Road Warriors: Toughest A-10 road teams since 2011

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I was driving home this afternoon, listening to ESPN radio, when I heard a stat that blew my mind on a local show here in Richmond, VA hosted by Greg Burton. A Richmond Spiders fan had contacted Greg to tell him of UofR’s 1-28 record in true road games against kenpom top-100 teams since the end of the 2011 season.

I found that shocking.

The Spiders haven’t danced since that 2010-11 team led by Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper that took them to the Sweet 16, but they’ve been a tough squad with some nice pieces capable of dishing out some losses. So I looked those numbers up myself, then decided to continue through the conference to see just how bad that number really was.

Turns out it was in fact quite horrible.

The Spiders have been a middle of the pack A-10 team but rank dead last in win percentage in road contests against top-100 squads. Out of the 29 games like that they’ve played since current senior Kendall Anthony joined the team, they have just one win. Ouch.

As filled out this list I noticed a trend that probably won’t surprise anyone: teams who typically had solid top-100 road records turned out to be pretty damn good.

Most teams who came close to sniffing .500 in top-100 road games typically danced that season, the one serious outlier being La Salle’s Sweet 16 club that went just 1-5 in such games. The Explorers just barely reached the tournament that season but were able to turn a First 4 invited into a Sweet 16 appearance after three consecutive tourney wins.

VCU proved to be the toughest on the road during that span. Coincidentally the Rams matched Richmond’s Sweet 16 from the start of the sample then took it a couple of steps further by advancing to their first-ever Final 4. Shaka Smart’s squad graduated four key seniors from that team including NCAA All-Tournament selection, Jamie Skeen, but ended up actually winning one more game (29) the following season as the Rams have danced each and every season following that run. They won the CAA tournament following the 2011 and have played in both Atlantic 10 tournament final games since joining the conference.

Below is a list of how each A-10 team did. Of the seven teams on this list to finish complete seasons with a .500 road record versus kenpom top-100s, only one (2012-13 UMass) failed to advance to an NCAA tournament. Only two A-10 teams finished above .500 against top-100s. Each advanced beyond the round of 64 in the NCAA tournament.

VCU 10-11 (47.6%)
2014-15: 3-1
2013-14: 4-5 (NCAA)
2012-13: 1-3 (Round of 32 team)
2011-12: 2-2 (Round of 32 team)

Saint Louis 8-11 (42.1%)
2014-15 0-4
2013-14 3-1 (Round of 32)
2012-13 2-3 (Round of 32)
2011-12 3-3 (Round of 32)

Dayton 5-14 (26.3%)
2014-15: 0-2
2013-14: 3-2 (Elite 8)
2012-13: 1-5
2011-12: 1-5

UMass 3-15 (16.7%)
2014-15 0-4
2013-14 1-4 (NCAA)
2012-13 2-2
2011-12 0-5

George Washington 4-21 (16%)
2014-15: 0-2
2013-14: 3-4 (NCAA)
2012-13: 1-6
2011-12: 0-9

Rhode Island  4-22 (15.4%)
2014-15: 0-1
2013-14: 2-7
2012-13: 1-7
2011-12: 1-7

Saint Joseph’s 3-18 (14.3%)
2014-15 0-3
2013-14 3-3 (A-10 tourney Champs, lost in OT to NCAA champ in round of 64)
2012-13 0-6
2011-12 0-6

Duquesne 3-18 (14.3%)
2014-15 0-2
2013-14 1-5
2012-13 1-6
2011-12 1-5

La Salle 3-20 (13%)
2014-14 0-2
2013-14 1-8
2012-13 1-5 (Sweet 16)
2011-12 1-5

St. Bonaventure 3-21 (12.5%)
2014-15: 0-3
2013-14: 1-5
2012-13: 2-6
2011-12: 1-7

Davidson 1-9 (10%)
2014-15: 0-3
2013-14: 0-3
2012-13: 1-1 (NCAA)
2011-12: 0-2 (NCAA)

George Mason 1-12 (7.7%)
2014-15 0-4
2013-14 1-4
2012-13 0-1
2011-12 0-3

Fordham 1-26 (3.7%)
2014-15 0-3
2013-14 1-8
2012-13 0-9
2011-12 0-6

Richmond 1-28 (3.5%)
2014-15 0-6
2013-14 0-5
2012-13 0-10
2011-12 1-7

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About Author

Mat Shelton-Eide has been involved in college athletics since 2007, starting as a co-founder of VCURamNation.com where he covered the Rams all the way to Houston as the one-time CAA darling shocked the hoops world with a historic run to the Final 4. He has worked within two Atlantic 10 athletic departments, first as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department during the '09-'10 basketball season, then after receiving his M.Ed. from VCU's Center for Sport Leadership, as a ticketing and marketing intern in the University of Richmond's athletic department during the inaugural season of Richmond's Robins Stadium, months before the Spiders 2011 Sweet 16 run.

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