In today’s action VCU (seeded first) advanced to the semi-final round by beating Georgia St.: VCU 73, Georgia St. 60. Then, in the second game of the afternoon, Drexel (seeded fourth) sent Northeastern packing: Drexel 64, Northeastern 50.
Tomorrow at 3 p.m., Drexel and VCU will meet to determine which school will play in the championship tilt on Monday night.
With the unbalanced 18-game conference schedule the teams play in the CAA, the Rams (25-6) and Dragons (23-7) met only once this season. On Jan. 27 VCU won that contest in Philadelphia, 75-68.
At this writing, according to RealTime RPI, Drexel is sitting at No. 40; VCU is way down at No. 55. The only teams with a better current RPI better than VCU’s that the Rams have defeated are Drexel and ODU (No 33). Whereas, Drexel owes its better RPI somewhat to back-to-back December wins over Villanova (No. 16) and Syracuse (No. 46), and its ESPN BracketBuster victory over Creighton. (No. 28).
The math suggests that in spite VCU’s regular season CAA title the Rams need to beat the Dragons to move past them on the NCAA’s list of teams on the bubble. But head coach Anthony Grant probably isn’t interested in such speculation. He’s busy right now figuring out how VCU can beat Drexel even if Jess Pellot-Rosa, the Rams toughest defensive player, can’t play tomorrow.
Due to a foot injury, Pellot-Rosa only played only eight minutes in today’s game, all in the first half. Freshman T.J. Gywnn picked up the slack and led the Rams in scoring with 14 points, coming off the bench. After the game, Grant said the injury was new -- not an aggrevation of an old injury -- and he thought it was in the arch of Pellot-Rosa’s foot. Later, the scuttlebutt in the media room was that it was a bruise on the bottom of his foot.
Seeming in good spirits, Pellot-Rosa told me he will be ready to go tomorrow. But he was sitting down when he said it.
- The Monarchs (seeded second) advance: ODU 58, Towson 55.
- Finally, an upset, as the third seed falls. The Patriots (seeded sixth) are ba-a-ack: Mason 64, Hofstra 62. So, the second game on Sunday, at 5:30 p.m., will pit Mason against ODU.
- For more coverage of CAA tournament action, and a guide for background information, go to Richmond.com.