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UNC Wilmington wins 2017 CAA basketball tournament: Seahawks off to Big Dance two years in a row

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The Seahawks were led by sophomore C.J. Bryce.

NCAA Basketball: CAA Conference Tournament - UNCW vs Northeastern Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The UNC Wilmington Seahawks are headed to the NCAA Tournament after defeating the Charleston Cougars 78-69 on Monday night. UNC Wilmington and Charleston were seeded Nos. 1 and 2 in the CAA conference heading into the tournament, and the tournament played out as it was supposed to.

UNCW was led by sophomore guard C.J. Bryce, who finished with 24 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Charleston was led by junior Joe Chealey with 21 points, four rebounds, and four assists. This was the first-ever CAA Championship appearance for Charleston.

The Seahawks pulled away in the second half with a 13-2 run that spread the lead to 15 points with eight minutes left in the game.

UNCW was the favorite coming into Monday night after winning eight of its last nine games against Charleston. This is now six CAA titles for the Seahawks, which ties the conference record, including back-to-back wins. Before Kevin Keatts took over at UNCW, the team won nine games in the previous season. He now will head to the Big Dance twice in his first three seasons.