But we're not gonna lose any sleep over it this week. Because the only seeding objective that matters in this bizarro CAA season is finishing in the top six. The bottom four teams in the league have to play on Pillow Fight Friday for a slot in the quarterfinals. The top six start their tournament on Saturday.
William and Mary has done enough at this point to assure a top six finish. Despite losing consecutive conference matchups for the first time this season, the Tribe remains atop the league at 10-5. (While W&M is part of a four-way clusterscrum at the top of the table, we hold the tiebreaker advantage over the other teams by dint of a better combined head-to-head record - it's one of the hidden benefits of losing most of your league games to the conference's dregs.)
With Dixon, Thornton, and Omar Prewitt in the lineup, opposing defenses are hard-pressed to defend Tony Shaver's well-spaced and diverse offense. (See this terrific post by Shades of 48 for a tutorial on the Tribe offense.) Without Dixon, the combination of freshmen Greg Malinowski (a deadeye shooter who lacks Dixon's explosiveness), Oliver Tot, and Connor Burchfield (or, as coined by Dave Fairbank, Mali-Tot-Field) has struggled to carry the all-around load. The three frosh have averaged a combined 8.3 ppg on 38.1% shooting in the three games Dixon's missed. Opponents make 49% of their shots from the field against the Dixon-less Tribe.
Dixon didn't make the trip to Boston, and likely won't play tomorrow at Hofstra. W&M closes its regular season with home games against Towson and Drexel, both of whom the Tribe throttled on the road earlier this year. Drexel, though, is the hottest team in the CAA at the moment, winners of six of their last seven.
|Field is somewhere in here|
Two wins in the final three games is a reasonable expectation. Worse would suck, but wouldn't be the end of the world. A healthy W&M is the most talented team in the league. And if that's what we bring to Baltimore, then we'll take our chances.
It was always down to March.