With CAA play at about the quarter pole, the George Mason Patriots are sitting atop the league at 4-0. The Patriots are empowered by strong defense, improved offensive efficiency and a general determination to win.
Mason has scored impressive victories at ODU, a place where they had not won in eight years, and against upstart Georgia State.
As many are starting to note, however, the CAA is getting very crowded at the top. Behind Mason, there are four teams sitting at 3-1 and three more teams at 2-2.
One of those 2-2 teams is the preseason favorite, Drexel, who meets the Patriots Thursday night at 8:00 on ESPNU. After a bumpy start, Drexel has come on strong of late, winning nine of their last 10 games, with their most recent victory coming over rival VCU.
This game is wildly important to both teams for a number of reasons. It is on ESPNU, and both teams want to impress in front of an audience.
For Drexel, winning this game would get them back in the hunt for the CAA title. For Mason, this game can give them much-needed separation from the rest of the field. This is also the only meeting between the two teams in the regular season, so the winner will hold the all important tiebreaker over the other team.
Here are a few key points for Mason if they are going to win this pivotal matchup between CAA powers.