Mar 6 / jmusport

Guest Post: James Madison > Robert Morris

Hart won last week’s prediction contest and earned the right to guest post. Here’s his take on JMU sports, history, and beer (we like this guy).

Somehow I lucked out and won the football prediction contest last week, but I wasn’t really that close and the game went nothing like I thought it would go (or anyone else for that matter).  But that’s the allure of sports!  We never know how it is going to go and the outcome is not predetermined.  On any given day players can step up their game or falter under pressure.  Coaches can look like masterful gurus one week and then make head scratching decisions the next week.

Heading into the game I guessed that 5’4” James Madison would dominate the larger, but flabby Robert Morris with quickness and agility.  That never materialized and a group of differently named men actually played a football game in honor of the Universities named after 2 signers of the Constitution.  Who knew?  The result was a 20 point win for James Madison in what could have been the least impressive first half of football we have seen in several years.  Let’s hope the 3 interceptions were a one-game aberration that never rears its ugly head again this year.  The home-away schedule JMU has with Richmond, Williams & Mary, and Elon will be very interesting.  I am intrigued to see how the 2nd game in each series looks after one team just took a loss to the other a few weeks prior.  This is what rivalries are made of.   I think the Dukes can win plenty of games this season even if the margin is not as large as last year.  Win by 1 or win by 100.  Either will get the team in position to play do or die playoff games that add the spice to FCS football.   

Speaking of do or die games, how about the Men’s hoops team?  They are heading into the do or die CAA tourney as the #1 seed after tying Northeastern for the regular season title at 8-2 in a funky, unbalanced, COVID impacted schedule.   It was a worst to first tremendous improvement over last year.  Mark Byington won his first regular season championship in 8 years as a coach.  More importantly, can he coach this team to his first conference tourney championship in 8 years as a coach?  The banner that will be hung in the AUBC is nice, but an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is what every program is striving for.  It is THE goal and it last happened for JMU in 2013.    The huge negative is likely CAA player of the year, Matt Lewis,(ed. note: he won) is out with a knee injury.  He stepped his game up in his final season and now he won’t get a chance to lead the team in the most important games of the year. That is terrible for him personally and terrible for the team.  The huge positive is that JMU is hosting the CAA tournament on its home court.  What a deal!  I’m not sure what particular negotiations happened, but Jeff Bourne rooked all the other AD’s in the CAA.  Well done.  If the Dukes win a close game we can give him a lot of credit for securing a home court advantage that has never been available to any team in CAA tournament history.  While there won’t be any fans there due to COVID, the opposing coaches will not be happy that they have to beat JMU on their home court in what is normally a neutral court setting.  There are zero strong teams in the CAA this year.  JMU can certainly still win the tournament even without Lewis.  Will it be harder? Yes.  Do they have as good a chance as any other CAA team? Yes.   We just need to see 3 wins in 3 days.

Let’s go.  March Madness.  Game on.  There are only 2 days before the action begins.


Beer of the Week:  Billsburg Brewery Fly Away IPA

Head on down to Jamestown, get yourself an outdoor socially distanced seat at the marina, and enjoy one or two of these smooth IPA’s.    

2013 CAA Tournament Champs

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