CAA Championship Betting Preview: James Madison Dukes vs Northeastern Huskies

Colonial Athletic Association Championship
#3 James Madison Dukes vs #1 Northeastern Huskies
Monday, March 11, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: NBC Sports
Richmond Coliseum – Richmond, Virginia
Opening Line: James Madison -1/2
Current Line: Northeastern -1 1/2
Opening Total: 128 1/2
Current Total: 127
Opening Money Line: James Madison -120 / Northeastern +100
Current Money Line: Northeastern -125 / James Madison +105


College Basketball Sportsbook
Northeastern and James Madison battle for spot in the Big Dance in Monday’s CAA Championship game.

Like most conferences, parity ruled the CAA this year. Five games separated first from seventh in the conference. This conference has sent George mason and Virginia Commonwealth to the Final Four in recent years. This year the conference isn’t quite as good as it has been recently. VCU left for the Atlantic 10. This will be a one-bid league. However, they could have as many as 4 teams in post season play between the NIT, CBI, and CIT tournaments.

In the CAA Championship game, it will be the #1 seed Northeastern Huskies taking on the #3 James Madison Dukes. The 20-11 Huskies won the league with a 14-4 record. The 19-14  Dukes finished fourth in the conference with an 11-7 record. However, they were bumped up to the 3 seed in the tournament because second seed Towson was ineligible for postseason play.

Northeastern is looking for their first CAA conference Championship. They won the 1991 America East Championship the only other conference Championship in school history. James Madison hasn’t won the CAA title since 1994.

The Huskies lead the series 11-3 against the Dukes. Northeastern won the only meeting between the schools 66-64 in Boston February 20.

Northeastern is coached by Bill Coen. The Huskies have losses to Vermont, Charlotte in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout, Maine, Massachusetts, LaSalle, UNC-Asheville, and at UAB. Northeastern went 5-7 with a tough non-conference schedule. The Huskies have conference losses to Georgia St, Delaware, at UNC-Wilmington, and Old Dominion. Northeastern has key wins over Boston University, Princeton, UC-Riverside and Belmont in Alaska, George Mason twice, Towson, Delaware, along with the win over James Madison. Every other team in the CAA was below .500. In the CAA tournament, the Huskies received a bye into the semifinals. They played George Mason for the third time. The Patriots jumped out to a 28-4 lead with 4 minutes to go in the first half. The Huskies came back for the 69-67 win. It was their seventh double digit comeback for Northeastern this season. The Huskies are 14-12 ATS and the total is 11-9-2 ATS this season.

Northeastern is outscoring teams 70-69 this season. The Huskies are shooting 44.9% from the field and 37.9% from 3 point range. Northeastern is in the top 40 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Huskies are #8 nationally in free throw shooting at 76.3%. The Huskies average 30.1 rebounds and give up 30.4 per game. Northeastern is #325 out of 347 teams in rebounding. Husky opponents are shooting 46.7% from the field and 33.7% from 3 point range. Northeastern is #325 in opponents’ field goal percentage. The Huskies average 14 assists, 8 steals, 3 blocks, and 13 turnovers per game.

Guard Joel Smith averages 16.4 points, 4 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1 steal per game. Guard Jonathan Lee averages 13.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2 steals per game. Guard / Forward Quincy Ford averages 12.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Reggie Spencer averages 10 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.7 blocks per game to lead the team. Davis Walker, Zach Stahl, Demetrius Pollard, and Marcos Banegas-Flores make up the rest of the rotation. Forward Kwesi Abakah is out for the season with a knee injury, and has missed the entire season.

James Madison is coached by Matt Brady. The Dukes have losses at UCLA, at Duquesne, North Dakota St in Pittsburgh, at Miami-(OH), George Washington, Richmond, Georgia St twice, at Hampton, George Mason twice, at Towson, and at Drexel in addition to the Northeastern loss. The Dukes have wins over Youngstown St in Pittsburgh, Winthrop, San Jose St and San Diego in a tournament in Las Vegas, Towson, and Delaware twice. The Dukes beat William and Mary 72-67 in the CAA quarterfinals and Delaware 58-57 in the semifinals. JMU is 20-10 ATS and the total is 6-13-1 this season.

James Madison is outscoring teams 65-64.6 this season. The Dukes are shooting 41.8% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. JMU makes 70% of their free throws. The Dukes average 32.5 rebounds per game and give up 31.4. JMU opponents are shooting 42.9% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. The Dukes average 12 assists, 8 steals, 5 blocks, and 11 turnovers per game.

Forward Rayshawn Goins averages 12.6 points, and 7.2 rebounds per game. Guard A.J. Davis averages 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Devon Moore averages 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Andrey Semenov is out for the season with an ankle injury. He averaged 10 points a game. Forward Andre Nation averages 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. Ron Curry, Charles Cooke, Alioune Diouf, Enoch Hood, and Taylor Bessick make up the rest of the rotation.

James Madison is 4-0 ATS after a straight up win, in neutral site games, and against teams with winning records, 6-1 in CAA games, 4-1 after a cover, 18-6 overall, and 3-8 in Monday games. The under is 7-3-1 ATS in the last games in the series.

Northeastern is 5-1 ATS in neutral site games, 7-3 against teams with winning records, 1-4 in Monday games, and 1-6 after a cover. The Huskies are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 against the Dukes.

Neither one of these teams have too much size, and neither are really that great at rebounding. Northeastern struggles on defense, but James Madison struggles to score. I think this will be a close game but the Dukes pull off the mild upset in what is almost a home game. Richmond is only a 2 hour drive from the JMU campus.

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