Atlantic 10 Valentine’s Day Special: Will you be my Valentine?

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If you’re reading this article instead of showering your significant other with Valentine’s Day gifts, maybe you need to rethink your plans. Did you even remember it was Valentine’s Day? I’ll tell you who did: the teams of the Atlantic 10 Conference of course! Each squad had a special request for today. Each team took a leap of faith and asked that special someone: Will you be my Valentine? Let’s see who each team’s been crushing on.

Davidson Wildcats: Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge 

A double date? Ooo, scandalous. The Wildcats gave out a Valentine to its best two players this season, because, quite frankly, both were too attractive to pass up. Gibbs and Aldridge have been doing everything for Davidson this season. Their combined 41.6 points per game make up more than 56% of the team’s scoring. Is this the bachelor? Because Davidson can’t decide who it’s going to give that final rose to. Awkward…

On behalf of the Davidson Wildcats, Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge, will you be my Valentines?

Dayton Flyers: Xeyrius Williams

I don’t think the Flyers thanked Williams enough for his two dagger threes that helped them come back and beat Rhode Island in Kingston. Seriously, though, he was the reason Dayton was able to come back and win in the final seconds, and we can’t let that appreciation go unnoticed. Dayton has to show how much love it has today.

On behalf of the Dayton Flyers, Xeyrius Williams, will you be my Valentine?

Duquesne Dukes: A Kenpom projected win between now and the end of the season

Duquesne has a hard time finding true love, but even an ugly duckling finds a match every now and then (that’s definitely a saying, I promise). So, the Dukes are riding an 8 game losing streak right now, and that’s not likely to change real soon. But wait! A diamond in the rough! Kenpom gives Duquesne a 60% chance of beating Fordham at home later this year. It’s not set in stone, but the Dukes are going to hang on to what they can get…

On behalf of the Duquesne Dukes, A Kenpom projected win between now and the end of the season, will you be my Valentine?

Fordham Rams: Defense 

Defense wins championships, right? Well, errrrr, kind of. Fordham isn’t winning any kind of championship this year, but the Rams have one of the best defenses in the nation led by the pest Joseph Chatrouny. The sophomore leads the nation in steal percentage, and Fordham has the 3rd best steal percentage in the entire country as a team. Trying to hold on to true love, Fordham’s Valentine is going to its D.

On behalf of the Fordham Rams, defense, will you be my Valentine?

George Mason Patriots: Marquise Moore

I mean, come on, is there anyone else more deserving of a Valentine than Marquise Moore? The guy is averaging more than a double-double this season as a guard, and he’s the reason the Patriots are likely going to finish in the top half of the league this year. No one saw that coming. He plays with poise, swag, and a little bit of style, and he’s pretty easy to fall in love with.

On behalf of the George Mason Patriots, Marquise Moore, will you be my Valentine?

George Washington Colonials: Maurice Joseph

Let’s give the guy some credit. Joseph came in as the interim head coach this year after the unexpected firing of Mike Lonergan, and even though the Colonials haven’t been outstanding this season, they’re trying to hold their own. At 5-7, this is far from a successful year for the Colonials, but it’s going to take some time to get back. Give Maurice Joseph some credit, and trust the process. This team will be back.

On behalf of the George Washington Colonials, Maurice Joseph, will you be my Valentine?

La Salle Explorers: The Charity Stripe

Have you ever heard the phrase “the charity stripe has been friendly today.” Well, it turns out that you can return the favor. This year, the Explorers have decided to give out their Valentine to the free throw line. La Salle is the best in the conference, shooting 80.9% in A-10 play, and its 8th in the nation at 77.6% overall. That’s not too bad. Needless to say, the charity stripe has shown love to this team all year, and it’s time this team shows love back.

On behalf of the La Salle Explorers, the charity stripe, will you be my Valentine?

Massachusetts Minutemen: Non-conference play

Yeah, we all know that Massachusetts has really underperformed in conference play this season. A lot of fans are unhappy with the coaching job that Derek Kellogg’s done this season, and it’s warranted. But hey! Today is all about love, and Massachusetts has to be (somewhat) in love with the way it played in the non-conference portion of its schedule! This team won solid games over Georgia State, Harvard, and Temple, and it almost took down UCF, Providence, and Mississippi. If anything, the non-conference portion of Massachusetts’ schedule showed just how solid this team can be when its young guns come out to play. Next year, Massachusetts.

