A-10 Tournament
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After a two-year absence, the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament returns to Brooklyn, where the red hot VCU Rams are the favorites.

Geoff Magliocchetti

  • What: 2019 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament
  • Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • When: March 13-17 (See Schedule Below)

Playoff basketball is returning to Barclays Center. The Brooklyn Nets are fighting for a chance to provide that opportunity. But, this week, the postseason festivities are getting off to an early start.

Fourteen schools arrive in Brooklyn to partake in the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament. The first games will tip off on Wednesday night, with a champion crowned on Sunday. The tournament returns to Barclays after a two-year absence. It visited Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. in the interim.

With an NCAA bid on the line, here’s what you need to know about each competition school moving forward…

#1. VCU Rams (25-6, 16-2)

Head Coach: Mike Rhoades (2nd season, 43-21)
Key Players: G Marcus Evans (14.2 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.1 RPG), F Issac Vann (11. PPG, 3.6 RPG), F Marcos Santa-Silva (9.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2015 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2017)


After a one-year absence, victorious normalcy has returned to Virginia Commonwealth. After ending a seven-year NCAA streak in Rhoades’ first season, the Rams returned to prominence to the tune of an active 12-game winning streak to end the year. Leading the way has been the junior Evans, who followed Rhoades over from Rice.

#2. Davidson Wildcats (23-8, 14-4)

Head Coach: Bob McKillop (30th season, 573-346)
Key Players: G Jon Axel Gudmundsson (17.0 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 4.7 APG, 1.7 SPG), G Kellan Grady (17.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG), F Luka Brajkovic (10.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2018

Davidson, the defending champion, was the class of the conference before VCU embarked on their streak. Despite losing five players to graduation, the Wildcats enjoyed big steps forward from underclassmen Gudmundsson and Grady, who paced the team in scoring in place of Peyton Aldridge.

#3. Dayton Flyers (21-10, 13-5)

Head Coach: Anthony Grant (2nd season, 35-27)
Key Players: F Obi Toppin (14.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG), F Josh Cunningham (13.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2003 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2017)

The Flyers returned to prominence after a single-season stumble in Grant’s first season. Toppin, a redshirt freshman and Westchester County native, played a big part in the resurgence, reaching double figures in each of his final 14 games to end the regular season.

#4. St. Bonaventure Bonnies (16-15, 12-6)

Head Coach: Mark Schmidt (12th season, 208-167)
Key Players: F Courtney Stockard (15.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG), G Kyle Lofton (14.2 PPG, 3.7 APG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2012 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2018)

Last year’s regular season runner-ups got off to a brutal 6-12 start, a situation exacerbated by a Stockard injury and the departure of top scorers Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley. They were able to recover once conference play began, as they’ll enter Brooklyn as winners of seven of their past eight.

#5. George Mason Patriots (17-14, 11-7)

Head Coach: Dave Paulsen (4th season, 67-66)
Key Players: G Justin Kier (13.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.6 SPG), G Otis Livingston II (13.2 PPG, 4.2 APG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2008 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2011)

The Patriots enter Brooklyn reeling. After a hot 7-1 start in conference play, they’ve lost four of their past six games, including a 71-36 shellacking at the hands of VCU. Their hope could lie with top scorer Kier, who earned a pair of A-10 Player of the Week Awards during the season.

#6. Saint Louis Billikens (19-12, 10-8)

Head Coach: Travis Ford (3rd season, 48-49)
Key Players: G Javon Bess (15.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG), G Jordan Goodwin (10.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.0 SPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2013 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2014)

Like the Patriots, the Billikens are likewise reeling after a hot start. Their debut included a road non-conference win against the Big East’s Seton Hall and a five-game winning streak to open their A-10 slate.

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#7. Duquesne Dukes (19-12, 10-8)

Head Coach: Keith Dambrot (2nd season, 35-28)
Key Players: G Eric Williams Jr. (13.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG), G Sincere Carry (12.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 2.5 SPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 1977

Another team reeling, as they’ve lost three of their final four, the Dukes’ poor streak is particularly painful. They scored their highest win tally since 2011, but defeats at Dayton and St. Bonaventure may have cost them a valuable spot in the top four.

#8. Rhode Island Rams (16-14, 9-9) 

Head Coach: David Cox (1st season)
Key Players: F Cyril Langevine (14.5 PPG, 9.9 RPG), G Jeff Dowtin (15.3 PPG, 3.9 APG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2017 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2018)

The Rams’ two-year NCAA Tournament streak is on the line, one that has seen a victory in each of the first two trips. The interior game led by Langevine, the A-10’s leading rebounder, could provide some victorious separation when it comes to difference makers.

#9. La Salle Explorers (10-20, 8-10)

Head Coach: Ashley Howard (1st season)
Key Players: G Pookie Powell (15.4 PPG, 1.4 SPG), G Isiah Deas (12.1 PPG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: None (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2013)

Dealing with injuries in the early going, the Explorers lost their first 10 games of the season, and 11 of their opening 14. They even lost Powell late, but recovered to post a respectable conference ledger, which included a 10-point win over Davidson on Feb. 27.

#10. Saint Joseph’s Hawks (13-18, 6-12)

Head Coach: Phil Martelli (23rd season, 443-327)
Key Players: F Charlie Brown Jr. (18.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG), G Jared Bynum (11.3 PPG, 4.6 APG)
Last A-10 Tournament Title: 2016

Good grief! Despite showcasing the talents of Brown, the A-10’s leading scorer, the young Hawks’ inexperience cost them dearly. They did score a notable win over last season’s Final Four darlings from Loyola-Chicago in Philadelphia back in December.

