Atlantic 10 Bracketology: On conference tourney-eve, who is going to make the NCAA tournament?

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This series takes a weekly look at which teams in the A-10 have the potential to be selected into the NCAA tournament. Updated every Tuesday morning, these projections are based off of non-conference and conference performances, as well as projections from the experts. 

KEY: NR (not ranked), N/A (not updated)

All projections based on if the season ended today.

Locks

Dayton Flyers (24-6, 14-4 A-10)

ESPN: 7 seed | CBS Sports: 6 seed | NBC Sports: 7 seed | SI.com: 7 seed

A share of the A-10 regular season title this week affirms that Dayton is finally back. After a rough couple of weeks, the Flyers have regained the throne as the conference’s best team and they’re getting hot at the right time. A win over VCU gives Dayton the top-seed going into Brooklyn and a direct path to the semifinals, at the very least. If they are able to grab the A-10 tournament title, they will likely be back to that 4/5 seed ranking across the board come Selection Sunday.

St. Joseph’s Hawks (24-7, 13-5 A10)

ESPN: 9 seed | CBS Sports: 9 seed | NBC Sports: 9 seed | SI.com: 10 seed

The Hawks dropped a couple of unfortunate games this week, dropping games to St. Bonaventure then Duquesne. This isn’t a great sign for SJU, who enters Brooklyn as the #4 overall seed. They face a likely matchup with George Washington on Friday in the quarterfinals, a team that they beat handily earlier this season. However, the Colonials will be hungry for a victory and the way the bubble looks, they’re gonna need a couple wins to get back into tourney consideration. Regardless of what happens, SJU is dancing. The question is, will they avoid Dayton in the First Four? We shall see.

St. Bonaventure Bonnies (20-7, 12-4 A10)

ESPN: Last Four In | CBS Sports: 8 seed | NBC Sports: Last Four In | SI.com: 10 seed

The Bonnies present a similar situation as St. Joe’s. They both hang on the right side of the bubble, and it is difficult to imagine either team missing the tournament. After all, St. Bonaventure is the A-10 co-champion and rarely if ever do we see the regular season title winner from a large conference not make the tournament. The Bonnies will likely get Davidson in the quarterfinals, and if so a win over them would be solid for boosting their seeding. If St. Bona gets two wins, they won’t be in Dayton. One win, and its questionable. A loss to Davidson likely means the Bonnies will have to duke it out in UD Arena.

On the Bubble

VCU Rams (22-9, 14-4 A10)

ESPN: 9 seed | CBS Sports: 10 seed | NBC Sports: Last Four In | SI.com: Last Four In

The main reason why VCU sits on the bubble right now is because of the small conference at-large bids that have lost their conference tournaments. Teams like Monmouth and Wichita State, two programs that would normally be in because of winning their tourneys, have been losing at high rates and now crowd up the bubble. For this reason, VCU can not afford to screw up. The Rams take on the winner of Rhode Island/UMass this Friday in the quarterfinals. VCU beat URI this season, but lost by six to UMass a couple weeks back. VCU needs this win to put themselves in position for another NCAA tournament run.

Outside Looking In

George Washington Colonials (22-9, 11-7 A10)

ESPN: Next Four Out | CBS Sports: First Four Out | NBC Sports: Next Four Out | SI.com: Next Four Out

For George Washington to make the NCAA tournament, they’re pretty much going to have to make it to the A-10 championship game. While experts have the Colonials on the Next Four Out list, the saturation of bubble teams may effect their status more than others. They need quality wins, and more than one of them if they want a shot to go dancing. Otherwise, it looks like an NIT bid for Mike Lonergan’s squad.

 

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Huge college basketball fan. Co-owner/writer @ A10Talk.com (@A10Talk). Formerly ran The Groce Report (@TheGroceReport), wrote for SB Nation’s BT Powerhouse, and SB Nation's The Champaign Room. Davidson Wildcat, forever bleeding Orange and Blue.

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