Atlantic 10 Bracketology – December 11, 2018

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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.

On Track

Davidson (8-1), Saint Louis (7-2)

Clearly the two teams to beat in the A-10 right now, Davidson and Saint Louis are on track to make the NCAA tournament at this point in the season. The Wildcats scored 99 points in a win over Winthrop last week to improve to 8-1 on the year. With important games coming up against Temple and Wake Forest this week, Davidson needs to win at least one of the two to stay on track. Win both, however, and the Wildcats’ tournament chances substantially increase.

Saint Louis, on the other hand, dropped a tough game earlier last week to Southern Illinois. Nevertheless, the Billikens bounced back with a nice win over Oregon State on Sunday. Saint Louis already has two high quality wins this year as the Billikens went on the road to beat Seton Hall (who just upset Kentucky) and downed Butler at home. Another huge opportunity awaits Saint Louis this week. The Billikens go on the road to face undefeated Houston on Saturday. An upset victory would mark Saint Louis’ third quality win of the non-conference.

Need A Boost

Duquesne (6-2), VCU (7-3), Fordham (7-2)

Despite sitting at 6-2 with no bad losses. the Duquesne Dukes are still in search of a high quality win. Unfortunately, those opportunities will not present themselves this week as Duquesne plays UMES and Maine, a couple of 1-8 teams. That said, the Dukes do have a shot to pick up a nice win next week against Penn State. As long as Duquesne takes care of business this week, the Penn State game will be a big one for the Dukes.

Going on the road and finding a way to beat Texas, VCU picked up an important win last week. Then, on Sunday, the Rams fell by just eight points to No. 4 Virginia. Sitting at 7-3 overall, VCU has no bad losses and two quality wins. With 8-2 Charleston coming to town this week, the Rams have another opportunity to add a solid win to their tournament resume.

No one expected Fordham to start the season 7-2, but here the Rams are. After starting the season 6-1 against weak competition, Fordham suffered a bad loss to Maine. Nevertheless, the Rams jumped right back up and beat a Big Ten team. Yes, that’s right, Fordham downed Rutgers 78-70 last week. While beating Rutgers is a nice win for the Rams, their two losses this year came against teams well under .500. Fordham must take care of business this week against NJIT and Howard before looking ahead towards any quality win opportunities.

Last Life

Dayton (5-4), Rhode Island (4-3), UMass (6-4)

After destroying Detroit by 39 points, Dayton fell on the road 82-72 against top 10 ranked Auburn. Sitting at 5-4 overall, the Flyers have no bad losses and one quality win over Butler. That said, Dayton has let some big time win opportunities fall through its grasp. One more non-conference quality win opportunity remains, however, as the Flyers take on Tulsa in Connecticut this Sunday. Coming off wins over Oklahoma State and nationally ranked Kansas State, Tulsa will enter Sunday’s game feeing pretty good about itself. Dayton must find a way to grab this win in order to keep its tournament hopes alive.

Time is winding down in the non-conference slate and Rhode Island is still in search of a quality win. Thankfully for the Rams, the opportunity for a big win will present itself this Saturday against West Virginia. If Rhode Island wants to build a tournament resume, Saturday’s game against the Mountaineers is a must win.

After an inexcusable loss to Holy Cross, UMass bounced back in a big way. The Minutemen went on the road to took down Providence. Despite going down by TWENTY at one point, UMass never quit fighting. While the comeback win over Providence was big, the Minutemen need to find a way to make up for their two bad losses. A win at Temple this week is a must if UMass wants to keep its tournament hopes alive.

Better Luck Next Year

Saint Joseph’s (5-5), George Mason (5-6), Richmond (4-5), Saint Bonaventure (4-6), George Washington (2-8), La Salle (0-10)

This is quite a long list considering non-conference play doesn’t end for another three weeks, but such is the state of the A-10 this season. Barring one of these teams making a run and winning the A-10 tournament, which Saint Joe’s or George Mason could very well do, it’s better luck next year for all six of these teams.

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Grant Kelly is a college freshman from Springboro, Ohio. He's been going to Dayton games since birth and has covered A-10 basketball for the past four seasons. You can follow him on Twitter @GrantKelly07

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