After a heartbreaking loss at the hands of VCU, George Washington’s bubble appears to have just burst. With two games left, the Colonials face George Mason and Davidson, neither or which presents the opportunity to really impress the Selection Committee. GW has only one win this season against the top of the Atlantic 10 (VCU, Dayton, Saint Joseph’s and Saint Bonaventure), and that came at VCU a few weeks ago. On the contrary, losses to Saint Louis and Richmond certainly haven’t helped.
A team and season that looked so promising after beating #6 Virginia, now appears to be heading for the NIT. There were talks of making the Sweet 16, possibly father. Who knows. I still believe that if the Colonials can somehow make the NCAA Tournament, they are defiantly capable of winning at least one game. But chances are, they might not get that opportunity. George Washington is now going to have to make at least the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but it will probably need to make the finals or even win the whole Tournament to make it.
The road to the Atlantic 10 Championship certainly won’t be easy, as GW will likely face at least two of the following teams: Saint Bonaventure, VCU, Dayton or Saint Joseph’s (taking into account current A10 standings and seed projections). And they’ll have to play on Thursday, while all the aforementioned teams will play their first game on Friday (all top-4 seeds get a double-bye). It is not impossible to win coming from the second round, however. VCU did that that last season, defeating Fordham, Richmond, Davidson and Dayton en route to the championship.
What worries me is two fold: its not likely that GW can beat the teams they would have to beat to win the championship, and GW has not done historically well in the Atlantic 1o Tournament. Despite being one of the founding members of the conference 40 years ago, the Colonials have only won the conference championship twice: 2005 and 2007.
While I remain hopeful that the Colonials will pull off a miracle run and make the NCAA Tournament, the facts are the facts. This team, especially its seniors, deserve better than back-to-back NIT appearances. Sadly, it appears that is the direction we’re heading, one way or another. I hope GW proves me wrong.