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CAA Men's Tournament

Patriots Have a Shot

Friday, March 4, 2005; Page D07

Where: Richmond Coliseum.

Favorite: Old Dominion. A loss to Hofstra hurt the Monarchs' chances of receiving an at-large bid. The Monarchs get it done with defense, allowing opponents only 60.5 points per game. Three players average in double figures, including forward Alex Loughton, who is averaging 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds.

Dark Horse: Hofstra. A win at Old Dominion and a home win over streaking George Mason gave fifth-seeded Hofstra six straight victories to close the regular season and showed that this is a team that might be peaking at the perfect time. One reason for the surge has been the play of freshman guard Antonie Agudio, who scored a total of 26 points in the victories over Old Dominion and George Mason.

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Local Angle: George Mason has enough talent to make things interesting and perhaps win its first CAA tournament since 2001. The sixth-seeded Patriots looked great while beating Old Dominion but closed the regular season with consecutive losses. One key is streaky guard Tony Skinn, who doesn't possess classic point guard skills but does have the kind of explosiveness that makes the Patriots dangerous. The Patriots, who led the CAA in scoring at 75.8 points per game, split their two games with UNC Wilmington this season.

Schedule

First round, today: James Madison (6-21) vs. William & Mary (7-20), 5:30; Delaware (10-19) vs. Towson (5-23), 8.

Quarterfinals, tomorrow: Old Dominion (25-5) vs. James Madison-William & Mary winner, noon; Drexel (17-10) vs. Hofstra (20-7), 2:30; Virginia Commonwealth (17-11) vs. Delaware-Towson winner, 6; North Carolina Wilmington (18-9) vs. George Mason (16-12), 8:30.

Semifinals, Sunday: Early quarterfinals winners, 3; late quarterfinals winners, 5:30.

Final, Monday: Semifinal winners, 7.

-- Ivan Carter


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