Day 2 of the A10 Tournament was at least half entertaining. George Mason and Fordham played a close – if not good – game. The opener between Davidson and La Salle looked like it could have been fun but since it was on at 11 a.m., I doubt many people got to watch it. The Bonnies beat UMass so badly that they fired their coach and George Washington and SLU played a putrid game with no offense in front of 4 fans. Ugh. The only saving grace about the first 6 games of this tournament is that I have somehow picked them all correctly. This has to mean that my picks from here on out are all going to be wrong. That doesn’t bode well for Dayton….
Today we’re getting some compelling matchups from the conference’s big boys. Finally!
#9 Davidson vs. #1 Dayton
As much fun as it was to watch Scoochie do his best Kyrie Irving impression last time these two played, I’d prefer to watch him laughing on the bench at the end of this one. A couple of things make me nervous about this game: 1) 11 a.m. (central) games are frequently rough; 2) Davidson is coming in warm; 3) Davidson does have some serious offensive game. That being said, I’m still pretty confident that Dayton can handle its business in this one, especially after basically a week off. This should be a fun game, though. Dayton seems to bring out the best in Davidson.
#5 St. Bonaventure vs. #4 Rhode Island
There’s some serious irony at work here and not that fake Alanis bullshit “irony.” Last year the Bonnies got hosed by the Committee and this year it looks like the Rams will, too. I get that the Rams don’t have a sparkling resume (losing at home to Fordham will do that) but I would rather see them in the tournament than any of the Syracuses, Wake Forests, or Illinoisi. They’re at least an interesting team. Rhody beat the Bonnies in their only matchup and if they want to keep thinking they’re going to avoid the NIT for another day they’d best do it again. I don’t think the Committee will do them any favors – when was the last time they did any A10 team a favor? – so it would behoove them to beat the Bonnies. They should be rooting for the Flyers, too, because they’re going to need that win, too. Beating Davidson gets them nowhere. I picked the Bonnies here and I’m going to stand by it, although I’ll be rooting for the Rams. I’d like to see 3 A10 teams make it.
#7 George Mason vs. #2 VCU
I suppose this is a kind of rivalry, but VCU-Richmond is a better one. Mason had to rely on some dramatics just to squeak by Fordham in overtime so I don’t expect VCU to have much of a problem with them. VCU beat them twice this year which is unsurprising in the sense that VCU is a much better team but kind of surprising because VCU wasn’t all that good on the road this year. This game is probably going to suck unless you’re a VCU fan.
#6 George Washington vs. #3 Richmond
Yeah, this is a pretty nerdy comic book reference but Spider-Man lost big at the George Washington Bridge. Since I couldn’t find any references to George Washington getting bitten by a spider this is the best I could do. I picked GW to win this one in a mild upset, but that was before they tried as hard as they could to lose to SLU. Yesterday I wrote, “The good news for the Colonials is that there is almost nothing they can do to lose this game.” I didn’t seriously think they would try. 13 points in the first half is going to lead to a loss to almost any team. Good thing for GW that SLU isn’t just any team. Let’s go live to Saint Louis to see how they’re reacting to their basketball team:
No word yet on how that differs from most nights in St. Louis.
The Fighting T.J. Clines have more than a good chance to take this one if they play a decent game. They have won the first two matchups, after all. I’d prefer to see another Richmond-VCU matchup in the semis so I’ll be rooting for that despite my GW pick. This one should be an enjoyable watch provided GW got whatever that first half was out of its system.