The Washington Times - February 16, 2009, 10:18AM

Only a handful of leagues still have half of their teams within two games of the conference lead.

The Mountain West. The Pac-10. The Southland.


The Big West is close, with six of its nine teams within 2 1/2 games of first place.

Then there’s the CAA, which has turned into a dramatically two-tiered conference this season.

Seven of 12 teams sit between 11-4 and 9-6 in the league. The best of the rest is Georgia State, which is 6-9.

(The odd thing is that the bottom five teams have each jumped up and nabbed one of the top-tier teams at least once this season. Delaware, in fact, has done it three times).

What this means is twofold. First, the seeding for the conference tournament could seriously be shaken up in the next two weeks. Also, the conference tournament in Richmond next month could be more unpredictable than last season, when neither of the top two seeds reached the title game.

If the regular season started today, this would be the seeding:

1. Northeastern
2. VCU
3. George Mason
4. Drexel
5. Hofstra
6. Old Dominion
7. James Madison
8. Georgia State
9. Delaware
10. Towson
11. William & Mary
12. UNC Wilmington

For local purposes, it’s conceivable that George Mason could still win the regular season. It could also finish seven. At this point, that’s pretty wild. And it makes the stretch run of the conference —- including Drexel’s visit to the Patriot Center on Wednesday —- worth taking a look at.

- Patrick Stevens