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TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Men’s Basketball Makes Fifth Consecutive Trip to CACC Tournament

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Men’s Basketball Makes Fifth Consecutive Trip to CACC Tournament

Press Release written by Mitchell Coll

NEWARK, Del. - - The 2021-22 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Men's Basketball Tournament begins on Tuesday with a First-Round contest between the Wilmington University men's basketball team and Post University at the Drubner Center in Waterbury, Conn.

The Wildcats earned the South Division's number four seed, marking it the fifth straight year in which the Wildcats earned a CACC Tournament berth and the sixth time in the last seven playing seasons under head coach Dan Burke. They are looking for another run through the CACC Tournament like the 2014-15 team that saw them go to the CACC Tournament Championship game.

The CACC Tournament First Round games will be held at the higher seed, while the advancing teams will head to Caldwell for the remainder of the CACC Tournament.

Links to Follow the CACC Quarterfinals:

Live Stats:
Live Stream:
CACC Tournament Central:

Admission to the 2022 CACC Men's Basketball Tournament:

Adults - $10.00
Seniors - $5.00
Students (with valid ID) - $5.00
Children under 3 – Free

Scouting the South No. 4 Wilmington University Wildcats:

Wilmington earned the South Division's No. 4 seed with an 8-10 conference record. They are 11-17 overall and come into the playoffs winning seven out of their last 10 regular-season games, including the last five in a row.

As a team, the Wildcats rank ninth in the CACC in scoring 72.1 points per game overall. Post is second in the league in pouring in 79.1 points per game. Defensively, The Eagles only give up 73.2 points per game, ranking fourth in the CACC while the Wildcats are seventh overall in giving up 75.3 points a game.

The Wildcats are ranked 10th in the league in hitting 31.1 percent of their three-pointers, and seventh in the league from the foul line at 69.8 percent. But Post is second in the CACC in only allowing 41.8 percent shooting. Post leads the CACC in grabbing 40.5 rebounds a game while the Wildcats are 10th at 34.8 rebounds a game.

Individually, the Wildcats are led by graduate Danny Walsh, who is having a stellar final season for the Wildcats. He eclipsed the 1,000 point mark this season, becoming only the sixth Wildcat in the NCAA era to score 1,000 or more career points. He trails Herbert Dennis of 2010-2014 by one point to move into fifth all-time in program history in points scored. During this 10-game stretch to close out the 2022 regular season, Walsh has been on a scoring tear, averaging 19.5 points in those games. Including a career-high-scoring effort with 29 points against Felician on February 7th.  He is tied for third in free-throw percentage in the CACC with 88.3 percent. He went 68-for-77 from the line on the season. He is second amongst the Wildcats in scoring at 14.1 points a game and in three-pointers made with 42 on the year.

Randy Rickards also capped off a regular season that puts him in the record books. He surpassed a 12-year-old record set by Brandon Savage in 2009-10 for most rebounds in a season. He was able to break this record in the Wildcats' final regular-season game in a victory over Goldey-Beacom on February 26th. Every rebound in tomorrow's first-round matchup will be a new school record for rebounds in a season, he currently sits at 228 on the year. His 228 rebounds are ranked third in the CACC, and he ranks fifth overall in the CACC with 8.1 rebounds per game. Not only can he grab boards, but Rickards can attack the glass as well, leading the Wildcats in scoring with an average of 14.4 points a game.

Caleb Matthews opens up the floor for the Wildcats with his sharpshooting from beyond the arc. He ranks 13th in the CACC in a three-point percentage of 39 percent. He also ranks 7th in the CACC in three points made this season with 57 made three-pointers. He closed out the regular season with arguably one of the best shooting performances in a Wildcat uniform. He went 7-8 from three-point land and 8 of 10 in total, from the field, which was good for 26 points.

Justin Thomas ranks third amongst the Wildcats in points per game with 12.5. He has also scored more than 20 points in five games this year. He scored his season-high of 23 points in three of those games this season.

Nalik Veasley has scored double figures in five games off the bench this year, in only 15 games played. Freshman Ethan Tarte has six double-digit scoring games and has started in 24 out of 27 games played.

All-Time Series vs. Post:

Tuesday will be the 21st meeting between the two programs since their first CACC meeting in the 2004-05 season. With this year's victory at the Drubner Center, Post leads the all-time series, 13-8. But the Wildcats have won three of the last five meetings overall, including a 2020 CACC Tournament First Round Matchup at the Drubner Center.  

Post got the best of the Wildcats in their lone match-up this season, defeating the 'Cats 73-55 on January 15th. In that game, Rickards led the with 13 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.

The last time the Wildcats saw the Eagles in the playoffs was the same time two years ago when the 'Cats (third in the south division) upset the Eagles (second in the north division) at the Drubner Center, 76-69 in the first round of the 2019-2020 CACC Men's Basketball Championship. Danny Walsh led the way with 28 points, four assists, two boards, and a block. Jermaine Head added 13 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals. With the win the Wildcats advanced the CACC Tournament Semifinals for only the second time in program history.

The Wildcats also found success at Post in the 2018-19 season, winning at the Drubner Center, 100-94, in overtime. They also won in 2017-18, making it two wins in a row before their loss at home in the 2019-20 season.

Wilmington In the CACC Tournament:

2009-10 (0-1): S#2 Goldey-Beacom 79 – S#3 Wilmington 71
2014-15 (2-1): S#4 Wilmington 69 – N#1 Dominican 67; S#4 Wilmington 75 – S#2 Holy Family 71; S#1 Philadelphia 77 – S#4 Wilmington 68
2016-17 (0-1): N#3 Caldwell 81 – S#2 Wilmington 74
2017-18 (0-1): N#2 Dominican 86 – S#3 Wilmington 57
2018-19 (0-1): N#1 Bloomfield 105 – S#4 Wilmington 86
2019-20(1-1): S#3 Wilmington 76- N#2 Post 69; S#1 Jefferson 100- S#3 Wilmington 61

Overall: 3-6

Season Series and All-Time vs. CACC Tournament Participants:

North Division:
#1 Post University: 2021-22 – at L 73-55; CACC Tournament – 1-0
#2 Dominican College: 2021-22 – vs. W 79-75; CACC Tournament – 1-1
#3 Felician University: 2021-22 – at L 90-87; CACC Tournament – 0-0
#4 Nyack College: 2021-22– vs. L 83-65; CACC Tournament 0-0

South Division:
#1 Jefferson University: 2021-22 – at L 67-60/vs. L 87-82; CACC Tournament – 0-2
#2 Chestnut Hill College: 2021-22 –vs. W 84-80/ at W 82-68; CACC Tournament- 0-0

#3 Goldey-Beacom College: 2021-22 – vs. L 70-66/at W 97-92; CACC Tournament – 0-1
#4 Wilmington University

2021-22 CACC Men's Basketball Tournament Schedule:

First Round (Tuesday, March 1)
N#4 Nyack at S#1 Jefferson (6 p.m.)
S#3 Goldey-Beacom at N#2 Dominican (6 p.m.)
S#4 Wilmington at N#1 Post (5:30 p.m.)
N#3 Felician at S#2 Chestnut Hill (5:30 p.m.)

Semifinals (Saturday, March 5, Newman Center, at Caldwell University)
Jeff/Nyack Winner vs. Dominican/G-B Winner (12 or 2 p.m.)
Post/WilmU Winner vs. CHC/Felician Winner (12 or 2 p.m.)

* - Highest remaining seed will play in the day's first semifinal

Championship Final (Sunday, March 9, Newman Center, at Caldwell University)
Semifinal #1 Winner vs. Semifinal #2 Winner (12:00 p.m.)