The A10Talk Staff Predicts the NCAA Tournament

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The staff of A10Talk is back, and we’ve got you covered with picks for the NCAA Tournament. 3 teams will be representing the conference: St. Joseph’s, VCU, and Dayton. Many believe that St. Bonaventure should’ve been in the field, but I think we know that the Selection Committee doesn’t really care about the Atlantic 10 conference. Without further ado, here’s your A10Talk staff predictions for the NCAA Tournament.

Round of 64 Round of 32 Sweet 16 Elite 8
Dayton  3  5    
VCU    7  1  
St. Joseph’s    4  3  1

Grant Labedz

How far does Dayton go? Round of 64.  It hasn’t really been smooth sailing for the Flyers who have lost 4 of their last 8 heading into the NCAA Tournament. Syracuse is a tough draw because of its size and ability to crash the boards on the offensive end. Dayton has struggled to win big games against big opponents as of late. I think the Flyers will be a first round exit.

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. Oregon State, in my opinion, is a very overrated 7 seed. Though they battled in a tough Pac 12 league and pulled out some good wins, I don’t think they have much depth behind Gary Payton II. VCU’s Havoc defense should take care of the Beavers in Round 1, but Oklahoma in Oklahoma City will be way too much for VCU to handle in the second round. The Rams will exit the tournament one game short of the Sweet 16.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Round of 32. Again, I think the A-10 got a really tough draw with this one. Saint Joseph’s has some momentum after winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but Cincinnati has one of the best defenses in the league. This one’s really tough, but I’ll give the Hawks the benefit of the doubt because they’ve got DeAndre’ Bembry and Isaiah Miles. As long as it doesn’t take a 60 foot shot at the buzzer, I think the Hawks can pull it out in the round of 64.

Graham Hooten

How far does Dayton go? Round of 32. The Flyers get a first round matchup with a team that in all honesty shouldn’t have made the tournament. Syracuse is another middle of the pack major conference team that limped into March and don’t present the same experience and talent as guys like Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith. However when Dayton meets Michigan State the next round, they’re toast. The Spartans are my favorite to win it all and I don’t see the Flyers taking down the best coach (Tom Izzo) and best player (Denzel Valentine) in the nation.

How far does VCU go? Sweet 16.  The first round is all about stopping Gary Payton II, Oregon State’s star guard. While he may not be a scoring machine, Payton is athletic as all get out and can beat you hard near the rim. However, the Rams have a more deep and versatile lineup, giving them the edge in that contest. As for taking on #2 Oklahoma in the round of 32, they will have to contain POY nominee Buddy Hield. However, the Sooners are a jump-shooting team and defensively, VCU matches up. I see them pulling the upset then falling to Texas A&M in the Sweet 16.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Sweet 16. The Hawks are hot right now, so taking down Cincinnati from the American Conference shouldn’t be too much trouble. As for dealing with #1 Oregon, they matchup well, especially with the duo of Miles and Bembry being able to stretch the floor. Aaron Brown is heating up at the right time, and barring a suspension of Papa Ndao for Sunday’s double technical, the Hawks have a very strong core of personnel. They will take down the overrated Ducks but then fall victim to Duke in the regional semis.

Jeff Horne

How far does Dayton go? Round of 32. A first round tilt featuring two teams not playing at their best – since February 17, Dayton and Syracuse have combined to win just 5 games. I’m banking on Dayton to win an ugly opening round game but, like their fellow conference mates, the second round brings no favors. A potential matchup with Michigan State will likely spell the end of the road for Archie Miller’s group.

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. VCU’s first round opponent, Oregon St., enters the NCAAT as arguably one of the more over-seeded teams in the field and, if that weren’t enough, they’ll be without Tres Tinkle. The Rams should dominate on the inside and advance. A second round meeting with Oklahoma, however, stacks the odds heavily against VCU, where they’ll need a bit of March magic to continue a successful 2016 campaign.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Round of 32. Among their A-10 brethren, the Hawks may have drawn the toughest first round matchup. The Bearcats ground and pound style can make opponents uncomfortable, but I just watched this Saint Joseph’s team bully their way through Brooklyn, and don’t expect them to be overwhelmed by Cincinnati’s physical style. If the A-10 champs dictate the pace, I see them earning a crack at No.1 seed Oregon.

Grant Kelly

How far does Dayton go? Round of 32. The Flyers received the toughest draw out of all the A-10 tournament teams in my opinion. Although Syracuse will present a challenge in the first round, I see Dayton advancing. Most likely having to face Michigan State seems like quite a tall order, however, there’s something about the Flyers in March; anything can happen.

