Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just The Facts II: First Round Rematches

Joe Friday is plenty busy on Thursday getting to the bottom of the CAA Tournament.

Welcome to Just The Facts II: Electric Boogaloo. With the Flying Dutchmen preparing for an immediate rematch against regular season finale foe Georgia State, we’ll look today at what happened in first round games between teams that played in the conference regular season finale.

Good news for the Dutchmen: The team that won the regular season game is 6-2 in the tournament rematch. But Hofstra was one of the two teams to get revenge for the regular season loss with a tourney win: The Dutchmen beat Towson in 2002. The other team to win the rematch after losing the first game: Navy in 1991 over James Madison. But Navy played a game against Army between the JMU tilts, so technically the Dutchmen are the only team to win an immediate rematch. Hooray! Doh, it’s due to happen again!

Regardless of outcome, history suggests the rematch will either be fairly lopsided, or a nail-biter. Five of the eight rematches were decided by 10 or more points and the other three were decided by three points. In addition, the six teams that won both games won the tournament contest by an average of 13.2 points (those six won the regular season finale by an average of 16.2 points).

This year marks the first time in CAA history that two first round tournament games are rematches of a regular season finale (Drexel faces James Madison immediately after the Hofstra-Georgia State game, isn’t it ironic?). It happened only eight times in the CAA’s first 27 seasons, though Hofstra is not the first school to have a first round rematch in consecutive years. James Madison did it three straight years from 1991-93. Of the 12 current CAA schools, only Delaware and Northeastern have not played a first round game against a team they faced in the regular season finale.

Here’s the raw data. We’ll have more Just The Facts late tonight or tomorrow.

George Mason vs. UNC Wilmington
FINALE: George Mason 99, UNC Wilmington 88
TOURNEY: George Mason 70, UNC Wilmington 67

James Madison vs. Navy
FINALE: James Madison 106, Navy 86
TOURNEY: Navy 85, James Madison 82***

James Madison vs. William & Mary
FINALE: James Madison 98, William & Mary 77
TOURNEY: James Madison 77, William & Mary 53

James Madison vs. George Mason
FINALE: James Madison 75, George Mason 59
TOURNEY: James Madison 60, George Mason 49

Old Dominion vs. William & Mary
FINALE: Old Dominion 94, William & Mary 70
TOURNEY: Old Dominion 83, William & Mary 58

Towson vs. Hofstra
FINALE: Towson 61, Hofstra 60
TOURNEY: Hofstra 72, Towson 52

VCU vs. William & Mary
FINALE: VCU 77, William & Mary 59
TOURNEY: VCU 62, William & Mary 59

Hofstra vs. UNC Wilmington
FINALE: Hofstra 88, UNC Wilmington 81
TOURNEY: Hofstra 79, UNC Wilmington 66

***Navy played Army in its regular season finale in 1990-91.

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