CAA: Welcome to Championship Night

By David Scott - March 05, 2007

RICHMOND - We are about 70 minutes from tip of the CAA Title game at the Richmond Coliseum and throngs of students - some of whom had been waiting at the gates since noon - were alloowed into their endzone seating about ten minutes ago.

The George Mason pep band is already in position and tuning up.

Tonight's game between No. 1 seed VCU and No. 6 seed George Mason will be the first title game in league history to be played before a sellout crowd (11,200). Sunday's semifinals marked the conference's first-ever tournament sell-out. The VCU campus is just blocks away form the Coliseum and the crowd will be pro-Rams for sure.

A couple of VCU players emerged fomr the locker room at 5:45 and began stretching at center court. About two minutes later several of the Mason players took to the floor and started stretching at the scorer's table. Balls will not be provided until 6 p.m. per conference rules.

. . . Tonight's 7 p.m. tip will be broadcast by ESPN with Brad Nessler on play-by-play and Jimmy Dykes on color. The game can also be heard on Sirius satellite radio on Channel 130.

. . . Mason is the first CAA team to play four games in four days in the history of the event.

. . . Tonight is a re-match fo the 2004 title game which VCu won, 55-54 as then-freshman Jesse Pellot-Rosa hit two free throws with 1.6 seconds left to seal the win. A last gasp attempt by Mason's Jai Lewis fell short.

. . . VCU is the CAA's 14th top seed in the past 15 years to reach the championship game. The No. 1 seed has won nine times over the last 12 years, including five in a row. Mason is the first 6-seed to make it to Monday night since James Madison in 1997 and just the third team seeded lower than fifth to make it to the final game.

Posted by David Scott at 05:40 PM on March 05, 2007

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