The A10 Talk staff predicts the 2018 Atlantic 10 Tournament

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Grant Labedz

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Davidson Wildcats
Call me crazy, but heading into the A-10 Tournament, I’m absolutely loving the way Davidson is playing. Taking the Bonnies to triple OT in Olean was impressive, but a comeback win over URI really capped off conference play nicely. I like the way Kellan Grady has developed over the course of the season, and the 1-2 punch of he and Peyton Aldridge makes this team a dangerous candidate to cut down the nets in D.C.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — Saint Joseph’s Hawks
The Hawks may not be that much of a “sleeper,” as they’ve won 6 of their last 7, but I certainly wouldn’t pick them as so a month ago. SJU has stormed back from what looked like a disappointing season to secure the 4 seed in the tourney. Taylor Funk has been red-hot, and James Demery has become a senior leader. Should Saint Joseph’s advance from Friday’s game and meet URI, the 1st place Rams better watch out…
3. Who’s on upset alert? — Rhode Island Rams
I watched the story unfold last year for the #1 seeded Dayton Flyers — they won the regular season championship early, blew it in the closing game against GW, and had to face a red-hot Davidson team in the first round of the A-10 Tournament. I think Rhode Island is on upset alert, coming into D.C. on a 2-game losing streak and having to wait until Friday to play, but I’m well-prepared to be proven wrong.

EJ Kelley

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Davidson Wildcats
I’m picking Davidson to come out on top in DC. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge their 3OT heartbreaker in a probable rematch against Bona in the semis and this group has already proven they can hang with Rhody even on a subpar 3PT shooting night.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — Saint Joseph’s Hawks
On the other side of the bracket, St. Joes has been one of the hottest teams in the league down the stretch.
3. Who’s on upset alert? — Rhode Island Rams
Should they squeeze past Mason, Phil Martelli’s group will look to try to upset Rhode Island for the second time in two weeks. It should be an electric week in DC no matter how it all goes down.

Jack Milko

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Davidson Wildcats
The Wildcats have Peyton Aldridge who is a matchup nightmare for both St. Bonaventure and URI, the two best clubs in the conference struggle to contain the veteran sharpshooter. And oh, by the way, this freshman Kellan Grady: he can drop 30 at a moments notice. The Wildcats have played very well down the stretch, and I feel that they will be dancing a week from today.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — Duquesne Dukes
Tarin Smith and Mike Lewis II are not to be messed with. If this duo can get hot, they can help fuel a deep run in the tournament. Keith Dambrot is also an excellent coach and that can only help the Dukes’ cause. Duquesne has also given Bona two scares and lost to URI by 3; they can run with anyone if they play to their potential.
3. Who’s on upset alert? — Rhode Island Rams & St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Rhody has lost two in a row and they cannot afford to lose in the first round, or else they could end up as an 8/9 seed or lower in the tourney. St. Bonaventure has won 12 games in a row, will probably be ranked this week, and is one of the hottest teams in the nation. SBU needs to stick to the “one game at a time” mentality and not get too carried away so much that they lose to a team like Duquesne in the quarterfinals… and then find themselves as the number one overall seed in the NIT… like in 2016. These teams are headed in opposite directions, but both are still need wins in regards to the dance.

Andrew Phung

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Rhode Island Rams
After an embarrassing showing in their final home game vs. Saint Joseph’s and an epic collapse at Davidson, I expect Dan Hurley’s team to come to Washington D.C. with the hunger to win, and ultimately, I expect them to repeat as A-10 Tournament champions.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — Richmond Spiders
Chris Mooney could very well be coaching for his job at this tournament. The Spiders went from going an abysmal 2-10 in non-conference play before finishing conference play with a 9-9 record. They have a lot of young talent that can upset any Atlantic 10 team that underestimates them, as exhibited by their road wins at VCU, at George Mason, and at Davidson.
3. Who’s on upset alert? — Saint Joseph’s Hawks
With the way that George Mason has been winning games in improbable situations, they clearly have luck and a clutch factor on their side. Also, the Patriots have already swept their season series with the Hawks. If La Salle or UMass somehow matches up with the Hawks, they each have a scorer that can carry their respective teams, in the form of B.J. Johnson and Luwane Pipkins.

Nicholas Gallo

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Rhode Island Rams
Coach Dan Hurley has implemented his father’s roots, Jersey Ball, and has put it into work for this team as having two rough-riding guards who can drive, shoot, and pass.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — Saint Joseph’s Hawks
When the combo of Lamarr Kimble and Freshamn Taylor Funk are on a roll they are able to shake take on any team in the A-10.
3. Who’s on upset alert? — St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Jaylen Addams and Matt Mobley do lead the way for this hungry Bonnies squad after being snubbed two years ago, but when you shut down one guard and the other isn’t on, can Courtney Stockard keep performing at this high of a level and push the Bonnies to bigger tournaments aspirations besides A-10?

Mike Macesi

1. Who’s your pick to win? — Davidson Wildcats
The Wildcats will be feeling good after that big win on senior night over Rhode Island, and these tournaments are all about momentum. Also, Rhode Island is already a lock for the NCAA Tournament, and the Bonnies have a very good chance regardless of the outcome this week. But the Wildcats only have one way in (winning the conference tourney), and that’s a pretty good motivator if you ask me.
2. Who’s your sleeper? — La Salle Explorers
The Explorers haven’t had the season they were hoping for, but with Pookie Powell and B.J. Johnson in the lineup, they will have a chance in every game in this tourney. If they can both get hot, they will be a hard out.
3. Who’s on upset alert? — St. Bonaventure Bonnies
On a 12 game win streak, it is very possible for the Bonnies to overlook there first opponent, whether it be Richmond or Duquesne. College Athletes can be unpredictable sometimes, and if they head into that first game unfocused, they could have a letdown.

Daniel Frank

1. Who’s your pick to win? — St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Maybe an obvious pick here, but it’s hard to argue with a team that has won 12 games in a row heading into D.C. The Bonnies are getting hot at the right time, and certainly have all the pieces to make something special happen. And you know they’re itching for another shot at Davidson too…
2. Who’s your sleeper? — George Mason Patriots
Sure, the Patriots didn’t exactly look great on Saturday against Richmond, but then again, neither did the GW women’s team in their final regular season outing. The Colonials went on to win the A-10 Tournament from the 5-seed, and heck, maybe these Patriots can do the same thing. They sure have the flare for the dramatics, which fits right in with the theme of March…
3. Who’s on upset alert? — Rhode Island Rams
Maybe another obvious pick here, but I’m not in love with how URI has looked down the stretch of the season. Ever since they clinched the A-10 regular season title, the Rams have looked rather flat and unremarkable. While they’re more than capable of getting it together and making a run at the championship, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them fall either.
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About Author

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 SB Nation's BT Powerhouse (Big Ten Basketball) and The Champaign Room (Illinois Basketball). He also co-founded his own Illinois Basketball blog called The Groce Report. Grant is a member of the Davidson Class of 2020. Shoot him an email at [email protected] Follow @GrantLabedz

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