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Atlantic 10 Friday Preview and Predictions

Game of the Day: Virginia at VCU

Playing for the first time since 2014, the Rams and Cavaliers will renew their rivalry today at the Siegel Center. Both teams enter the game with two fairly easy wins apiece, and this game will be their first true test of the season. This is a game that the players and fans have been looking forward to for a while, and for good reason. Here are some keys to look for.

When you think of Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers over the past few years, the first word that pops to mind has to be defense. This year isn’t any different. Virginia has forced 37 turnovers in their first two games, and they will look to do the same today. Lucky for the Rams, that should be harder to do than usual. Not only will they have a raucous home crowd on their side, but they are also for the most part an experienced team. So far this year they have had 6 guys average twenty or more minutes, and all are sophomores and up, no freshman. These guys are used to the tempo, and should not be overly affected by the intense defense of UVA.

In terms of individuals, it has to be the matchup on the post between Justin Tillman and the bigs for UVA. Considered one of the better players in the A-10, Tillman more than likely will be guarded by someone bigger than him for the majority of the game. The battle on the glass will definitely be something to keep an eye out for.

VCU is going to be pumped heading into this game, and the crowd is only going to add to their excitement. If they could pull it out, it would be a huge win for them heading into the Maui Invitational, and be a nice add to their résumé. It won’t be easy to stop UVA and guards Kyle Guy and Devon Hall, but VCU sure does have a lot in their favor too.

My prediction: VCU 68, Virginia 62

Fordham vs Florida State

This is a huge step up in competition for the Rams, who opened the season against Miami (OH) and LIU Brooklyn. For Fordham to pull the upset, Chartouny is going to have to be huge, both offensively and defensively.

That being said, the Seminoles only return one starter, Terrance Mann. Mann has taken over the role as the playmaker for the Noles, and Fordham will look to try to stop him.

It’s possible Fordham could catch FSU sleeping, but for now I just don’t think they have the talent to beat a team on the front-half of the ACC.

My prediction: Fordham 61, Florida State 85

Saint Louis vs Providence

Last night, the Billikens beat a very good Virginia Tech team, and it was no fluke. Saint Louis drove to the basket with consistency, and Javon Bess showed that he could be of the top players in the conference this season.

That momentum should carry over to tonight, and as long as they don’t get in foul trouble too early, they should be able to beat a decent but not overpowering Providence team.

My prediction: Saint Louis 74, Providence 66

Dayton vs Ohio

Last night Dayton suffered a tough loss in a game that they had to battle back from being down 16 points early.

This game will be about the mental aspect of basketball, and as long as they don’t dwell on last night, they should be okay. Expect Xeyrius Williams to have a strong game and give the Flyers another tally for the win column.

My prediction: Dayton 71, Ohio 60