There has been a ton of conference realignment throughout the NCAA - both in football and basketball. What started as a high major realignment trickled down to the mid and low-major conferences as well. The CAA, a conference considered one of the top Mid-Major conferences in the country with the likes of George Mason and VCU making improbable Final Four runs, has now taken a slight step back.
Mason, VCU, Old Dominion and Georgia State have all departed from the CAA and Southern Conference power, Charleston, has joined the conference. The CAA now stands at nine teams for men's and women's basketball and while the more well-known programs have moved on to high major conferences, the CAA can still be a very strong conference in 2013-2014.
The newcomer, Charleston, lost in the Southern Conference championship game to Davidson last year but the Cougars return a good chunk of their top players. James Madison and Northeastern, the returning post-season and regular season champs, respectively, both lose a majority of their top players but will still be competitive.
Delaware still has Devon Saddler and Towson, who wasn't eligible for the post-season tournament last year, will be in the hunt this year with Georgetown transfer Jerrelle Benimon.
Drexel could be the wildcard this year as they lost steady defensive players Derrick Thomas and Daryl McCoy, but return guards Frantz Massenat, Damion Lee and Chris Fouch and the Dragons bring in a great recruiting class.
On the women's side, Delaware has dominated the CAA the last two years with Elena Delle-Donne, who has now taken her career to the WNBA. The Blue Hens will still be competitive but James Madison returns nearly all of their top players and will most likely be the favorite to win the conference.
The reigning WNIT champion Drexel Dragons lose All-CAA performers Hollie Mershon and Taylor Wootton, but with the return of starter Fiona Flanagan and standout freshmen Meghan Creighton and Rachel Pearson, the Dragons should still be in the thick of things.
The newbee, Charleston, is not as strong on the women's side but finished fifth in a competitive Southern Conference last year. Northeastern and Hofstra should still be solid this year and many of the other teams in the conference made head coaching changes and could surprise some people.
All in all, the CAA will remain to be a top Mid-Major conference despite the conference realignment. There may be some new names in the mix, the talent level and competitiveness in the conference is still one of the best in the country.