Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Around the A-10 for the week of Feb. 8: big games, tourney buzz, news about the league


Here's this week's update from the Atlantic 10: GW is getting votes again in the AP poll, there are some big games coming up, and lots of media types are noticing the league.

Week Ahead Top Games

Below are the top games around the league this week. A full schedule is always available on Atlantic10.com and can be found here.
  • Third-place Saint Joseph’s will take on a tough fourth-place George Washington WEDNESDAY night. The Colonials have won their last three games, including a huge road win over VCU Saturday. (7 p.m. ET, CSN-MA, streaming on A-10 Network)
  • VCU will try to rebound after the Rams’ first conference loss to GW on Saturday, taking on UMass THURSDAY evening (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU) and Saint Louis SATURDAY. (6 p.m.ET, CBS Sports Network
  • Nationally ranked No. 19/17 Dayton hits the road to take on Rhode Island FRIDAY night in the third of five Friday night A-10 games on ESPN2. (7 p.m.ET, ESPN2
  • George Washington is on the road, tipping off against St. Bonaventure SATURDAY afternoon. The Bonnies have won five of their last six games at home. (4 p.m.ET, TWC-NY)
National Picture Updates
33 Days Until Selection Sunday

Week 14 of the AP Top 25 has Dayton at 19, up five places since last week, when the Flyers re-entered the rankings at No. 24. The USA Today Coaches Poll also has Dayton in its top 25 in the No. 17 spot. This is the first time the Flyers have been ranked in the top 20 of both polls since 2008. VCU and Saint Joseph’s received votes in both polls, and GW received votes in the AP poll.

The Atlantic 10 now has six teams, Dayton (12), Saint Joseph’s (31), George Washington (36), VCU (41), St. Bonaventure (49) and Davidson (50), in the top 50 of the NCAA’s published RPI ranking as of February 9. This is more than the Big East, SEC and Big Ten, which all have four teams in the top 50.

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi released his latest NCAA tournament predictions Monday with four Atlantic 10 teams included: Dayton (four seed), GW (nine seed), VCU (10 seed) and Saint Joseph’s (11 seed).

In CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm’s most recent bracket prediction, Dayton sits at a four seed and VCU and George Washington are both projected to make the tournament as part of the last four in. Saint Joseph’s is just outside the cut as a first four out team.

In the latest USA Today bracketology update (February 9), three A-10 teams are projected to make the tournament. Dayton is slotted at a five seed, VCU a nine seed, GW a 12 seed as a first four in. Saint Joseph’s sits just outside USA Today’s bracket, as a first-four out team, and Davidson and St. Bonaventure are noted as other possible at-large bid contenders.

A-10 Pulse
Following George Washington’s major win over previously undefeated-in-conference-play VCU, CBS Sports writer Matt Norlander stated the win should put the Colonials solidly in bracket predictions and noted the team’s previous win over Virginia as another major proof point to GW’s case. LINK

CBS Sports Insider Jon Rothstein noted GW as a team that is going to be hard to keep out of the tournament if they continue performing following the win over VCU. He notes other wins over Virginia and Seton Hall as additional justification for a tournament bid. LINK

Bleacher Report featured columnist Jake Curtis named VCU as a current unranked team “set to make waves” in the NCAA tournament. He notes the current squad is probably better than the Rams’ Final Four team in 2011 and gives a nod to coach Will Wade. LINK

St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams was named A-10 Player of the Week Monday. The sophomore guard averaged 25 points and 5.5 assists in the Bonnies’ two games last week, including a career-high 31 points and seven assists on the road against Saint Joseph’s on February 3 and a buzzer-beating three to defeat Saint Louis. LINK

Social Buzz
  • CBS Sports Insider @JonRothstein called Dayton “the best team in American no one is talking about.”
  • @JonRothstein also noted Dayton’s Charles Cooke as the best transfer in CBB that isn’t being talked about.
  • @marcdavissports, WBBT sports director in Richmond, tweeted there isn’t a team more dangerous than VCU. Following the Rams’ loss to GW, he tweeted the loss shouldn’t affect VCU’s at-large bid chances if the team preforms well going forward.

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