media to be on the CAA Preseason All-Star team.
While the men's college basketball season officially tips off tonight, the CAA has already made its presence known on a national scale. UNC Wilmington, Drexel and George Mason have combined for a 6-1 mark in three prestigious preseason tournaments, setting the stage for an exciting 2005-06 campaign.
UNCW won the eight-team BCA Invitational Tournament on Wednesday night, defeating Big Ten foe Northwestern 56-48 in the championship game. The Seahawks also posted victories over perennial Horizon League power Butler (75-59) and host Wyoming (62-59 in ot) of the Mountain West Conference. UNCW senior guard John Goldsberry was selected as the tournament's MVP.
Drexel advanced to the semifinals of the Preseason NIT after a 54-41 win at Princeton on Monday and a 72-61 triumph over Sam Houston State on Thursday before a sell-out crowd at the DAC and a national TV audience on ESPN 2. The Dragons will meet No. 1-ranked Duke on Wednesday night in Madison Square Garden and then will face either No.12 Memphis or No. 18 UCLA on Friday. Both games will be televised nationally on ESPN.
George Mason rolled past UC Irvine 79-56 in the first round of the Coaches versus Cancer Classic before giving 18th-ranked Wake Forest all it could handle in an 83-78 overtime setback. Four more CAA teams open their seasons tonight. Defending conference champion Old Dominion, which is ranked as high as No. 21 nationally, faces Georgia in the first round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas. Northeastern faces Brown in the opening game of the Mohegan Sun Classic, while William & Mary entertains Maine in the first game of the William & Mary Classic. Delaware plays The Citadel in Raleigh, N.C.
On Saturday, Hofstra hosts Florida International and Towson opens at home against Loyola. James Madison starts its season on Monday night with a home game against Georgetown, while VCU visits Appalachian State. League newcomer Georgia State opens on Tuesday night with a conference game against Delaware.