It’s an old familiar name versus a new one in the Atlantic 10 Tournament championship game, as Xavier will match up against surging St. Bonaventure on Sunday afternoon with a guaranteed bid on the line.
The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals will tip off Saturday between four teams that all believe they should be in the next week’s NCAA Tournament. The truth is that two, maybe three, are likely to be invited. This is no time to leave anything to chance, which is why the semifinals should be outstanding and competitive. It’s UMass-St. Bonaventure in the early game, followed by Xavier-St. Louis in the mid-day slot. Join us!
3/14 Update: The Championship Game between Duquesne and Temple begins tonight at 6pm EDT. See you there!
3/13 Update: Tonight CCT will be live-blogging the semifinals, with Xavier-Temple the early game at 6:30 pm and Dayton-Duquesne in the nightcap. Enjoy!
3/12 Update: The quarterfinal round promises to have several good games. Here is today’s liveblog, courtesy again of our friends at College Chalktalk.
RTC Live is pleased to announce that we have partnered with our Atlantic 10 correspondent, College Chalktalk, to provide simul-blogging live from courtside of the A10 Tournament in Atlantic City, NJ, this week.
The Tournament began this afternoon with two good games where St. Louis and St. Joseph’s advanced to the quarterfinal round, and it will continue tonight as UMass will battle Duquesne and St. Bonaventure will play Richmond. CCT, the authoritative voice on Atlantic 10 basketball, will be simul-blogging the UMass-Duquesne game, and we invite you to join their coverage here on the site tonight and throughout the rest of the week.
Daniel Evans (@bracketexpert) is RTC’s new resident bracketologist. According to Bracket Matrix, he ranks as one of the top several bracketologists among those who have produced brackets for more than three years, including two seasons with perfect bracket projections. He updates the field daily on his site, Bracketology Expert, and will be producing a weekly bracket update here at RTC on Fridays. RTC Bubble Watch will publish on Sunday nights and Thursday afternoons for the rest of the season.
“SHOULD BE INS”: 0
TOTAL: 38 (minus eight for projected auto bid winners = 30)
PROJECTED AT-LARGE SPOTS AVAILABLE: 7
BID STEALERS STILL ALIVE:
THIS UPDATE: Charlotte is out after losing in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals. Iowa is now a long shot after losing to Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals.
There are currently 19 teams fighting for 5 spots. If you believe (as I do) that Baylor, Louisiana Tech and Akron are long shots at best (very small chance, if any to make the field) you can bring the numbers down to 16 teams fighting for 5 spots.
The Atlantic 10 quarterfinal round has already opened up with top seed Temple losing to Massachusetts earlier this afternoon. Among tonight’s teams, Xavier, Dayton, and St. Louis all have dreams of at-large bids, while La Salle is thinking tournament title. It should be an equally competitive and fun evening from Atlantic City tonight down on the Boardwalk.
It’s Feast Week around the hoops nation and RTC Live is in New Jersey tonight for the semifinal round of the Legends Classic. Interestingly, the only team with a loss is the only ranked team here, but Vanderbilt vs. NC State followed by Texas vs. Oregon State should make for a great evening of college hoops. Join the conversation from the Izod Center, after the jump.
Game #218. Dayton could play bubble buster for any of a number of teams across the country, making this one of the more important games of Selection Sunday.
Two days of great basketball concludes this afternoon as two “sort of Cinderellas”, Dayton (22-12) and Richmond (26-7), go head-to-head for the Atlantic 10 Championship at 1:00 pm in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Cinderella may seem like a strange label – combined they have 48 wins and over 4,400 points scored over 60+ games this season, but both the #1 and #2 seeds in the tournament are gone, and the two teams left standing took them down. Dayton eliminated #1 seed Xavier 68-67, on Friday afternoon, and Richmond broke Temple’s 10 game Boardwalk Hall winning streak, 58-54, on Saturday. Dayton Coach Brian Gregory may use nine or ten players in his normal rotation, but expect to see All-Conference players Chris Wright and Chris Johnson for at least 33 minutes. Richmond Coach Chris Mooney, whose Spiders beat the Flyers 70-61 in Dayton in the team’s only meeting of 2011 will counter with seniors Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper and a supporting cast as solid and deep as Dayton. Join RTC Live at 1:00 pm in the Boardwalk Hall for the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship game.
Games #205-206. It’s time to get serious in Atlantic City as two Cinderellas meet in one game with two conference heavyweights in the other.
1:00 pm Dayton vs. Saint Joseph’s. The first semifinal features the Accidental Tourists of the tournament. Neither Dayton nor Saint Joseph’s was supposed to survive the first round, much less advance to the semis. Friday’s quarterfinal round opened with a bang as #9 seed Dayton (21-12) ran up a nine-point first half lead over #1 seed Xavier (24-7), 36-27, and held on to win a by single point, 68-67. The game was decided on Xavier’s last possession, Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Tu Holloway’s “one-legged” runner was wide of the mark. The Flyers advanced to a semifinal meeting with Saint Joseph’s (11-21). The Hawks, who logged loss #20 at Massachusetts on February 23, are riding a 4-1 run that includes a three-game winning streak. The Philadelphia media labeled each of their last three games an elimination game – lose and they start the offseason. Coach Phil Martelli’s charges beat Charlotte in Charlotte to clinch the #12 (and last) seed in the tournament, then beat #5 seed George Washington University at George Washington, 71-59 in overtime, to advance to the quarterfinals…where they disposed of #4 seed Duquesne (18-11), 93-90, also in overtime.
