Richmond James Madison Basketball

NCAA Tournament Cheat Sheet: Getting to know James Madison

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Read through the rest of the Cheat Sheets here.

Conference: Colonial

Coach: Matt Brady

Record: 20-14, 11-7

Rankings and Ratings:

– Kenpom: 188
– RPI: 194
– AP/USA Today: N/A

Seeding?: Our Dave Ommen had Northeastern as a No. 16 seed in Monday’s Bracket Projection, and the Huskies have a stronger profile than JMU. It may be tough for the Dukes to get out of the play-in game without some conference tournament upsets.

Names you need to know: Rayshawn Goins (12.6 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Devon Moore (11.7 ppg, 4.0 apg, 3.7 rpg), AJ Davis (11.7 ppg)

Stats you need to know: The Dukes are not a very good offensive team. They struggle shooting the ball and they are not all that good at getting to the offensive glass. But they don’t turn the ball over very much, which is a good thing. Might as well maximize the number of shots if you’re going to shoot a low-percentage.

Tendencies: JMU is, however, the best defensive team in the conference, leading the league in defensive efficiency during CAA play. The Dukes have a weird roster makeup, in that four of their top nine are seniors and four are freshmen, and while they don’t have a ton of size on the interior, Brady has a plethora of big guards at his disposal.

Big wins, bad losses: JMU won three games against Delaware and split with Towson, but didn’t pick up a notable win in non-conference play.

How’d they get here?: The No. 3 seed in the CAA tournament, JMU upset both Delaware and Northeastern to earn the league’s automatic bid. The win over the Huskies came in dominating fashion.

Outlook: James Madison has been a talented-but-underachieving team over the past couple of seasons, so it’s only fitting that in a season where they look to be down and undergoing a youth movement that Brady finally gets this group to the CAA title game. I’m not sure if they can beat a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, however.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)