BlogGame Previews

Weekend Preview, Games to Watch in the A-10

In the grand scheme of the brutality that has been this season so far for the Atlantic 10, this week has been better. Duquesne secured a nice home win over William & Mary on Saturday, while Saint Louis outlasted Troy 62-58. UMass dropped a tough 74-71 decision at home to Harvard on Tuesday, though George Mason couldn’t hang on to a 20-point halftime lead at Georgia Southern, and fell 98-89. Davidson and Saint Joseph’s secured the first really nice wins of the season, taking down Wichita State and Wake Forest respectively to advance in their tournaments. Now, let’s take a look at the top games of the weekend:

Saturday November 17

George Washington vs #18 Michigan (Hall of Fame Tip-Off)| Noon ET | ESPN3

Fresh off their 73-46 demolition of #8 Villanova in a National Championship rematch, the Wolverines will face GW in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, CT. The last time these two teams met was in the 1993 Sweet 16, in which the Fab 5 narrowly escaped the 12-seeded Colonials 72-64. This matchup will likely not be as close, however. KenPom predicts Michigan to win 74-57, but honestly, that might even be a bit generous. Maybe GW can pull off a miracle and keep it to within 20, but it’s not likely.

Saint Louis at Seton Hall | 8 ET | FS2

Despite the very slow start to the season by the A-10 as a whole, Saint Louis is one of the teams still carrying the torch. It’s not always been pretty, but the Billikens do enter this contest 3-0, and if they are going to try to make a run at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, it has to start tonight. It’s no secret that SLU isn’t likely to get many opportunities in conference play to impress the NCAA Selection Committee, so games lke these, they really need to put forth a good showing. Seton Hall is presently KenPom #53, but they could even rise from here, especially as strong as the Big East has been the past few seasons. This could very well be the best chance Saint Louis had to make a statement win, and boy does the A-10 need it.

Sunday November 18

Davidson vs #16 Virginia Tech/Northeastern| 8:30/6:00 ET | ESPN2/ESPNU

Regardless of who the ‘Cats draw in this one, it’s going to be an opportunity for a top-100 win, which the A-10 can use as many as it can get right now. In order to get to Virginia Tech, Davidson will have had to get through #23 Purdue, and if they end up facing Northeastern, they are still ranked KenPom #76. No matter how you draw it up, this gives Davidson the opportunity for a prime-time win on an ESPN networks.

A Look at the Week Ahead…

It’s Feast Week, which means we have tournaments galore! On Monday, Richmond will travel to Fort Meyers, FL for the Fort Meyers Tip-Off, and will face Final Four darling Loyola-Chicago Monday night. The Spiders will then face either Boston College or Wyoming on Wednesday. Also on Monday night, VCU will face Temple at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn before drawing either St. John’s or Cal on Wednesday night. Duquesne will look to hand Notre Dame their second-consecutive home loss when they travel to South Bend on Tuesday night. Dayton will kick off the Battle 4 Atlantis against Butler, before earning a date with either Virginia or MTSU and then one of Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Stanford. And finally, in the Wooden Legacy, La Salle will open with Miami on Thanksgiving Day.