Atlantic 10 Tournament Preview

Atlantic 10 Conference

VCU has been very good this season while the rest of the league has beaten up on each other. Davidson for a short time was on the bubble and then lost back-to-back games, Dayton took their place and promptly lost to Rhode Island at home. Like I said, the league has beaten each other up. For the first time in seemingly a while (I didn’t fact check) the A-10 looks like a 1-bid league if VCU can take care of business.

2018 Champion: Davidson

Atlantic 10 Tournament Preview 1

Contenders

1-seed VCU Rams 25-6 (16-2)
The Rams can win the league because they’ve clearly been the best team all season and that starts on the defensive end. VCU is an elite defensive team and that helps them cover their flaws shooting the ball.

2-seed Davidson Wildcats 23-8 (14-4)
Slow and methodical is the name of the game for Davidson. They like to bleed to clock and move the ball around on their possessions. They are headed by a dynamic guard from Iceland, Jon Axel Gudmundsson who does it all for this team. They don’t play a deep rotation so staying out of foul trouble is key.

3-seed Dayton Flyers 21-10 (13-5)
Obadiah Toppin has been outstanding this year for Dayton. Throw in a consistent Josh Cunningham and this team is a tough out. The Flyers shoot the ball very well from the field, over 50%, and make the most of their possessions.

Sleepers

4-seed St. Bonaventure Bonnies 16-15 (12-6)
The Bonnies found their stride in conference play picking up 12 of their 16 wins. Freshman Kyle Lofton has been a welcomed addition and a great complimentary piece to Courtney Stockard. St. Bonaventure doesn’t shoot well from 3 so they need to rely on their defense.

5-seed George Mason Patriots 17-11 (11-7)
George Mason is a true number 1 scorer away from being a strong team. They just don’t have the consistent offensive threat to make up for the not as strong defense as some of the other teams in the league.

6-seed Saint Louis Billikens 19-12 (10-8)
Travis Ford’s team is loaded with talent and they really have disappointed in league play this season. They’re a transfer laden team and for whatever reason it just hasn’t stuck this season. SLU is an awful 3 point shooting team. They’ve got great guards and they need to get them going, Bess, Isabell, and Goodwin are much better than they have been playing.

7-seed Duquesne Dukes 19-12 (10-8)
The Dukes are strong defensively in that they force turnovers. However, they also turn the ball over at a higher rate than most. Making the most of offensive possessions and Eric Williams Jr going early are crucial pieces to their potential run.

8-seed Rhode Island Rams 16-14 (9-9)
The Rams are dangerous. They went on the road to Dayton and knocked off the Flyers and have a win over VCU. So they can beat the top of the league. Plus Rhode Island is getting hot at the right time with 4 straight wins to close the regular season.

Spoilers

9-seed La Salle Explorers 10-20 (8-10)
La Salle has really struggled this season. They took their sweet time finding their first win of the year and haven’t been great since. Pookie Powell will have to carry the load offensively if they want to make a run.

10-seed Saint Joseph’s Hawks 13-18 (6-12)
Charlie Brown. Not the Peanuts character but the 6-foot-7 sophomore who has been excellent all season for the Hawks. He averages over 18 points a game, limits turnovers, and shoots the ball well from all over the floor.

11-seed Richmond Spiders 12-19 (6-12)
The good news for Richmond is that they are young. Their three top scorers are all sophomores and the team is good on that end of the floor. The defense is inconsistent right now. If they can string together some stops they can cause problems in the tournament, they nearly beat VCU just the other day.

12-seed George Washington Colonials 8-23 (4-14)
The Colonials only score 63 points a game. Basketball is pretty simple sometimes, you need to score more than that, especially when you allow 72 a game.

13-seed UMass Minutemen 11-20 (4-14)
UMass has some decent wins this year. Luwane Pipkins has missed a few games and that has hurt, but they need some other guys to step up and score it.

14-seed Fordham Rams 12-19 (3-15)
Freshman Nick Honor needs to continue his great rookie year and absolutely go off for Fordham to be competitive.

Predictions

UMass over George Washington
Richmond over Fordham

Rhode Island over La Salle
George Mason over UMass
Saint Joseph’s over Duquesne
Saint Louis over Richmond

VCU over Rhode Island
George Mason over St. Bonaventure
Davidson ove Saint Joseph’s
Dayton over Saint Louis

VCU over George Mason
Dayton over Davidson

VCU over Dayton

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B-Frank

People forget: Gordon Bombay only coached the Ducks because it was a court order.

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