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A10 Tournament finals preview: Davidson looks to continue its dominance

If Davidson wins, the A10 could be a one-bid league for the first time since 2005

2022 A10 Men’s Basketball Tournament - Saint Louis v Davidson
Bob McKillop has led Davidson to seven straight Atlantic 10 semifinals.
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Where to Watch

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

Tip Time: 1:00 p.m. EST

Television: CBS

DraftKings Betting Line: Davidson -3.5, O/U 136.5

We are in serious danger of having a one-bid Atlantic 10. If Davidson takes care of business, the league will seemingly have just one representative in March Madness for the first time since 2005.

The Wildcats have rolled through its first two games of the tournament, winning by 18 and 15. They’ve been crazy effective from the field as its seems to be a new couple of guys every night who go off.

Earlier this season, they beat their title game opponent, Richmond, with a late three by Michael Jones. The Spiders have been playing some good basketball of late, coming from behind in all three of its A10 tournament wins. If their super seniors can get over the hump with a victory today, it will be Richmond’s first NCAA Tournament since 2011.

Richmond

The Cardiac Spiders have pulled off yet another come from behind victory, making their first Atlantic 10 title game since 2011.

Richmond was getting rolled by Dayton as the Spiders trailed by eight at halftime. The deficit grew to 15 in the opening minutes of the second half, but the Spiders began chipping away yet again.

In both of Richmond’s games earlier this week, the Spiders came from behind. They erased a 15-point deficit against Rhode Island on Thursday night and followed that up with an impressive victory against rival VCU on Friday night.

On Saturday afternoon, heading into the under-eight timeout, Richmond got the Dayton lead down to four with a 9-0 run. Grant Golden would immediately tie it up out of the under-four and the remainder of the game would be a battle.

The teams traded baskets back and forth until a Matt Grace three with 1:39 left gave Richmond the lead for the remainder of the game.

It was an all-around great game for everyone, but, Grant Golden fell a rebound shy of a double-double.

“It means a lot, that what all of these guys came back for, that’s what I came back for,” Golden said, “To have this opportunity with this group of guys.”

Davidson

It was business as usual for the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon, smashing Saint Louis by a score of 84-69. They never trailed and led by as much as 23 on the afternoon.

A lot of work was done behind the arc in the first half, shooting 8-for-13. That helped the Wildcats to lead by 20 at the break and doubled up the Billikens on the boards as well.

Davidson rolled to the 15-point victory, its seventh victory in its last eight games. The Wildcats have made at least the semifinals of the A10 Tournament in seven consecutive attempts but have not won the title since 2018.

“So because of the toughness of this conference, I think getting back to the championship game is a mountain that is very difficult to climb,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said. “I don’t know that anyone can match that in our seven years in the conference (trips to the semifinals).”

Prediction

If you love backdoor cuts, you’re going to want to tune into this game. Some beautiful basketball with a lot of passes will take place at Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon. My pick is that Davidson continues its dominance through the A10 with a 74-66 win on Sunday afternoon, securing the automatic bid. They’ve been far more effective shooting the ball and Richmond just keeps finding ways to come from behind to win these games. The way that Davidson plays will just make this too difficult.