It’s been another interesting week in the Atlantic 10. Davidson got the week off to a nice start with a 76-56 victory over Charlotte while Tuesday was an eventful night with eight games. Some teams took care of business, like Rhode Island, George Mason, UMass, St. Bonaventure and Saint Joseph’s, but unfortunately, not everyone could escape #brutality. VCU was unable to hold onto their 12-point halftime lead, and fell at Old Dominion. Richmond hung in on the road at Georgetown, while unsurprisingly, Vermont took care of business at GW. Despite a strong first-half showing, Duquesne faded down the stretch against Pitt in the City Game Friday night, while #25 Mississippi State escaped UD Arena with a 7-point win over Dayton. Now, let’s take a look at the top games of the weekend:
Saturday December 1
Saint Louis vs Butler| 5 ET | ESPN+/FSN-MW
This is a huge game for the Billikens, who will be looking to add to their NCAA Tournament résumé when the Butler Bulldogs visit Chaifetz Arena. SLU will look to become the second A-10 team to hand Butler a loss this season, after Dayton claimed a 69-64 win in the Battle 4 Atlantis during Feast Week. Butler comes in KenPom #25, and #29 in the NET. This isn’t a must win necessarily, but man, would this be an awesome win if the Billikens can pull this one out.
La Salle vs #23 Villanova (The Palestra)| 3 ET | ESPN2
Let’s be honest, La Salle doesn’t really stand a chance here. But it is a nice chance for the conference to get some exposure on ESPN2, and hey, maybe the Explorers can work some Big Five magic in the Palestra. La Salle enters this game KenPom #226, and #331 in the NET. Villanova, on the other hand, is KenPom #15, and #31 in the NET (not to mention #23 in the AP Poll).
Saint Joseph’s vs Temple | 5:30 ET | NBCSN
The Hawks have stumbled as of late, dropping three of their last four, but could pick up a nice win facing the 6-1 Owls in the second Big Five matchup of the day. This is the rare instance, especially, in which a KenPom top-100 A-10 team will face another KenPom top-100 team, as Saint Joseph’s enters #96, while Temple comes in at #84. The Hawks have a lot of work to do to climb back in the NCAA Tournament conversation, but a win today would certainly help their cause.
Rhode Island at Providence | 5 ET | FS1
Both teams are in a little of a down-swing right now, but make no mistake, this is still a big game for Rhody. True, the Rams aren’t likely to make a repeat appearance in the NCAA Tournament, but this is the type of win that really helps boost a team (not to mention is big for recruiting locally too). The Friars have started off the season rather quietly, getting off to a 5-2 start, but are still ranked KenPom #64, so this would be a nice win for URI if they can manage a W on the road.
Richmond vs Wake Forest | 7:30 ET | NBCSN
If you love watching to KenPom ~150 teams go at it, then boy do we have the game for you! Danny Manning brings in his Demon Deacons who sit a 4-2, after losing to Houston Baptist their last time out. Richmond will be shorthanded for the remainder of the season with the loss of Nick Sherod for the season. This could be an interesting game nonetheless, and KenPom predicts this to be a one point game. Could be a solid night-cap for your A-10 viewing pleasure.
A Look at the Week Ahead…
George Mason will kick off the week with a chance to secure a quality win at home when Vermont pays a visit to EagleBank Arena. Wednesday will feature a nice slate of games, highlighted by VCU traveling to face Shaka Smart and Texas on the road in Austin on ESPNU. Additionally, Saint Joseph’s will face Princeton on the road while Siena will be looking for their second victory over an A-10 squad this season when they travel to Olean to face St. Bonaventure. Friday features to very interesting games as well, as George Mason will host James Madison while UMass will hit the road to face Providence.