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Atlantic 10 Saturday Preview: St. Bonaventure takes on Dayton in pivotal game

Game of the Night

St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs. Dayton Flyers

Though both of these teams are coming off recent losses, there’s no denying that Dayton and St. Bonaventure have been fairly hot as of late. Before losing to St. Joseph’s on Wednesday, the Flyers had won 9 straight and had momentarily held the conference’s top spot all by themselves. St. Bonaventure was on a 5 game winning streak before losing to La Salle on the road last Wednesday. That loss more than likely moved the Bonnies further away from the NCAA Tournament picture. While Dayton is a lock for the Big Dance, St. Bomaventure still has some work left to do if it wants to make it to the tourney this season. For one, a win over the Flyers would be a good start.

This game should feature a battle of elite backcourts. Jaylen Adams and Marcus Posley are two of the better guards in the nation and have been carrying the Bonnies all season long. On the other side of the ball, Scoochie Smith and Kyle Davis have been impressive on offense. In addition, Charles Cooke has been bringing it home for the Flyers all year long. Whichever group of guards can get going faster will likely have the advantage. If Adams and Posley are able to light it up early on, they could have a chance at pulling off the upset. The last time these teams met, those two combined for an astounding 58 points. They’ll be trying to do all of that and more when they visit the Flyers on Saturday afternoon.

All in all, St. Bonaventure has to be playing for its life at this point in the season. After losing to La Salle, the Bonnies’ chance for an at-large bid just became exponentially smaller. Without a lot of great wins to show for, St. Bonaventure is going to need to pull this one out if it wants to slip its way into the NCAA Tournament. While Dayton is likely a lock for the Big Dance, it doesn’t want to lose 2 in a row. The Flyers have a difficult remaining schedule including a road game against Richmond and a home matchup with VCU.

Elsewhere in A-10 Action

St. Joseph’s Hawks vs. Davidson Wildcats

Arguably the hottest team in the A-10 will be back in action on Saturday afternoon when it visits Davidson. The Hawks have won 4 in a row and are looking to solidify themselves as a definite NCAA Tournament team; Davidson hopes to have something to say about that. St. Joseph’s recently took down Dayton at home, but Philadelphia hasn’t been its favorite place to play. Believe it or not, the Hawks are actually playing their best ball on the road this season where they’re 8-0. As they hope to keep that undefeated road winning streak alive, Davidson will hope to get some reinforcements after some Wildcats suffered from a recent illness. Notably, Jack Gibbs and Jordan Barham were sidelined for the Wildcats’ last outing against Richmond.

Duquesne Dukes vs. Rhode Island Rams

Here’s a classic battle of two teams that have tried so hard but haven’t been able to get it done in the A-10 this season. Despite facing countless injuries, Rhode Island has found a way to go 6-7 in the conference. The Rams have lost their last two games though. Duquesne now sits at 5-8, having lost its last 4 despite winning 3 straight before that skid. Both of these teams could use a confidence-boosting win, and the outcome of this game could really come down to guard play. Derrick Colter and Micah Mason will do battle with Jared Terrell and Jarvis Garrett. Whoever has a better performance from its backcourt will have the upper hand.

Fordham Rams vs. Saint Louis Billikens

Though these teams are both in a bit of a slump, they enter this game riding 1 game winning streaks. The Rams and the Billikens will go at it in a game that really has little to no implications. At this point in the season, both teams are just trying to find some momentum heading into the A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn. Though it seems very unlikely, either one of these teams could pull off some crazy upsets and make a run in the conference tourney. Though it may be tough to do, both of these squads need to strap up and fight for their lives down the stretch.

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for ...