William & Mary announces CAA men’s basketball schedule

william & maryThe Colonial Athletic Association announced its 2016-17 men’s basketball conference schedule on Thursday morning. The 18-game league slate kicks off on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31, and concludes on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The Tribe posted its third-straight 20-win season in 2015-16. W&M is one of only 50 teams nationally, one of 19 mid-major programs and the only CAA team with 20-win campaigns each of the last three seasons. In 2015-16, the CAA was ranked ninth among the nation’s 32 Division I conferences in the final NCAA RPI, matching the highest ranking in league history.

Teams will open with a stretch of four league contests over eight days before transitioning to a Thursday/Saturday format throughout the rest of the season. W&M begins CAA play with a trip to the Northeast. The Green and Gold opens at Northeastern on New Year’s Eve, before trekking to Hempstead, N.Y., for a rematch of last season’s thrilling CAA Semifinal with Hofstra on Monday, Jan. 2. W&M has won five of the last seven meetings with Northeastern, including two of the last three in Boston. Hofstra won all three contests with the Tribe last season, snapping a four-game winning streak for W&M in the series.

The Tribe opens its home CAA slate with a match-up against Elon on Thursday, Jan. 5. W&M is 9-1 all-time against the Phoenix, including four straight wins. The Green and Gold wraps up the four-games-in-eight-day stretch with Drexel at Kaplan Arena on Saturday, Jan. 7. The Tribe has won 11 of the last 19 meetings with the Dragons, but Drexel claimed the last two in Williamsburg.

W&M embarks on the Southern CAA road swing, Jan. 12-14. The Green and Gold takes on reigning CAA Champion UNCW on Thursday, before heading to Charleston on Saturday. The Tribe and Seahawks split the season series with each winning on its home court last season, including a 97-94 double OT victory for UNCW in Wilmington. W&M swept the season series from Charleston in 2015-16 and leads the all-time ledger at 5-2.

The Tribe’s first of three split weeks between home and road games has W&M hosting in-state rival James Madison on Jan. 19, before traveling to Elon for the second meeting of the year on Jan. 21. The Green and Gold has won six of the last seven meetings with JMU, and head coach Tony Shaver is 20-12 against the Dukes during his tenure on the Tribe sideline.

W&M returns to Kaplan Arena for three-straight home games, beginning on Jan. 26. The Tribe hosts Delaware on Thursday, before playing its second contest against UNCW on Jan. 28. W&M swept the season series in 2015-16 with Delaware, who enters its first season with former Notre Dame assistant Martin Ingelsby at the helm. Last season, the Tribe used a 23-0 run to rally from as much as a 12-point deficit in knocking off UNCW, 87-69, in Williamsburg.

The Green and Gold closes out the three-game homestand welcoming Northeastern (Feb. 2) to Kaplan Arena to start the month of February. The Tribe upended the Huskies, 78-60, in Williamsburg last season. W&M wraps up the opening week of February, traveling to Towson on Feb. 4. The Green and Gold leads the all-time series with Towson at 17-15, but the Tigers won both contests last season.

On Feb. 9, the Tribe travels to the City of Brotherly Love to meet Drexel. Zach Spiker, who was the head coach at Army for seven years, took over the Dragon program following last season. The Green and Gold have won three straight contests in Philadelphia.

The Tribe plays three of its final five regular season CAA games at home, beginning with Charleston on Saturday, Feb. 11. W&M travels to James Madison (Feb. 16) and Delaware (Feb. 18), before closing out the slate with two home games. The Tribe hosts Hofstra on Thursday, Feb. 23, and then welcomes Towson for Senior Day on Saturday, Feb. 25.

The 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship will be held March 3-6 at the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, S.C. after being played at Baltimore’s Royal Farms Arena for the past three years.



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