After Dayton’s upsetting loss to La Salle last week, the Atlantic 10 was wiped off the NCAA’s top-25 rankings. In fact, in the most recent AP-poll the conference only received two votes (one for St. Bonaventure and one for Dayton). It’s certainly been a jumbled mess to start the year in one of college basketball’s more prominent mid-major conferences.
Of course, the A-10 tends to wait until March to make some of its biggest noise. Home to some of the biggest party-crashers of the last decade, the conference features four schools that have made Elite Eight runs in the last ten years, including two Final Four participants. George Mason started the trend in 2006 with their miracle run to the Final Four. Dayton did it most recently, falling a game short of the Final Four in 2014. In between, VCU and Davidson made runs (albeit as members of other conferences).
After a steady increase in tournament participants from 2011 to 2014, the Atlantic 10 was back to sending just three teams to the tournament last year. Though there is no dominant team in the conference this season, the A-10 boasts four three-loss teams (St. Bonny, George Washington, Dayton, and Saint Joseph’s) with the likes of VCU and Davidson right in the mix. It will be interesting to see who gets weeded out now that the conference schedule is in full swing.
Will the A-10 see its bids increase this season? Are any of these teams capable of another storybook run?
Who knows. But we do have odds for each A-10 squad to make March Madness this season!
Odds to qualify for 2016 NCAA Tournament
- VCU: 4/9
- St. Bonaventure: 3/5
- Dayton: 4/5
- Saint Joseph’s: 1/1
- Davidson: 4/3
- George Washington: 2/1
- Richmond: 6/1
- Rhode Island: 10/1
- Fordham: 30/1
- Duquesne: 30/1
- Massachusetts: 60/1
- Saint Louis: 100/1
- La Salle: 100/1
- George Mason: 200/1
Right now, VCU’s resume isn’t as strong as everyone else’s. But this is a team that’s always ready to play come March. They’ve made three-straight Atlantic 10 finals and are always in the mix to grab that automatic bid. (Don’t expect that to change just because Shaka Smart is throwing up the hook-em horns now.) As for George Washington, they had a similarly promising start last season, but got their gluteus maximus handed to them in A-10 play down the stretch.
(Photo Credit: Chad Cooper (Flickr: Postgame Celebration) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)