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. Matching up against Oregon State in the first round, I think VCU will cruise to a win. I like the Rams to bounce back well after falling in the A-10 Championship, but I don’t think they have quite enough to knock off Oklahoma. If the Havoc defense can find a way to slow down Buddy Hield (easier said than done), however, VCU could pull off the upset.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Elite 8. Call me crazy, but go big or go home right? After winning the A-10 tournament title, I am very high on the Hawks. St. Joe’s not only has a favorable draw in my opinion, they also are clicking at the right time. If the Hawks can find a way to get past Oregon, a surprising #1 seed, there’s no telling how far this team could go.

Spencer Papciak

How far does Dayton go? Round of 64. Dayton has been on a bit of a slide as of late, and they now have to play against a big athletic Syracuse team.  Syracuse has something to prove, as many thought they should have been omitted from the field all together.  It’s a tough matchup for the Flyers, who would have to play Michigan State in the next round anyways.  

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. VCU faces off against Oregon State in the first round, who I think is one of the most overrated teams in the tournament field.  I think they are much worse than their 7 seeding, and VCU can play much better than a 10 seed.  It really depends on which VCU team shows up, but I have confidence that they can havoc their way past at least one opponent in the field.  A probably second round matchup against Oklahoma is a tough draw, and should prove to be too much for the Rams.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Sweet 16. I just wish the Atlantic Ten could get some seeds that DON’T match up against 1s or 2s in the round of 32.  I think that Saint Joseph’s is the team in the conference that is most built for March, and has the amount of weapons necessary to not only beat Cincinnati, but give Oregon a run for their money.  I’ll say Saint Joseph’s pulls off the legendary upset over the Ducks but falls in the Sweet 16.

Stephen Hamilton

How far does Dayton go? Round of 64. Being a lock for the tournament since the start of the season, this seems like an odd pick. After a bad showing in the A10 tournament, the Flyers got a horrible matchup against Syracuse. The fact that Cuse is in the tournament is a whole different argument. The Flyers don’t do well against teams who run zone, I see an early exit for the Flyers.

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. Coming off a disappointing loss to St. Joe’s in the A10 final, I expect the Rams to be highly motivated. Their defense will win them this game, but much like St. Joe’s, they’ll have a tough matchup in the second round. But for first year head coach Will Wade, a win in the tournament will be a nice stepping stone to better things for the Rams.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Round of 32. The combo of Isaiah Miles and DeAndre Bembry help the Hawks out tremendously. They matchup well with Cincinnati, but will run into #1 seed Oregon if they win. Still, I think the Hawks are good enough to win one game.

Josh Svetz

How far does Dayton go? Round of 32. Maybe it’s just an emotional pick because Syracuse may have stolen my alma-mater’s (St. Bonaventure) bid, but the orange looked shot against Pittsburgh. Dayton hasn’t been great down the stretch, but the recent track record of Archie Miller’s squads show the Flyers can play well in March. However, when it comes to Michigan State, I couldn’t see the Flyers beating them.  

How far does VCU go? Round of 32: Could VCU beat Oklahoma? Of course. Will it happen — ehhh. The Rams have shown their resilience this season through a coaching change and a loss of key players. However, while their defense may be good enough to guard Oregon State and Gary Payton II, I don’t think anyone on that team can guard Buddy Hield.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Round of 32: The Hawks shocked the conference taking home the A-10 conference tournament trophy. Now, Phil Martelli’s team gets a shot at the Oregon Ducks if they beat Cincy. While Joes’ balance between offense and defense should get them by the Bearcats, I don’t see them upsetting the Ducks.

Daniel DiOrio

How far does Dayton go? Round of 32. Are we talking about the same team that limped into the Atlantic 10 tournament? While I think Cuse vs Dayton should be a barn burner, I believe that Dayton will come out on top. However, with that being said, there’s exactly a zero percent chance that this team upsets MSU in the second round. Although, now that I said that, it will most likely happen. Dayton has a great team, but I don’t think it can compete with the Spartans and Tom Izzo.

How far does VCU go? Round of 32. VCU is a powerhouse. Their roster is capable of a lot, as any A-10 fan knows. However, I don’t think that an A-10 top dog can take down a Big 12 top dog in Oklahoma. But it’s March, and anything could happen.

How far does Saint Joseph’s go? Sweet 16. Deandre Bembry is about to have his own episode of Sweet Sixteen; and I’m not talking about the MTV show with the spoiled teenagers. The only thing being spoiled this March will be Oregon’s National Championship hopes after Bembry backpacks them to the Sweet Sixteen. Look for Bembry and Joes to continue their March success in the tourney.

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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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