Given their difficult non-conference schedule, should the Rams take care of business against Iona and FGCU, 8-3 with wins over Seton Hall and Providence will be plenty to warrant an at-large bid. Jared Terrell has been an absolute beast in his senior season for a team that desperately needed someone to step up after E.C. Matthews went down with a broken wrist in November. Rhody is still the class of this conference, and barring an unforeseen collapse in the conference season, will almost certainly be dancing come march.
On the Right Track
After the Thanksgiving tournament down in Florida, the Bonnies were favored in six straight games. To keep their hopes of an at-large bid alive, it was no secret that they had to win them all. Everyone knew they had to go into the ‘Cuse game at 9-2. Well, we got our wish. The Brown and White head to the Carrier Dome on Friday for what is potentially the most important regular season non-conference game since…when? 2001 at Uconn? This game is also huge for the conference; a win could be the difference between a one and two bid league. If the Bonnies win Friday, and head into A10 play at 10-2 with wins over Maryland and ‘Cuse, there is no way they should be kept out of the NCAA’s if they have a solid conference record. Expect the Bona faithful to be out in full force for the battle.
Maybe in Washington?
Dayton, VCU, Davidson UMass, La Salle
Given the current state of the conference, there are really only two teams with any chance at an at-large bid. Dayton, VCU, and Davidson all had great non-conference schedules, but failed to pick up any marquee wins, going a combined 0-9 against kenpom top-50 teams. UMass and La Salle have both played surprisingly good basketball, and have notched some decent wins, but haven’t done enough to move themselves all the way up into the at-large discussion. There’s good news for all five of these teams though. Washington is less than three months away, and all squads have a legitimate chance to win it all. In a season as wide open as any in recent memory for the A-10, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these teams pull off an A-10 tourney upset and (potentially) steal a bid from Rhody or Bona.
Richmond, Fordham, George Mason, Duquesne, Saint Louis, St. Joseph’s, George Washington
I highly doubt any of these teams will be dancing in march. None of them have shown enough in the non-conference season to make me believe they have a true shot at making a deep run in the A10 tournament. It’s incredibly difficult to win the conference tournament, and nearly impossible if you have a low seeding and are forced to play four games in four days against four good teams. Hope springs eternal.