In seems quite unlikely that the A-10 will see a repeat champion once this year’s tournament is said and done.
Last year’s winner, Saint Joseph’s, finished with a disappointing 11-19 (4-14 A-10) record this season. And really, it’s quite understandable, given the fact that former A-10 superstar DeAndre’ Bembry left for the NBA. This year—in his absence—the Hawks earned a 13-seed, making a 2nd consecutive title quite improbable.
While the champion may change from last season to this one, the top two seeds have remained the same. Dayton and VCU have both clinched the 1 and 2 seeds, respectively, once again. This time, however, they’re both hoping to vindicate their dominance in a markedly weaker year for the Atlantic 10.
Rhode Island, a team many considered to be a surefire top-25 team in preseason polls, has earned the 4-seed. The year has been quite disappointing for the Rams, who have seen their position on the bubble perched quite precariously after a few upset scares in recent weeks. An upsetting loss would all but seal their fate.
Now Richmond, however, managed to turn the jets on once A-10 play hit. After finishing non-conference play with a middling 6-6 record, the Spiders built a web that the rest of the conference flew right into. Due to their impressive 13-5 record in conference play, Richmond has locked up the 3-seed, and they’ve earned that estimable double bye.
As for the rest of the field, St. Bonaventure and George Washington earned the 5 & 6 seeds, respectively, giving both squads a bye. La Salle, the 8-seed, will take on 9-seed Davidson in the second round; 7-seed George Mason will do the same with 10-seed Fordham.
The conference’s four lowest seeds will kick play off on March 8th with 12-seed UMass playing 13-seed Saint Joseph’s. Eleventh-seeded Saint Louis will follow suit with a matchup against 14-seed Duquesne.
Below is the full tournament bracket: