hens were 18-21 from the line and got 14 points from Jarvis Threatt. The Panthers got 11 assists from Josh Micheaux and listened to a certain left-hander and got back to a defensive-focused lineup. It worked.
(PS–I still hate Bracketbusters.)