Upset city. It was a wild week in the A-10, highlighted by some surprising wins from a certain team from Philadelphia.
In 140 characters or less, like on Twitter, I’ll explain my picks.
1. Butler (17-3, 4-1 A-10): So the Bulldogs are human after all. Two VCU losses kept them at the top spot.
2. Virginia Commonwealth (16-5, 4-2 A-10): After winning 13 in a row, Rams lose twice in one week. Wowzers. Their resume to date keeps them from dipping lower in the ranks.
3. La Salle (14-5, 4-2 A-10): Huge jump from No. 9 to 3, but the Explorers more than deserve it after knocking off Butler AND VCU in the same week.
4. Saint Louis (14-5, 3-2 A-10): Huge bounce back week for the Billikens with two wins they sorely needed (and were expected to win).
5. UMass (13-5, 3-2 A-10): Underrated win for Minutemen against Richmond. This week can separate them with games at La Salle and Charlotte.
6. Temple (13-6, 2-3 A-10): Bit of a drop from last week’s rankings, but I’m just not impressed with the Owls right now. Win against ‘Cuse seems like forever ago.
7. Charlotte (16-4, 4-2 A-10): 49ers are wildly inconsistent. One day they’re beating La Salle/Xavier, the next they’re losing by 30 to GW. (Sorry, 28, but c’mon)
8. Xavier (10-8, 4-2 A-10): Don’t get this team. Great 4-0 start to conference play now marred by two straight losses to meh teams. Jury is still out on Muskies.
9. Saint Joseph’s (11-7, 2-3 A-10): SJU fans better hope the win over Xavier can leapfrog them to a run. Otherwise it’s going to be unpredictably long season for Hawks.
10. Richmond (13-8, 3-3 A-10): Will give Spiders credit for a really impressive win vs. VCU. What they did will not happen very often.
11. George Washington (10-9, 4-2 A-10): The Colonials have suddenly won three in a row. Honestly didn’t expect that.
13. St. Bonaventure (9-10, 2-4 A-10)
14. Fordham (6-14, 2-3 A-10)
15. Rhode Island (6-12, 1-4 A-10)
16. Duquesne (7-13, 0-6 A-10)
I’m lumping this group together as the concrete Bottom Four of the conference. All will need to show me something if they want me to believe they’ll be heading to Brooklyn come March.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ramon Galloway, La Salle: Against Butler, he didn’t have the greatest of games, but delivered with the loudest two points of the night when he scored on a game-winning drive with just seconds remaining. In the win against VCU, he was back to his regular form, scoring a game-high 31 points to lead the Explorers to one of their most remarkable weeks in program history.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH
Ramon Galloway, La Salle: 17.2 points per game, 3.1 assists per game, 2.4 steals per game
Rotnei Clarke, Butler: 16.7 points per game, 3.6 3-pointers per game, 43.4 3-point percentage
Chaz Williams, UMass: 16.3 points per game, 7.4 assists per game, 2.0 steals per game
Khalif Wyatt, Temple: 17.7 points per game, 4 assists per game
Treveon Graham, VCU: 16 points per game, 6 rebounds per game
GAMES OF THE WEEK
UMass at La Salle, Wednesday, 7 p.m.: This one will be a big-time battle in Philly. La Salle is out to prove that last week was no fluke while UMass is trying to prove some things of its own. I’m expecting a very close game here.
Butler at Saint Louis, Thursday, 9 p.m.: It’s always fun when two of the conference’s best meet. If you have CBS Sports Network, accomodate your schedule to watch this, or at the very least DVR it.
Follow Stephen Hewitt on Twitter @steve_hewitt or send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.