And just like that, we’re about two weeks away from Brooklyn and the Atlantic 10 tournament. In the great words of Bart Scott, “CAN’T WAIT!”
Countdown to the A-10 tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn: 17 days
In 140 characters or less, like on Twitter, I’ll explain my picks.
1. Saint Louis h (21-5, 10-2 A-10): Last week, I guaranteed the Billikens would move to No. 1 here with wins over VCU and Butler. I’m true to my word.
2. Virginia Commonwealth (22-6, 10-3 A-10): Want to use this space to let you know that overcoming a 17-point deficit at Xavier is one of the hardest things to do in the country.
3. Butler (22-6, 9-4 A-10): Still wondering if Butler peaked too early. Also of note, they’re winless this season against teams in the top four of the A-10.
4. La Salle (19-7, 9-4 A-10): The Explorers are good — very good — but are they good enough to leap into the top three of the A-10? I can’t wait to find out.
5. Temple (19-8, 8-5 A-10): After losing to lowly Duquesne, the Owls have reeled off wins at UMass, vs. La Salle & at Charlotte to leap back into the NCAA tourney hunt.
6. Xavier (15-11, 8-5 A-10): I hate the loss against VCU, but XU played well enough to beat them for most of the game, which should count for something, IMO.
7. UMass (17-9, 7-6 A-10): The loss to the Bonnies could easily derail UMass’ NCAA tournament hopes. They’ll need a REALLY strong finish to get there.
8. Charlotte (18-8, 6-6 A-10): Consider this: The 49ers are 3-6 in their last 9 games. That’s not going to impress the selection committee.
9. Saint Joseph’s (15-10, 6-6 A-10): For as bad as this season has been for the Hawks, a win vs. SLU this week could give them some much-needed momentum for the home stretch.
10. Richmond (16-11, 6-6 A-10): The Spiders can easily win three of their last four here. A 9-7 record in this conference isn’t too shabby.
11. George Washington (12-13, 6-6 A-10): Colonials once looked like a sleeper, but now has fallen off. The game against Richmond this week is crucial.
13. Dayton (14-12, 4-8 A-10)
14. Rhode Island (8-18, 3-10 A-10)
15. Fordham (6-22, 2-11 A-10)
16. Duquesne (8-19, 1-12 A-10)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Eric Mosley, St. Bonaventure: The senior guard poured in a career-high 39 points (5-of-8 from 3) in the Bonnies’ win over UMass before scoring 16 points in a win over Duquesne. Mosley has become one of the more underrated players in the conference as he’s scored in double figures in his last five games.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR WATCH
Khalif Wyatt, Temple: 19.7 points per game, 4.0 assists per game
Treveon Graham, VCU: 15.6 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game
Ramon Galloway, La Salle: 17.3 points per game, 3.8 assists per game, 2.2 steals per game
Rotnei Clarke, Butler: 17.0 points per game, 3.6 3-pointers per game, 43.3 3-point percentage
Chaz Williams, UMass: 15.8 points per game, 7.6 assists per game, 2.0 steals per game
IF THE SEASON ENDED TODAY…
Here’s what the Atlantic 10 tournament would look like if it started today.
(8) Saint Joseph’s
Winner plays 1) Saint Louis
(12) St. Bonaventure
Winner plays 4) Butler
(10) George Washington
Winner plays (2) VCU
Winner plays (3) La Salle
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Butler at VCU, Saturday, noon: For a while this looked like it would be a battle for first place in the conference until Saint Louis went on a ridiculous winning streak and beat both of them last week. But make no mistake, this one will be worth watching. So watch it. It’ll be on ESPN.
Follow Stephen Hewitt on Twitter @steve_hewitt or send him an email at email@example.com.