Less than two weeks remain in this college basketball regular season and the race to snag a NCAA tournament bid is heating up. As of now, Dayton, St. Joe’s, and VCU all appear like locks to make this year’s tournament. On the other hand, however, a few A-10 teams still have work to do if they want to earn a spot in the Big Dance. With only a few games left in the regular season, these teams will need to rely upon a strong showing at the A-10 Tournament in Brooklyn.
1. St. Bonaventure
The Bonnies picked up a huge win at Dayton recently, but they still sit on the bubble. Led by a group of highly talented guards, they hold an 18-7 overall record heading into tonight’s matchup against Duquesne. Most experts currently think St. Bonaventure will find itself as one of the first four teams out of the NCAA tournament. Others, however, say that if the season ended today, the Bonnies would sneak into the tournament. Either way, St. Bonaventure needs to finish strong. The Bonnies will get another opportunity to pick up a quality win on March 2nd as projected 8/9 seed St. Joe’s comes to town. A win here would help their tournament chances tremendously. On the other hand, a loss would force St. Bonaventure to have to pick up more wins in Brooklyn. As A-10 fans, let’s hope a recent bad loss to La Salle does not come back to bite the Bonnies. With the talented backcourt they have, St. Bonaventure is more than capable of making a NCAA tournament run if they do indeed get in.
2. George Washington
The 2015-16 season had certainly been an up an down one for the Colonials. They currently sit at 20-7 overall after smashing La Salle by 40 their last time out. Their best win in conference play came on the road against 1st place VCU. While that win helps their tournament chances, they missed out on other quality win opportunities, losing to Dayton, St. Joe’s, and St. Bonaventure. They will take on VCU again, this time at home, on February 27th. Sweeping the series against a tournament team like the Rams would go a long way in helping George Washington secure a bid of its own. Much like St. Bonaventure, the Colonials find themselves a debated subject between bracketologists as either a last four in or first four out team. A strong showing in the A-10 tournament is pivotal in keeping George Washington’s tournament hopes alive. Players like Patricio Garino give GW a chance to not only win the A-10 tournament, but also make noise in the big dance.
3. Rhode Island, Duquesne, Davidson, Etc.
Could a bid stealer come out of the A-10 this year? It’s certainly possible. While none of these teams have played consistently good ball, any of them could hot at the right time. If that happens, a team that is not even in the bubble picture could wind up winning the A-10 tournament and securing an automatic bid. Rhode Island has suffered a lot of injuries but still has promise with a big man like Hassan Martin (though, the junior could be out for the foreseeable future with an injury of his own). Led by talented guards, Mason and Colter, Duquesne always has the possibility to get hot. Jack Gibbs has been compared to Steph Curry and deservedly so. He has played outstanding basketball for Davidson this year. With a sharp shooter capable of dropping 40 on any given night, don’t count the ‘Cats out of walking away with the A-10 tournament title.