3:30 pm Temple vs. Richmond. The evening bracket behaved as high seeds won out, but this semifinal match, #2 seed Temple (24-6) vs. #3 seed Richmond (24-7), features two very well-coached, veteran NCAA-bound teams. Execution and discipline should make this game every bit as entertaining as the first semifinal. Temple will look to junior guards Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore who have clicked very well with senior forward Lavoy Allen to produce a defensive juggernaut. Richmond features two All-Conference seniors, Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson, who can attack the basket or hit from the outside.
Join RTC Live at 1:00pm from the historic Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for Dayton vs. Saint Joseph’s, followed at 3:30 pm by Temple vs. Richmond.
Games #193-194. RTC Live moves down to the sand and slots of Atlantic City for the Atlantic 10’s annual postseason tournament.
6:30 pm. La Salle vs. Temple. These two Big 5 rivals share a series that dates back to 1900, and will bring a taste of Philadelphia ball to the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The third meeting this season, promises to be another, down to the last minute battle between Temple’s Coach Fran Dunphy and La Salle’s Dr. John Giannini. This season Dunphy holds a 2-0 edge. Can the Owls, who won the two previous meetings by margins of four and eight, make it a three-game sweep? A third win may not be as easy as it looks. Temple will be led by Lavoy Allen, Ramone Moore, Juan Fernandez and Scottie Randall, all of whom were named to All-Conference teams (First, Second, Third and Most Improved) earlier in the week. La Salle, in Atlantic City by virtue of a road win over St. Bonaventure, will be led by All-Conference Rookie First Team guard Tyreek Duren, well regarded center/forward Aaric Murray and seniors Jerrell Williams and Ruben Guillandeaux. The seniors have a 1-7 record versus Temple.
9:00 pm. Rhode Island vs. Richmond. Seeded #3 in the conference tournament, sits on Zach Hayes’ #11 seed line (3/10/2011 edition) and needs wins, as many as All-Conference First Teamers Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson can gather in Atlantic City, for their NCAA resume. Running the table would guarantee a bid, but two wins would provide insurance against any more upsets in the other conference tournaments. Conference tournament upsets have pushed Rhode Island out of the NIT, but Coach Jim Baron’s team has played the spoiler all season, collecting untimely wins versus Boston College, Dayton, and Duquesne. And most significant of all, Rhode Island beat Richmond, by four, in Richmond earlier this season. The Runnin’ Rams, led by All-Conference Second Team forward Delroy James, beat Saint Louis 70-61, on Tuesday to punch their ticket to Atlantic City.
Game #141. It’s an unanticipated A-10 battle at the top between Xavier and Duquesne in Pittsburgh this afternoon.
Welcome college basketball fans to snowy Pittsburgh for a match up between Xavier and Duquesne at the Consol Energy Center in what could very conceivably determine the #1 seed for the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Both teams come into the game tied for the lead in the A-10 with Temple and Richmond right on their heels. Xavier has a significant height advantage in this one with seven players 6’7 and taller. Duquesne, who has relied on their speed and ability to distribute the basketball, will once again have to venture into the forest to get it done. Xavier will look to shut down Bill Clark and Damian Saunders for Duquesne, while the Dukes will look to take a page out of UNC Charlotte’s playbook by shutting down leading scorer Tu Holloway. Xavier has a storied history of making the tournament, so they will be comfortable with what is at stake in the A-10, while Duquesne will look to re-write history in their pursuit of getting to the Big Dance.
Game #81. RTC Live returns to the Rock for a little post-holiday hoops.
Seton Hall, staggered by their stunning second half collapse and subsequent loss, 69-65, to Dayton on Wednesday has only four days to reflect and regroup. The Pirates host their second Atlantic-10 opponent during Christmas Week — the University of Richmond. The Spiders make their first trip to the Rock on Sunday, December 26 and, ready or not, the Pirates will have to pull themselves together, put Ferrakohn Hall’s abrupt transfer and Herb Pope’s latest ding behind them as they prepare for the runner-up in the 2010 Atlantic-10 Tournament and #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Seton Hall, laden with senior leadership found itself without an answer Wednesday when the Dayton Flyers shut down junior point guard Jordan Theodore, and Coach Willard, concerned with the rebounding imbalance (Dayton was far ahead) hesitated too long before putting fifth year senior Eniel Polynice back on the court, turning the ball handling responsibilities over to senior Keon Lawrence and allowing Theodore to roam the perimeter and find the seams in the Flyer defense. Richmond features seniors 2010 A-10 Player of the Year senior Kevin Anderson and forward Justin Harper, a long range specialist who will try to find clean looks from the perimeter and center Dan Geriot will face off with Herb Pope. Richmond wants to burnish their Tournament resume, and a road win against a BCS conference opponent will go a long way to offset losses to Iona and Old Dominion. Seton Hall, post season chances dwindling with each game, wants to enter Big East Conference play with a record north of 0.500. Join Rush the Court Sunday at noon (eastern time), as we live blog Richmond at Seton Hall from the Rock in downtown Newark, NJ.