March 11, 2008

Atlantic 10 Tournament Preview

Home to some of the most violent ups and downs of the year, the A-10 tournament could be fascinating. 7 of the 14 (yes, there are 14 teams in the A-10) have RPI's in the top 100, and at least 3 have a legitimate shot at an at-large. Two are currently in according to Lunardi.

#1 Xavier - The Musketeers are clearly the best team and have locked up a bid with their #9 RPI. They're just playing for seeding and pride.

#2 Temple - The Owls had a very slow start, but have put together a solid campaign since. The bracket looks great for the Owls to make the semis or even the finals. They get the winner of La Salle vs. Duquesne in the quarters (both outside the top 100), and one of Charlotte, URI, and UMass in the semis. The Owls haven't lost to any of those 5 teams since their first conference game (Charlotte by 2 away). The Owls have already beaten Xavier once (soundly), and a run to the finals might be enough to squeak them in anyway.

#3 UMass - Lunardi currently has the Minutemen in as a 12 seed, but that's by the skin of their teeth. They have 0 wins against teams securely in the tournament, and Syracuse is the only bubble team they've beaten. Their quarterfinal game against URI or Charlotte will be critical for their tournament resume, and that one win might not be enough without a win in the semis.

Games to Watch:
#1 Xavier vs. #8 Dayton - Dayton has had great computer numbers all year, but stumbled to 8-8 in conference. The Flyers are capable, and a victory over a top 10 team would be huge in making their case that the RPI at #36 is legit.

#1 Xavier vs. #5 St. Joseph's - If RPI #55 St. Joes can get to this game and win, it will put them in. Otherwise, they're done. If Xavier has already lost to Dayton, St. Joe's might need two more wins to clinch a berth (finals).

#11 URI - The Rams were 19-3 with victories over UAB, Syracuse, and Dayton, before finishing 2-7. No one has said much about this team lately, but they are certainly capable of beating Charlotte, UMass, and Temple to make the finals.

Prediction (sure to go wrong):
#2 Temple over #1 Xavier.

2 Responses:

michael said...

If these predictions are anything like Russell's NFL the farm on Memphis!

J-Red said...

Nah, he's actually a fan of college basketball. Two and a half decades of following the Redskins will destroy anyone's football judgment.