Gr 8 Up-- The remarkable 2006 NCAA tournament run of the little-known George Mason University men's basketball team sparked a national wake-up call on the quality and status of less-celebrated, "mid-major" Division I collegiate basketball programs. This sportswriter's account of the 2005-2006 season in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) focuses primarily on the roller-coaster wins, losses, rivalries, and aspirations of the top six teams in the league: Old Dominion, George Mason, UNC-Wilmington, Hofstra, VCU, and Northeastern. As they vie for more than one league bid to the NCAA tournament, dedicated coaches like Jim Larranaga, Tom Pecora, Jeff Capel, and Blaine Taylor; key players like T.J. Carter, Isaiah Hunter, Tony Skinn, and Lamar Butler; and League Commissioner, Tom Yeager, recognize the impact of RPI ratings, non-conference scheduling, TV exposure, and limited finances. Ultimately and fortuitously, two CAA teams got bids for the first time in 20 years. Both the league tournament winner, UNC-Wilmington, and conference champ, George Mason, entered the NCAA's storied and lucrative "March Madness" tournament. This title provides a valuable perspective on the economic and competitive struggles of mid-major teams to build their programs and to demonstrate their parity with perennial powers. Litos's insights on mid-major issues and dilemmas are embedded in a lively chronicle of CAA games, personalities, and traditions. Although basketball fans in general will gain a better understanding of the breadth of Division 1 basketball, this title will appeal primarily to fans who are already acquainted with the CAA teams.--Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC[Page 162]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.