Atlantic 10 Friday Preview: Pivotal Battle Between Two Postseason Hopefuls

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Game of the Night

George Washington Colonials vs. Rhode Island Rams – 7 ET (ESPN2)

Nothing is better than a Friday night filled with some A10 basketball, and the only match-up this evening is bound to be a thriller. It features two teams fighting for a place atop the conference standings. Two teams trying to find their rhythm. Two teams praying for a spot in March Madness. This game is critical for both the Colonials and the Rams.

GWU and URI currently sit as the 5th and 6th place teams in the conference. With a win tonight, Rhode Island would surpass George Washington — moving into a tie for 4th with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

On one side of the ball, George Washington (14-4, 3-2) will strive to bounce back from their last loss against the Dayton Flyers. George Washington NEEDS quality wins to even be considered for the tournament in March, and a victory over URI would be a nice addition to their profile. The Colonials powerful trio of Cavanaugh, Garino and Larsen will be counted on heavily to carry the load like most of the season. These three studs are all averaging double-digits in scoring while all racking up over 500 minutes on the season. If these guys don’t play well, George Washington is going to have a tough time scoring against a stingy Rams squad.

Rhode Island (11-7, 3-2) wants this game badly. This is perhaps one of their most important contests thus far. A loss would give them eight on the season, and their chances at a postseason birth would severely diminish. On the other hand, a win would put them in great position to seize a top spot in the A10. Rhode Island may not be the best team on paper, but they do have enormous upside. If the Rams can get hot at the right time, we may see them going very deep in the conference tournament. For this to happen, Rhode Island would need a couple of huge wins to keep momentum, and the game later this evening, could be a turning point for the Rams’ reason.

Rhode Island doesn’t have an easy schedule, either. They face Dayton (twice) and VCU before the season comes to a close. With this in mind, these games against mid-level teams are increasingly meaningful for Rhody.

Buckle up. The Friday Night battle between Rhode Island and George Washington should be a close call. It could go either way. Be sure to flip the channel to ESPN2 when 7 o’clock strikes for some good ole’ fashioned A10 hoops.

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