Battle for top spots continue as March approaches
The Atlantic-10 basketball season is a roller coaster of events, filled with rivalries and upsets on any given night. However, now at the halfway point of conference play, four student newspapers from across the conference have come together to vote in the first ever collaborative MBB power rankings. The Hawk, The Duquesne Duke, Loyola Phoenix, and The Good Five Cent Cigar came together and voted for Men’s Basketball, here are the results.
15th Place: Loyola Chicago (12 pts)
Also ranking last in the A-10 Standings, it is not exactly a shocker that Loyola Chicago found the bottom of the power ranking. After losing their first six conference matchups, the Wolves’ only conference victory came against St. Bonaventure, who have earned a conference record of 5-4.
14th Place: LaSalle (17 pts)
After going 2-1 to start conference play, the Explorers have been plagued with a five game losing streak, some of those losses coming to teams at the bottom of the conference standings, such as Davidson and Rhode Island. These losses place them near the bottom of this power ranking.
13th Place: Rhode Island (26 pts)
Despite winning their last two, the Rams have had a rough go of it to start conference play. Although they have bright pieces, the young team is still struggling to find where to put them and form a winning culture. Until they do, they will remain at the bottom of the rankings.
12th Place: Davidson (35 pts)
Davidson also had a bright start to conference play, going 2-1 with an impressive win over Fordham. However, after dropping five out of their last six, the Wildcats will need a flipped script to make their way to the top of the rankings before the season is out.
11th Place: St. Joseph’s (43 pts)
The Hawks have been playing exceptionally well as of late, winning four out of their last five. However, an 0-4 start is hard to come back from, no matter how good your second half of the season is.
10th Place: Richmond (57 pts)
Losing three straight is never good for team morale, regardless of the opponent. Even though the last three losses for the Spiders have been against top A-10 teams, UMass, VCU and Dayton. The quality of their opponents does not discount their recent struggles.
9th Place: St. Bonaventure (58)
Despite having a mediocre conference record, St. Bonaventure deserves more credit than they are given. Their win over VCU this past weekend should not be overlooked, however, losses to Rhode Island and Loyola Chicago are serving as the anchor holding this team down.
8th Place: George Mason (60)
Up and down is probably the best way to sum up George Mason’s conference season so far. They appear like a different team every time out and need to develop a sense of consistency. They will narrowly lose to a top team like St. Louis, and then narrowly beat a struggling Rhode Island team just a week later.
7th: UMass (64)
A win over St. Louis was a bright spot in a dismal 1-3 start for the Minutemen. This start was followed by some inconsistent play, some games ending up in their favor, some not. However, after winning their last two contests, and not a terribly hard schedule to follow, UMass might have a chance at a late season push.
6th: Duquesne (76)
The Dukes have seen a fair share of wins and losses this year, but a huge win over VCU buoys them over other A-10 contenders. Their inconsistencies cost them at times, but if they can pull out another big win over a top program, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
5th: George Washington (83)
George Washington’s conference record is not extraordinary by any means, at 5-3 that would put them over the halfway mark in the standings. However, the fact that two of their losses were against good teams, Fordham and St. Louis, balances out the fact that they are still losers.
4th: Fordham (97)
Although Fordham did not get out of the gate quickly to start A10 play, posting a 1-3 record. Their rebound has been phenomenal, winning four straight. However they have yet to beat a “top team”, which is why they did not crack the top three.
3rd: Dayton (100)
Dayton is a special team, there is no combating that. However, one game sticks out, and not in their favor. The loss to Rhode Island last week was something that cannot happen if you want to be the best team in the conference.
2nd: VCU (114)
VCU is a team that has all the pieces they need to win the A10 this year. However, their only two losses were against opponents that they should have beaten, St. Bonaventure and Duquesne, which is why they reside at second and not first.
1st: St. Louis (118)
Six straight wins is all that the Billikens need on their resumé to earn themselves the number one spot on the power rankings. However, with a tough upcoming schedule, it will be interesting to see if their reign lasts.