6 Weeks Till Madness: Can The A-10 Climb Back?
Six weeks from today, the first teams of 68 will tip off in the 2022 NCAA Basketball National Championship. As we approach this highly anticipated tournament, we must ask; who is in? Who is out? Who still has a chance? Find out in this week's Six Weeks Till Madness.
Does the A-10 still have a shot at multiple bids?
If you're familiar with A-10 discourse, especially over the last few seasons, you'll know that bids are a pretty sensitive subject. Just when it looks like things are going well for the conference, a few big upsets within conference play happen that completely upend our expectations. Such can be seen this year, as there is really no clear second or third favorite outside of Davidson this year, leading many to believe that the A-10 will be a one bid league. ESPN's Joe Lunardi has just Davidson currently making the tournament, while CBS' Jerry Palm has Davidson and Bona.
However, when looking at the performances of A-10 teams over the past few weeks, and comparing them to ranking systems such as the NET Ranking, and ESPN's Basketball Power Index, things may be looking up for the conference. Currently, the NET has three Atlantic 10 teams in their top 68 (Davidson, SLU, VCU), while the BPI has five (SLU, VCU, Dayton, Richmond, and Davidson). When looking at games such as VCU's win over Davidson, I think it will actually help the bid conversation rather than derail it. Davidson have already established themselves as a tournament team, so rather than bring down Davidson, I really think this result just adds VCU to the mix. There's still a whole month left to go, and the A-10 is a conference filled with talent, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Big bubble games YOU should watch this week
6:30 Creighton at 17 UConn- The Blue Jays have had some trouble recently with Coach McDermott in Covid protocols, falling to 4-4 in Big East play. Righting the ship against a team like UConn is a big ask, but we've seen some big upsets in this conference this year.
7:00 Davidson at St Bonaventure- The Bonnies are barely clinging onto a spot in the first four. If they can finally figure out a way to get their bench going against a team like Davidson, maybe they'll still have a chance. Otherwise, their current senior core will be heading out on a whimper.
7:00 Florida State at Clemson- The Seminoles need to break this 2-game skid to keep their tourney hopes alive. To do so, they'll need to stop PJ Hall, who's dropped double digits in every game since their season opener.
9:00 Florida at Missouri- After a strong win over OKSU in the SEC/Big XII Challenge, the Gators can really put themselves back into the First Four conversation with a win over Mizzou.
8:00 Iowa at 16 Ohio State- Again, another skid that could be broken against a top Big 10 team. Iowa is currently floating around the last four in, so a win against number 16 would do them wonders.