#11. Richmond Spiders (11-19, 6-12)

Head Coach: Chris Mooney (13th season, 248-214)
Key Players: F Grant Golden (17.4 PPG, 7.1 RPG), G Jacob Gilyard (16.8 PPG, 5.1 APG)
Last A10 Tournament Title: 2011

The Spiders have two of the conference’s top five scorers on their side, but the lack of an interior game has been their downfall, as they rank dead-last in rebounds (28.8 per game). Richmond has lost their last four games coming in.

#12. George Washington Colonials (8-23, 4-14)

Head Coach: Maurice Joseph (3rd season, 43-56)
Key Players: G DJ Williams (14.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG), F Arnaldo Toro (10.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG)
Last A10 Tournament Title: 2007 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2014)

The Colonials have won back-to-back games only once this season, defeating American and St. Joseph’s back in late December/early January.

#13. Massachusetts Minutemen (11-20, 4-14)

Head Coach: Matt McCall (2nd season, 24-40)
Key Players: G Luwane Pipkins (16.0 PPG, 4.9 RPG), C Rashaan Holloway (9.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG)
Last A10 Tournament Title: 1996 (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 2014)

If the Minutemen are going to surprise anybody, they will likely do it from the three-point line. Juniors Jonathan Laurent (48.6 percent) and Carl Pierre (39.3) are the best and third-best shooters from deep in the A-10 rankings.

#14. Fordham Rams (12-19, 3-15)

Head Coach: Jeff Neubauer (4th season, 51-71)
Key Players: G Nick Honor (15.6 PPG, 3.0 APG), G Antwon Portley (11.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG)
Last A10 Tournament Title: None (Last NCAA Tournament Appearance: 1992)

Repping the city from The Bronx, the Rams endured their 11th losing season over their past dozen campaigns. Hope did come in the form of a nonconference win over Rutgers and the debut of Orlando-based freshman Honor.

Brooklyn Memories

2013-Saint Louis and VCU welcomed Barclays to March Madness in style, as their championship showdown in the first Brooklyn edition had the respective 16th and 25th national rankings attached. The Billikens earned their first A-10 title behind 19 points from Kwamain Mitchell on St. Patrick’s Day.

2014-Top-seeded Saint Louis was wiped out in the quarterfinal round, upset by ninth-ranked St. Bonaventure. Saint Joseph’s would take advantage, squeaking by Dayton before crushing the Bonnies in the semifinals. VCU was again the victims in the title game, done in by a double-double from Staten Island native Halil Kanacevic, who also won the tournament’s MVP award.

2015-After finishing in the runner-up spot over the first two Brooklyn editions, the Rams finally pulled off the championship. Ranked fifth, VCU likely needed a title to advance to the Big Dance. After surviving a quarterfinal scare against Richmond, they pulled off a 20-point upset of top-seeded Davidson to square off against Dayton in the final. Behind a double-double from current Brooklyn Net Treveon Graham, the Rams topped the Flyers 71-65.

2016-The original Brooklyn A-10 run ended as it began: with a runner-up finish from VCU. A Philadelphia flavor hit New York once more, as Saint Joseph’s took home its second title in three years. Behind 26 points from Isaiah Miles, the Hawks upset top-ranked Dayton 82-79 in the semifinal round before dispatching the Rams with relative ease in 87-74 fashion. DeAndre’ Bembry led the way with 30 points in the win.

Barclays Center will host the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the next three seasons, as well as the 2023 and 2024 editions. 

Predictions

First Round 
Massachusetts over George Washington
Richmond over Fordham

Second Round
LaSalle over Rhode Island
George Mason over Massachusetts
Saint Joseph’s over Duquesne
Saint Louis over Richmond

Quarterfinals
VCU over La Salle
St. Bonaventure over George Mason
Davidson over Saint Joseph’s
Dayton over Saint Louis

Semifinals
VCU over St. Bonaventure
Daytona over Davidson

Championship
VCU over Dayton

Schedule

(All times ET)

Wednesday, March 13

Game 1: No. 13 Massachusetts vs. No. 12 George Washington (1:00 p.m., ESPN+)
Game 2: No. 14 Fordham vs. No. 11 Richmond (3:30 p.m., ESPN+)

Thursday, March 14

Game 3: No. 9 La Salle vs. No. 8 Rhode Island (12:00 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 4: Massachusetts/George Washington vs. No. 5 George Mason (2:30 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 5: No. 10 Saint Joseph’s vs. No. 7 Duquesne (6:00 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 6: Fordham/Richmond vs. No. 6 Saint Louis (8:30 p.m., NBCSN)

Friday, March 15

Game 7: La Salle/Rhode Island vs. No. 1 VCU (12:00 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. No. 4 St. Bonaventure (2:30 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 9: Saint Joseph’s/Duquesne vs. No.2 Davidson (6:00 p.m., NBCSN)
Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. No.3 Dayton (8:30 p.m., NBCSN)

Saturday, March 16

Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (1:00 p.m., CBSSN)
Game 12: Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner (3:30 p.m., CBSSN)

Sunday, March 17

Championship Game: Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner (1:00 p.m., CBS)

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