Welcome to A10Talk’s series of Atlantic 10 Bracketology. Throughout the year we’ll be providing updates on where teams stand in regards to making the NCAA Tournament. Lets take a look at this week’s edition.
It’s no secret that this has been a tough start for the A-10. As of now, we’re looking at a one bid league. The league has fallen too far, and almost everyone has had at least one disappointing loss. It’s not impossible to right the ship though. Last year at this time most people were thinking the same thing before the A-10 managed to get three bids come Selection Sunday.
However, were we to say Rhode Island didn’t win the conference tournament (though its the clear favorite), I’m guessing the Rams would have a good enough shot at getting in. Boasting a win over #20 Seton Hall and not sporting any bad losses, Rhode Island is the only team that looks like it will go dancing.
On the Right Track
The conference finally picked up some Power 5 W’s! Rhode Island muscled out a win in the Barclay’s over #20 Seton Hall, and the Bonnie’s beat Maryland for their first Big Ten win in fifteen years. Yes, Rhody lost by fifteen to Virginia the following day. But, Virginia is grossly underrated and is looking like it will become a top ten team in the near future. The Bonnies haven’t erased their opening night disaster, but they’re playing better ball every time out, and truly competed against quality Power 5 opponents without their best player on the floor.
Down but Not Out
Dayton, VCU, Davidson St. Louis, George Mason, UMass, La Salle,
None of these teams have done anything special thus far. Dayton has young talent, but is clearly in a rebuilding year. VCU had a mediocre 1-2 performence in the their holiday tournament. Davidson had a promising start to the season, but is now reeling after a 16 point loss to Appalachian state. Saint Louis and George Mason have both had their moments, good and bad, and are very hard to get a true read on thus far. Umass is teetering on the edge of this grouping, and only have hopes alive because of their three non-conference games left against quality Power 5 schools (South Carolina, Providence, Georgia). La Salle is probably the most interesting of the bunch. To me, they are one of the only A-10 teams without a disappointing loss. Their three losses are to #20 Northwestern, #11 Miami, and Boston College. Pookie Powell and B.J. Johnson have been the best duo in the conference thus far and should make the Explorers a team to keep tabs on throughout the season.
Down and Just About Out
George Washington, St. Joseph’s, Duquesne
GW missed a big opportunity to beat a quality opponent over the weekend. It’s not that they don’t have another chance to beat anyone decent, (They play #10 Miami, Temple, and Penn State) but rather, it’s hard to see how they go about winning those games. They gave up 40 more points in the paint to Xavier than they scored. Poor St. Joseph’s. For a second straight season, injuries have put their season in serious jeopardy. Just when it looked like they would secure a win over WSU (98% win probability) absent defense and horrendous shooting handed them a four point loss. We’ll see if Martelli can turn it around. I had Duquesne one level higher, then they lost to kenpom #242 Cornell at home. No decent wins to date, and zero matchups against kenpom top 100 teams is not a winning formula.
Richmond hasn’t lost 5 of their first six this season. After a promising win over UAB, the Spiders proceed to get pummeled by a Cincinnati team that only needed twenty minutes to go up 40-14 over them. It didn’t get any better for them, as they then lost back-to-back desperation games 82-76. They still have a chance to get a marquee win over Wake Forest this week, but it’s hard to imagine them being able to salvage their non conference season after such a horrendous start. Fordham hasn’t beaten anybody decent, and got walloped against FSU. Pit of Misery for Fordham. Dilly Dilly!