Which program could be the best fit in the A10?
Congratulations, you have just been appointed the hypothetical commissioner of the Atlantic-10 Conference. You have one job which is to pick one program to add to the league. The new program is ineligible if they have previously been a member of the conference. Who would you pick? Let’s take a look at some of the best candidates for the conference.
College of Charleston
Whenever this discussion takes place, we see Charleston pop up more often than not. They also seem to be the most popular according to our Twitter question. Over the last 5 years, the Cougars have played seven A-10 schools. These include games against Davidson, Rhode Island, VCU, & Richmond in which they went 3-2. Geographically speaking, there could be some arguments. With the only team south of Virginia being Davidson, it seems like a long trip down for teams such as St. Bonaventure and Fordham. On the flip side of that argument, it would give Davidson a game that is just over a 3 hour trip. This is the most realistic program that I can see ever coming to the Atlantic 10.
University of Buffalo
This is one of my personal favorites due to the fact that the Bonnies could have one of their biggest rivals join the league. It’s a 78 mile trip from Olean to Buffalo, which would be the shortest trip for St. Bonaventure. The Bulls have not played an Atlantic-10 program not named St. Bonaventure since 2015 in a loss to VCU at the Siegel Center. Aside from the fact that we would be gifted 2 Buffalo-St. Bonaventure games per year, this one doesn’t seem to be anything that could happen.
The Pride are an interesting team to think about joining the Atlantic-10. Hofstra does have some ties to VCU and George Mason, as they used to be conference foes before they made their move to the A10. Since 2015, the Pride have played St. Bonaventure (x3), La Salle, Dayton, and VCU. A team that could become too big for the Colonial, Hofstra would geographically fit in the conference. They would be the only team on Long Island, and would make the 3rd team in New York. This is one that could be intriguing a few years down the road if the Pride can keep building their program.
The Bruins have established themselves as one of the better mid-major programs in the country over the last few seasons. And who wouldn’t want to travel to Nashville for some A-10 Hoops? It would also gives team like Saint Louis and Dayton a more central matchup. The Bruins have only faced 2 Atlantic 10 members over the past 5 seasons, where they were defeated by Rhode Island at the Ryan Center, and lost to Saint Louis just this past season. This is the highest profile program on this list, and I would personally love to see the conference gain some more traction in the central part of the country