The 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule was finally released late last week, and it’s looking like nothing but good news for the Dragons. The team has a more competitive schedule than last year, and if they win games like they did last season, they are bound to get an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament if they fail to get an automatic bid by winning the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. Last year was the “Year of the Dragon,” but this year is “Revenge of the Dragon,” and isn’t revenge just a little bit more satisfying?
Last year the Dragons said an emotional goodbye to star forward Samme Givens. Although his exit was upsetting, the team could not be stronger going into this season. Unlike last year, when the team started off with a couple of injured players, the Dragons enter this season prepared for their first game Nov. 9 against Kent State.
With Virginia Commonwealth University moving on to the Atlantic 10 Conference, Drexel should have an easier time dominating the CAA. Last year, VCU beat Drexel by three points in the championship game of the conference tournament. The Richmond Coliseum, where the tournament was played, was packed with almost 11,000 VCU fans cheering for their team. Richmond Coliseum is located in the same town as the VCU campus but was somehow deemed a “neutral court” by the CAA. Now that VCU isn’t in the conference, the coliseum can actually be neutral.
If the Dragons do win the CAA Tournament, they won’t have to deal with the NCAA Selection Committee, but if they lose, they may have a better chance of getting a bid this year depending on their record. However, there is a possibility that the selection committee will not consider the CAA for an NCAA at-large-bid because VCU is no longer in the conference, which lowers the perceived competitive level of the conference.
Drexel didn’t get a bid last year because the selection committee said their strength of schedule wasn’t as difficult as Iona College, which is why Iona got the bid over Drexel. This year the Dragons will be playing teams such as Davidson and St. Mary’s, who both made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. The team will also play eight teams who won 20 or more games last season.
If the team crushes Davidson and St. Mary’s and wins as many games as they did last year, they could easily get a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In James “Bruiser” Flint’s 11 years as head coach at Drexel, his team has never made it into the tournament, and we think this is finally his year to coach an NCAA Tournament team. So, good luck Dragons. Let’s show the selection committee why we should have gotten a bid last year.