George Mason (14-10, 7-5) at Drexel (10-14, 6-6) – 7:00 CBS Sports
If you watched these teams play two weeks ago, you know how competitive this game should be. Damion Lee scored 20 second-half points to lead Drexel to a comeback win.
Since that game, Lee has scored 16 points…total. That’s over a three-game span, where the Dragons have accrued a 1-2 record.
This game is bigger than that, though. If the CAA Tournament began tonight, these two teams would be slotted into the dreaded 4-5 matchup.
That’s the Saturday game all of the top teams need to avoid, because William & Mary and Hofstra, the teams that currently would be the the six and seven seeds, have not beaten any of the CAA Tournament-eligible teams that they’re chasing in the standings.
Having played just 12 CAA games so far, George Mason and Drexel are two teams that truly control their own destiny in terms of playing their way into a favorable seed.
As we’ve mentioned before, Drexel does not give its opponents many second chances. The Dragons pull in 76.5% of defensive rebounds, good for eighth in the country in that category.
With that in mind, I’m not too worried about the Patriots’ bigs. Jonathan Arledge and Erik Copes have proven over the last few games that they can play with any frontcourt in the CAA. They could also get a boost from Johnny Williams, who is questionable.
Derrick Thomas was one of the reasons Drexel had such a slow start. The senior guard has come on strong to average 13.2 points over the last six games.
This game is a toss-up. The DAC should be rockin’ for a televised Thursday night game. I think an under-the-rader Patriot (too many options to choose from, but I’m thinking a three-point shooter) will come up big to give the Patriots the win.
Patriots 59, Dragons 56