On behalf of the Massachusetts Minutemen, non-conference play, will you be my Valentine?

Rhode Island Rams: The Selection Committee

This one isn’t as much of a gift as it is a bribe. After a home loss to Dayton, it’s all of a sudden looking like Rhode Island is going to have a tougher time making the NCAA Tournament. Close losses have been painful for the Rams all season long, and that home game against the Flyers was no exception. Sure, this team can sneak into the Big Dance without any extra help from the Selection Committee, but you’d rather be safe than sorry. That’s why the Rams are tossing a little love to the Committee in hopes of getting a little love in a few Sundays.

On behalf of the Rhode Island Rams, the Selection Committee, will you be my Valentine?

Richmond Spiders: Chris Mooney

Awwww. Richmond asked its own head coach to be its Valentine this year! Isn’t that sweet? There has been quite a lot of scrutiny revolving around Chris Mooney this year, and before he turned this Richmond Spiders season around in conference play, fans were calling for his head.
#FireMooney could be seen plastered across the Twittersphere. Every fan was fed up. But, mind you, that was BEFORE he turned this season around. Richmond is 9-3 in the league and has an outside chance of being the regular season champion. Nothing but L-O-V-E for the head coach now.

On behalf of the Richmond Spiders, Chris Mooney, will you be my Valentine?

St. Bonaventure Bonnies: Patience

Too soon? The Bonnies had a controversial finish to their game against VCU the other day, and unfortunately, a seemingly pre-mature court storm led to a technical foul, allowing VCU to win the game at the charity stripe. More on that later in the article, but St. Bonaventure is giving out it’s Valentine’s Day grams to those fans who were patient enough not to storm the court right away. It was exciting, but it was an unfortunate way for St. Bonaventure to lose a game that it really should’ve won.

On behalf of the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, patience, will you be my Valentine?

Saint Joseph’s Hawks: Good health

This one may seem a bit corny, but it’s necessary. The Hawks went to the abstract idea of “good health” and requested that it be their Valentine this year. I know, it sounds crazy, but it’s warranted given the extensive injuries this team has faced this year. Saint Joseph’s has now lost its two most potent scorers for the season. Kimble and Newkirk are gone, and this team has to accept that it’s just not going to happen this year. Murphy’s Law is in full effect, and there’s nothing the Hawks can do about it… except maybe make a bribe with love? As weird as it sounds, maybe Cupid has some special arrows that magically cure busted knees and feet?

On behalf of the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, good health, will you be my Valentine?

Saint Louis Billikens: The old Billiken mascot

I think I speak on behalf of most of us when I say that we need that old Saint Louis Billiken mascot back. I mean, we loved that damn thing. That sexy, winking Billiken had the swag that got this team to the NCAA Tournament on multiple occasions. Not to mention, Saint Louis hasn’t had a lot to grasp onto this year, and taking the damn mascot away is the worst thing that could’ve happened.The new guy looks like some deranged Iron Man figure. Bring him back.

On behalf of the Saint Louis Billikens, old mascot, will you be my Valentine?

VCU Rams: 0.4 Seconds

The Rams have a… well.. interesting love this Valentine’s Day? It only took 0.4 seconds for the Rams to pull miracles over George Washington and St. Bonaventure, both games that, by the grace of God, the Rams ended up winning. So, naturally, on this day full of love and affection, we’ve gotta think VCU is writing some dear Valentine’s Day cards to 0.4 seconds. Not really sure how that works, but know that the Rams will figure it out.

On behalf of the VCU Rams, 0.4 seconds, will you be my Valentine?

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About Author

Grant Labedz is a college basketball superfan who loves the entire sport but definitely has favorites in the A-10 and the Big Ten. He has written for SB Nation's BT Powerhouse (Big Ten Basketball) and The Champaign Room (Illinois Basketball). He also co-founded his own Illinois Basketball blog called The Groce Report. Grant is a member of the Davidson Class of 2020. Shoot him an email at [email protected] Follow @GrantLabedz

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