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.
Saint Louis (9-4)
Dominating Appalachian State 83-55 to close out the non-conference schedule, Saint Louis heads into Atlantic 10 play at 9-4 overall. With quality wins over Seton Hall, Butler, and Oregon State, the Billikens put together a solid non-conference resume. While Saint Louis did miss out on some other great opportunities, the Billikens managed to avoid any horrific losses. As a favorite to win the A-10 heading into conference play, Saint Louis’ main focus will be avoiding bad losses. Obviously that’s easier said than done, especially with so many land mines in the A-10 this year. If the Billikens can take advantage of a weaker A-10 they should make the NCAA tournament thanks to a solid non-conference resume.
Need a Boost
Davidson (9-4), VCU (9-4)
With no bad losses and no quality wins, Davidson put together a remarkably average non-conference resume. Playing without star sophomore Kellan Grady the past few weeks, Davidson dropped key games against Temple, Wake Forest, and (to be expected) at North Carolina. If Davidson wants to make a run back towards the NCAA tournament bubble, the Wildcats need a strong showing in A-10 play. Not only must the Wildcats avoid bad losses, they also need to beat the conference’s top teams (Saint Louis and whoever else emerges).
Winning its past two games in dominant fashion, VCU enters A-10 play feeling pretty good about itself. With quality wins over Temple and Texas, the Rams put together a nice non-conference resume. That said, VCU also fell short in some very winnable games against Old Dominion and Charleston. In order to climb back near at-large consideration VCU will have to prove it’s a team in the A-10. If VCU can finish top three in the conference and win a couple games at the A-10 tournament, the Rams could find themselves on the bubble come Selection Sunday.
Better Luck Next Year
Duquesne (9-4), Fordham (9-4), Dayton (8-5), Rhode Island (7-5), Saint Joseph’s (7-5), UMass (7-6), George Mason (6-7), Richmond (6-7), George Washington (4-9), Saint Bonaventure (4-9), La Salle (2-10)
While quite a few of these teams look like potential sleeper picks to make a run in the A-10 tournament, their NCAA at-large chances have come and gone. Teams like Duquesne and Dayton have no horrible losses, but both the Dukes and Flyers missed multiple opportunities to pick up non-conference quality wins. Fordham might be 9-4, which is much better than usual, but the Rams’ best win is Rutgers and they have some excruciating losses. Baring an insane run in A-10 play or conference tournament championship, it’s better luck next year for each of these teams.