#4 Rhode Island Rams vs. #9 Davidson Wildcats- 1:00 PM ET
This has the potential to be one of the better games of the tournament. The Wildcats surprised everyone yesterday when they upset #1 seed Dayton. On the other end, Rhode Island is on the bubble trying to claw their way into the NCAA tournament. Expect a close game.
While Davidson didn’t live up to their expectations this season, a win against Dayton has given Wildcat fans hope. Jack Gibbs went absolutely bonkers against Dayton finishing with 34 points. Peyton Aldridge also pitched in a solid 14 points and 9 boards. The Wildcats will have to rely on these two to carry to load offensively. Davidson’s biggest weakness the absence of a rim protector. Hassan Martin and company will look to take advantage of that. The Rams come in off of a dominant performance against St. Bonaventure. Defensive POY Hassan Martin had himself a day with 19 points, 8 boards, and 3 blocks. Rhode Island should feed Martin for easy looks down low. Martin is joined by a diverse set of weapons alongside in E.C. Matthews,Jared Terrell, and Kuran Iverson who can all put up major numbers. Rhody should be the favorite.
While on paper it seems Rhode Island should be the favorite, their is something pesky about Jack Gibbs and the Wildcats. We’ll see if an enfuego Gibbs can lead the Wildcats past the Rams.
#2 VCU Rams vs. #3 Richmond Spiders- 3:30 PM ET
The Spiders will square off with innercity rival VCU for a third and final time. After being swept by the Rams during the regular season, the Spiders will look to flip the script to keep their title hopes alive. The Rams, who have already clinched a bid, won’t let that come easy. This will be a thriller.
After an awful non-conference showing, the Spiders shocked everyone in the league with a 3rd place finish. Richmond sneaked by GW last night on a Khwan Fore steal. TJ Cline only scored 8 points. That cannot happen again if Richmond wants to win. Expect ShawnDre’ Jones and TJ Cline to carry the load offensively. In order to win the Spiders will have to get hot from three. Nick Sherod will be the x-factor. The Spiders have the lowest TO % in the A10 and will keep to show why against VCU’s pressure. VCU won last time by dominating in the paint. I expect they’ll go right to Justin Tillman, who torched the Spiders with 18 points and 9 boards. The lack of an inside presence might be Richmond’s downfall. The Rams had four starters in double figures last time out. Expect big plays from Mo Allie Cox because that’s just what he does.
All in all, this could quite be best game we see all weekend. Nothing beats a rivalry game, especially in March. VCU is definitely the favorite to win this one, but it’s March. In 2015 the Spiders swept VCU in the regular season, only the lose to them in the A-10 tournament. Could the script flip this year? We’ll have to wait and find out.