The Elon University men’s basketball team will play its first game in this year’s Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Sunday, March 6 against the University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks in a second round game.
This is the first time since 2017 that Elon has received a bye into the second round of the tournament, meaning the Phoenix will need to win just three games instead of four to win its first CAA championship. The top seven teams in the final regular season standings received a bye into the second round.
The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, which Elon has never appeared in. Only nine teams will compete in this year’s CAA Tournament, as James Madison University — who finished eighth in the regular season standings — is ineligible to play because of their impending move to the Sun Belt Conference.
Elon finished the season on a two-game winning streak that included road victories over Hofstra University and Northeastern University. Last season, Elon won its final four regular season games and continued its momentum into the CAA Tournament, as the team made it to its first ever CAA championship game, which it lost against Drexel University.
The Seahawks rank second in the CAA in defense, as they allow just 69 points per game compared to the Phoenix’s 72. However, the Seahawks have the worst three-point defense in the league, while the Phoenix made the second most three-pointers (284) in the CAA this season.
Elon’s leading two scorers this season are sophomore guard Darius Burford (13.7 points per game) and junior guard Hunter McIntosh (13.3 points per game), both of whom were named to the All-CAA Third Team earlier this week. Jaylen Sims led UNC Wilmington in scoring with 15.8 points per game and was named to the All-CAA First Team.
Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C. The game will stream on FloSports. The winner of the game will play the winner of Sunday night’s between Hofstra and College of Charleston in the semifinal round on Monday, March 7.