North Charleston hosts 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

As the nine other members of the Colonial Athletic Association converge on the North Charleston Coliseum for this weekend’s conference tournament, the hosting College of Charleston men’s basketball team look to extend their season-ending four game win streak.

“It’s very important to go in with momentum,” said junior guard Cameron Johnson. “During the tournament, anyone can win. It’s good that we have a mental edge heading into the conference tournament.”

The Cougars are riding high after closing out the season with a 80-67 win over Drexel on Senior Day (Feb. 25). (Photo by Michael Wiser)

Earning the second seed in the tournament with a 14-4 record against CAA opponents, the Cougars will receive a first round bye in the ten-team field.

Charleston’s first game will be Saturday (March 4, 6 p.m.) against the winner of the game between James Madison University and Drexel University (March 3, 8:30 p.m.). The Cougars notched a perfect record against James Madison and Drexel this season, with a double digit average margin of victory in four regular season match ups.

Charleston’s 23 wins this season mark the most for the program since the 2008-09 season.

Ever focused, head coach Earl Grant recognizes that the goal still lies ahead of the Cougars.

“Our goal is to win the championship,” Grant said. “We have an opportunity to do that. We wanted to get a high seed. Now, we will go into the tournament and play on Saturday [March 4] at 6 p.m. I’m just proud of our players. They put a lot of effort to get to this point, especially considering where we were.”

As most of the campus community prepares for a week off over spring break, the men’s basketball team have the most important tests of the season ahead, with an opportunity to end the program’s 17 year NCAA Tournament drought within city limits.

Looking for more coverage on the Cougars? Be sure to check out CisternYard’s tournament preview from the latest issue of The Yard, Meriting the madness, in addition to past stories on Jarrell Brantley, Joe Chealey and senior walk-on Erik Goldbach

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On a cold January evening in the winter of 2004, Sam Oleksak realized his dream. As a mere fourth grader, he had the chance to announce a high school basketball game for his hometown television station. In the hopes of one day becoming a sports pundit, Sam began at Cisternyard News in Fall 2014. He now serves as the Sports Editor on staff and also makes frequent appearances on Cisternyard Radio.

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