College Basketball

Four questions heading into Sunday's CAA tournament semifinals

The CAA tournament field gets cut from four to two today, as No. 1 Delaware faces No. 5 Northeastern at 2:30 p.m. and No. 2 Towson plays No. 3 William and Mary at 5 p.m.

Here's a key question for each team heading into today's games.


Can Northeastern handle Delaware's pressure?

The Huskies are a well-coached team and run great sets in their half-court offense. But they struggled against full-court pressure late in their quarterfinal victory over Drexel on Saturday. Delaware is strongest in the backcourt, and the trio of Devon Saddler, Davon Usher and Jarvis Threatt will make it tough on the Huskies if they create turnovers and get out in transition.


Can Delaware find an answer for Northeastern's Scott Eatherton?

The 6-foot-8, 219-pound Eatherton was the CAA's Defensive Player of the Year, and he had a double-double in the first half against Drexel on Saturday. (He finished with 23 points, 15 rebounds and a blocked shot.) Delaware, meanwhile, was out-rebounded in its quarterfinal win over No.8 Hofstra. If Northeastern can win on the glass and limit the Blue Hens' possessions, the Huskies can have a shot at the tournament's first real upset.

Will William and Mary carry momentum from its comeback late Saturday night, or will the Tribe be tired?

William and Mary pulled off the biggest rally from behind Saturday, storming back from a 15-point first-half deficit. That win could give the Tribe some momentum against Towson, a team that defeated them by just two points March 1 at SECU Arena. But the effort that comeback took could have a toll on William and Mary's legs, especially considering they played the last game of the night Saturday. Towson guard Four McGlynn stressed the importance of staying fresh in a tournament like this. His team would seem to have more in the tank heading into today.

Can Towson win a less rugged game, if it comes to it?

When Pat Skerry was asked Saturday night if he'd ever seen a game as foul-filled as the Tigers' quarterfinal win over James Madison, he quickly pointed out that Towson ranks 12th in the nation in free throws per game. Saturday's game took that to the extreme, as the Tigers shot a program-record 61 foul shots and only 33 field-goal attempts. Towson would seem to be favored against William and Mary in another rugged affair. But if it's a more wide-open game -- or if Towson doesn't get as many whistles -- can the Tigers respond? They'd also like to rebound better than they did Saturday night, when James Madison beat them on the boards, 40-26.