A10 Saturday Preview: A Historic Rivarly in Amherst
Game of the Night
St. Bonaventure Bonnies at Massachusetts Minutemen – 12:00 PM ET (CBSSN)
With the line currently sitting at SBON -2.5 it’s safe to say that this is going to be a great game. At first glance, it’s easy to assume that this is the Bonnies game to win. UMass sitting at 8-6 isn’t too impressive. But this UMass team is much better than their record suggests. Considering they had arguably one of the harder non-conference schedules out of A10 teams, it’s no surprise that their record is where it’s at. With that being said, there’s a lengthy history between these two programs and their contests always seem to be great. Last season the teams split the two game series. The Bonnies blew out UMass in the first game of the series when they visited the Mullins Center. In the second meeting, SBU literally gave UMass the W on a horrible last second turnover when the Minutemen visited Olean.
Considering how unpredictable these match ups usually are, I expect today’s game to be no different. Despite their poor record, UMass matches up with SBU quite nicely. Both teams are centered around their great guards. Look for this game to be Jay Adams and Marcus Posley vs Trey Davis and Jabarie Hinds. Both teams have great guards that can ultimately be the deciding factor on the outcome of this game.
This one should be a fast-paced, high scoring shootout. I think it’ll all come down to what team gets better play out of their guards. With UMass 5-1 at home on the season, I like to think that they will continue their success in Amherst again this afternoon. Despite St. Bonaventure being slightly favored, I think UMass will pick up their first conference win of the season in a very close game.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic 10
#25 Dayton at La Salle – 2:00 PM ET
This is a Dayton team that most people expect to be relevant come March going up against one of the worse A10 teams. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Dayton to shut down this La Salle team just as they shut down both Duquesne and UMass. If the Flyers can find a way to suppress Jordan Price, La Salle will struggle, and as one of, if not the best defenses in the Atlantic 10, that shouldn’t be a problem. Furthermore, La Salle’s use of a 6 man rotation should only hurt them in this game. With that being said, I see Dayton having no problem getting the win in Philly. Look for Dayton to win by double digits as the Explorers move to 0-3 in conference and 0-3 versus ranked opponents on the season.
George Mason at Davidson – 7:00 PM ET
Coming of a loss to St. Bonaventure, Davidson sees this matchup versus George Mason as an opportunity to respark their opportunity for success in the A10. With Jack Gibbs being the greatest thing at Davidson since Steph Curry, I expect him to make a huge impact on this game.Averaging nearly 24 points a game, look for Gibbs to continue his excessive scoring against this subpar George Mason team. Playing at home, I see Davidson winning this one comfortably but then again nothing is a given in the Atlantic 10 this year.
Duquesne at George Washington – 8:00 PM ET
Coming off a loss to St. Louis, George Washington has seen better days. While GW is 1-1 in conference play this season, they have been tested in both games. Fordham gave the Colonials a run for their money before coming up short. Unfortunately for GW, they couldn’t withstand the late run SLU made. I expect today’s game to be no different than GW’s first two conference games. Today will be yet another test for the Colonials. Despite falling short to both Dayton and Davidson, this Duquesne team has proven that they can compete with the best that the Atlantic 10 has to offer. This game should be yet another interesting one for George Washington as Duquesne remains hungry for their first A10 win. While I can’t see GW losing back to back games to major underdogs, I think this game will be closer than most think. I expect GW to win this one despite a great effort from Duquesne. Regardless, this game should be interesting as we continue to try to figure out just how good George Washington really is.