Unlike many other conference tournaments, the Colonial Athletic Association's tournament does not have a buffer day with a couple of games among the lesser teams. Sure, the top four seeds aren't in action, but eight teams play in a day-long tournament-opening slate Friday, starting with the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds, the James Madison Dukes and the UNC-Wilmington Seahawks.
Though the average college basketball fan may not recognize the CAA by name, they certainly know the reputation its teams have had of utterly destroying brackets -- this year's top seeds are, in order, the Drexel Dragons, the VCU Rams, the George Mason Patriots and the Old Dominion Monarchs. None of those teams play Friday, but the eight teams in action will be vying for the chance to bump off the recognized powers and establish themselves as this year's surprise team.
Will anyone from Friday's schedule make a run to the Final Four like VCU last year and George Mason years before? Probably not. But if any conference is due for a few surprises when all the chips are on the table, it's the CAA.
Day 1 Schedule (all times Eastern)
12 p.m. - No. 8 James Madison vs. No. 9 UNC-Wilmington
2:30 p.m. - No. 5 Delaware vs. No. 12 Towson
6 p.m. - No. 7 Northeastern vs. No. 10 William & Mary
8:30 p.m. - No. 6 Georgia State vs. No. 11 Hofstra
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