#8 Fordham vs #9 Richmond 12:00 pm
This will be the third meeting of the two teams, with the Spiders sweeping the regular season series. But the Rams are one of the hottest teams in the league, winning their last four games. This is should be one of the better matchups of the day.
The red hot Rams travel just 12 miles to the Barclays Center. They’re hoping that the 3rd time will be the charm. The Rams will look to A10 Rookie of the Year Joseph Chartouny, who was huge in their resurgence in the A10. Ryan Rhoomes will look to continue his offensive dominance against the Spiders. Rhoomes had 19 points and 12 boards last time out at Richmond. The Rams will have to stop the Spiders in the paint, something that they have struggled to do all year. This could be a very high scoring affair in Brooklyn.
This will be the first time the Spiders come into the tournament as a #9 seed. The Spiders have lost two straight, but have a favorable schedule if they were to make a run. In order for that to happen the Spiders will have to make a massive improvement on the defensive end, where they rank 249th in the nation. Richmond will look to TJ Cline and Terry Allen to lead them offensively. Both players received All A10 3rd team honors earlier this week. Another key for the Spiders is the three ball. The Spiders will need players like Marshall Wood to be hot if they even want a shot.
These are two very evenly match squads who have nothing to lose. I expect this game to be a shootout, with the Rams coming out on top. Both teams are very capable of making a cinderella run, but a lot “ifs” will have to happen. But hey, it’s March.
#5 George Washington vs #13 St. Louis Billikens 2:30 PM
The Colonials will square up against the Billikens in the second matchup of the day. Following a win over GMU, the Billikens will look to pull off the upset over GW. SLU was able to pull off the upset in their only game against GW, could they do it again?
George Washington is the heavy favorite in this matchup. The motto, “Brooklyn or Bust” has been given to the talented Colonial squad. A loss against SLU would guarantee a spot in the NIT. The duo of Tyler Cavanaugh and Kevin Larsen will look to avoid that scenario at all costs. Look for GW to pound in inside against an overmatched Billiken team. On paper it does seem GW would be the favorite, but you never know what Colonial team will show up. That being said, I think the Colonials will advance.
For the Billikens, there hasn’t been much to celebrate this year. One bright spot was an upset win over George Washington in January. Now the Billikens face the daunting task of doing it again. Saint Louis is coming off a first round win over George Mason. Marcus Bartley went off last night for 24 points on 7-8 from three. If Bartley can keep it up, the Colonials may be headed home.
All in all, I think GW comes out with the win. I could see SLU hanging around for a while, but the physicality of GW will wear them down. If should be another fun day in Brooklyn!