2018 Women’s A-10 Tournament Preview

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It’s finally that time of year again, and this year’s Women’s A-10 Tournament is shaping up to be a good one! 

Favorites

Dayton 22-5 (15-1)
No surprise here, the Flyers won the regular season championship out-right and nearly finished conference play unblemished after facing a challenging non-conference schedule. Dayton heads into the tournament having suffered their first loss since December 20, 2017 at USF, when the Flyers fell at Saint Louis 85-72. Dayton is a very well-coached team and just does not make many mistakes. It would be fair to call them an NCAA Tournament team but nothing is ever safe unless you win the conference tournament and Dayton has been the class of the conference all season.
 Duquesne 23-6 (13-3)
The Dukes enter the A-10 Tournament as the second seed. In my opinion, the Dukes have a very favorable draw. Yes, Saint Louis could be a difficult opening game, but they avoid having to face George Mason, George Washington, or Dayton until the finals. If they face UMass Friday then the dribble-drive and various defensive looks will challenge Duquesne. Should it advance to play Saturday, a potential rematch against Fordham awaits and you know they’re eager for another shot after dropping a close decision to the Rams at home last Wednesday.

Dark Horses

Fordham 21-8 (12-4)
The Rams just missed out on bye in the A-10 tournament, as they fell to Saint Joseph’s on Saturday, 52-50. Fordham has a senior post player in G’mrice Davis that is tough to match up with and is good for a double-double just about every game. Junior guard Lauren Holden is a steady leader who can make shots, defer to her teammates or both depending on what the situation calls for. Additionally, freshman Bre Cavanaugh has made a big impact. When you add players such as Johanna Klug, Mary Goulding, Zara Jillings and Kendall Heremaia, this is a dangerous team which takes pride in its defense, meaning each  possession will be extremely valuable. Teams have fallen into lulls against Fordham’s defense and when that happens, you play right into their hands.
 George Mason 22-8 (11-5)
The Patriots are having their best season in program history, racking up a program record 22 wins, behind UConn-transfer Natalie Butler and a very strong supporting cast led by freshman Nicole Cardano-Hillary, sophomore Jacy Bolton, sophomore Sarah Kaminski and a host of others. George Mason is hosting a conference tournament game for the first time since 2006 and coach Nyla Milleson has her players together. While many goals have been accomplished, a big one still remains. George Mason has a bad taste in its mouth from not making it to Richmond for A-10’s last season, falling in a quarterfinal contest. It is hungry to fix that Tuesday.
 George Washington 15-13 (10-6)
Don’t be fooled by the Colonials’ overall record, this is a very good team. GW arguably played the most difficult non-conference schedule of any team in the A-10, facing Syracuse, Maryland, Wisconsin, South Dakota State, Vanderbilt and USF. They hit a few bumps in the road in conference play, losing to Dayton twice, but other then those two loses, their other three conference loses came by a total of 15 points. This is a team getting hot at the right time, and are hungry to avenge their early exit in Richmond last season at the hands of Duquesne. Brianna Cummings has played consistent basketball in all aspects this season and Mei-Lyn Bautista has continued to provide great leadership while actively finding more ways to get herself involved on both ends of the floor. Kelli Prange coming off the bench provides a look that other teams have trouble defending and Kelsi Mahoney has the ability to change the game with one shot, having shown plenty of growth given the opportunities she has been presented.

Schedule

First Round: February 27 (Campus Sites)
7:00 ET: #8 Richmond vs #9 Davidson (A10N)
7:00 ET: #4 George Mason vs #13 St. Bonaventure (A10N)
7:00 ET: #5 George Washington vs #12 La Salle (A10N)
7:00 ET: #7 Saint Louis vs # 10 UMass (A10N)
7:-00 ET: #3 Fordham vs #14 Rhode Island (A10N)
7:00 ET: #6 Saint Joseph’s vs #11 VCU (A10N)
Quarterfinals: March 2 (Richmond, VA)
11:00 ET: #1 Dayton vs #8/9 (A10N)
2:00 ET: #4/13 vs #5/12 (A10N)
4:30 ET: #2 Duquesne vs #7/10 (A10N)
7:00 ET: #3/14 vs #6/11 (A10N)
Semifinals: March 3 (Richmond, VA)
11:00 ET: #1/8/9 vs #4/13/5/12 (CBSSN)
1:30 ET: #2/7/10 vs #3/14/6/11 (CBSSN)
Finals: March 4 (Richmond, VA)
12:00 ET: #1/8/9/4/13/5/12 vs #2/7/10/3/14/6/11 (ESPNU)
 
Zachary Weiss also contributed to this article
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About Author

Daniel Frank is a member of the George Mason Class of 2022. He graduated high school from the Academy For Individual Excellence in Louisville, KY. He has written for several blogs, and has been published in The Washington Post. Daniel has been following GW basketball since he was 2 months old, but has started following his Mason since being accepted in 2016.

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