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Top CAA Games To Watch

With every CAA team’s schedule announced, which games should you circle on your calendar?

CAA Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The CAA was the third conference to have every team announce their schedule.

With that, let’s list some of the best regular season games involving CAA teams in 2017.

We’ll start with listing some nonconference games to watch.

FEBRUARY

Bucknell @ Delaware (February 4)

Fairfield @ Richmond (February 11)

Army West Point @ UMass (February 11)

Navy @ Delaware (February 18)

Drexel @ Virginia (February 18)

Fairfield @ Bucknell (February 18)

UMass @ Ohio State (February 18)

Albany @ Drexel (February 25)

Rutgers @ Fairfield (February 25)

Hofstra @ Princeton (February 25)

UMass @ Harvard (February 25)

Villanova @ Drexel (February 28)

MARCH

Loyola @ Towson (March 1)

Drexel @ Marist (March 4)

Fairfield @ Stony Brook (March 4)

Bryant @ Drexel (March 10)

Binghamton @ Delaware (March 11)

Fairfield @ Yale (March 11)

Hofstra @ North Carolina (March 11)

Johns Hopkins @ Towson (March 11)

St. Joe’s @ Drexel (March 12)

Ohio State @ Towson (March 14)

Fairfield @ Penn State (March 18)

UMass @ Hartford (March 18)

Villanova @ Fairfield (March 25)

Denver @ Towson (March 25)

TOP GAME: Even though Towson lost some notable contributors from last season, such as Spencer Parks and Tyler White, the Tigers will still put up another battle against Denver like they did a year ago. Just like last year, the Pioneers appear to be the better team on paper, even if we haven’t seen either team play in 2017. But it will certainly be an exciting rematch to watch.

TOP MATCHUP: Another NCAA Tournament rematch is my top matchup. Patrick Spencer of Loyola was the top freshman in the country last year, and he recorded a hat-trick and an assist against the Tigers in their NCAA Quarterfinal meeting. Towson’s three starting defensemen from the game are all gone, so Spencer will have to look at three different defenders. It could spell bad things for Towson.

UNDER-THE-RADAR GAME: I love Fairfield’s nonconference schedule, and there are plenty of games that are going to be great matchups. It’s tough to pick one, but I’ll go with their game against Bucknell. The Stags will certainly be a bigger threat to win the CAA this year after Towson’s notable losses, but Bucknell is also a popular dark horse pick to be a contender in the Patriot League.

From the nonconference games to the conference games, here’s my Top 5.

  1. Towson @ Fairfield (April 22) - Last year, Towson’s starting defense was mainly the same. This year, it’s Fairfield whose defense remains in tact. Both teams do lose some considerable scorers, but I think Fairfield will definitely be a bigger threat to Towson’s reign as CAA champs.
  2. Hofstra @ Fairfield (April 1) - Fairfield took both meetings last season by a goal and three goals respectively. The loss of Sam Llinares will hurt Hofstra’s offense, but Josh Byrne showed the nation what he’s capable of. He’ll have Ryan Tierney as well.
  3. Hofstra @ Towson (April 29) - The teams only met once last year, where the Tigers prevailed, 8-7. In the past few years, these games for the most part have been very close and competitive. I expect to see the same in 2017’s edition.
  4. Delaware @ Drexel (April 22) - Drexel’s late run to the CAA Tournament began with an overtime win in Delaware. If Delaware won, they would’ve been in the CAA Tournament, but the Blue Hens let that opportunity slip away, even with a win against Towson earlier in the season. The Blue Hens have the talent to make the CAA Tournament again in 2017, but Drexel might be in their way yet again.
  5. UMass @ Hofstra (April 22) - The Pride edged the Minutemen by a goal in last season’s meeting. UMass has been regressing for the past few seasons, but they’re still competitive. Nonconference UMass is a very good team, but CAA UMass can’t seem to finish games. The Minutemen return most of their offense, but their close defense is a big question. The CAA is always fun to watch.