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.
In Right Now
VCU (21-6, 12-2)
VCU is the only Atlantic 10 team guaranteed to make the NCAA tournament if the season ended today. At 21-6 overall, the Rams currently sit atop the A-10 standings and have put together an impressive resume. As of now, most bracket projections foresee VCU to fall in the 8-10 seed range. This places the Rams comfortably in the tournament. Baring some kind of disastrous end to the season, VCU is virtually a lock to go dancing this year.
Winners of eight straight games, the Rams look to keep rolling as they take on Saint Louis at home. Following the game against the Billikens, VCU faces Richmond in a rivalry showdown at the Robbins Center. If the Rams keep winning, I think they could climb as high as a seven seed. This would be ideal, as it allows VCU to avoid potentially facing a No. 1 seed in the second round.
Dayton (18-9, 10-4)
After beating Davidson at Belk Arena last week, Dayton has somehow managed to resurrect itself and regain a glimmer of at-large hope. Listed as one of the “first eight teams out” according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, Sports Illustrated, and others, the Flyers find themselves back on the bubble to an extent. How? You may ask. Dayton has missed opportunities and blown leads to the likes of George Mason, VCU (twice), Mississippi State, and Tulsa. So how do the Flyers still have at-large chances? The answer is made up of a couple different reasons.
The main reason Dayton still has an outside shot at an at-large bid is because the bubble is down this season. In a normal year, a team who missed nearly all of its quality win opportunities would be far from tournament consideration. However, a weak bubble this year gives the Flyers hope. The second reason is Dayton’s lack of bad losses. Despite a down year in the A-10, the Flyers have no true bad losses on their resume. On the flip side, Dayton’s only two notable wins came over Butler and Davidson. This leaves the Flyers with an incredibly mediocre resume.
All in all, Dayton has missed a lot of opportunities but managed to avoid the landmines thus far. If the Flyers wants to give themselves any at-large shot, they must win-out the rest of the regular season. In addition, Dayton would more than likely need to make it to the A-10 championship game. Coming off two key wins, the Flyers head to UMass Tuesday night before returning home for a battle with Rhode Island on Friday. If Dayton keeps winning things could start getting quite interesting.
Davidson (20-7, 11-3)
Listed as one of the “next eight teams out” according to Sports Illustrated, Davidson is hanging onto its tournament hopes by a mere thread. Much like Dayton, the Wildcats missed the majority of their opportunities to pick up quality wins this season. Unlike Dayton, Davidson has a few bad losses on its resume. The Wildcats have dropped games to Wake Forest (10-16), Saint Joseph’s (11-16), and UMass (10-17). At this point it looks like Davidson will have to win the A-10 championship to make the NCAA tournament this year. Anything is possible in college basketball, but time is running out for a team listed as one of the “next eight out.”
Best of Luck in Brooklyn
Duquesne (18-9, 9-5), St. Bonaventure (13-14, 9-5), George Mason (15-12, 9-5), Saint Louis (17-10, 8-6), Richmond (12-15, 6-8), La Salle (8-18, 6-8), Rhode Island (12-14, 5-9), George Washington (8-19, 4-10), Saint Joseph’s (11-16, 4-10), UMass (10-17, 3-11), Fordham (11-16, 2-12)