Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin (This content was originally published in our newsletter)
Rolling right along – JMU has had no issues through two games of the CAA Tournament. The Dukes beat the College of Charleston 12-0 on Wednesday before cruising by Elon 9-1 on Thursday. Two games, two easy wins. The beatdowns of CAA opponents were so bad, even the camera crew didn’t want to watch.
Up next – JMU gets another crack at Elon, which is an ideal scenario for the Dukes given Elon’s RPI compared to other CAA squads. The Phoenix rank 74th, while no other team outside of JMU ranks in the top 115. The Dukes and Phoenix play today at 11 a.m.
It’s a double-elimination tournament, so if JMU loses, the two teams will play again since Elon suffered a loss earlier in the tournament. The winner of the second game would be crowned the conference champ. If JMU wins the first game, the Dukes are CAA champs.
Seeding expectations – A win puts the Dukes at 47-7 overall, and they’ll be taking a 19-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. This team has moments where it doesn’t look like a top-16 national seed and then other moments where it looks like a top-5 seed.
I don’t think this team is as close to a lock for the Women’s College World Series as many fans want to believe, but this group is worthy of a top-16 seed. Earning that seed makes a Super Regional appearance easier to attain, and making a Super Regional makes a WCWS berth possible. The resume is really good, and I think the Dukes eventually earn a seed in the 12-16 range.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is Sunday, so we’ll discuss the Dukes’ NCAA Tournament placement in Monday’s newsletter.