Great Start To The Tournament For The A-10

A-10 Round of 64

Atlantic 10 Teams start the tournament off 5-0.

Truth be told, I didn’t really get to watch much of the Butler/Bucknell game. They started the tournament off for the A-10 and got it started off on the right foot.

SLU just demolished New Mexico State and their gigantic oaf Sim Bhullar. SLU establishing their defensive will against teams and will definitely be a force in this tournament. Teams who get by with their scoring/high FG% have to hope to sustain a hot streak. Unfortunately teams get hot hands shooting and they get cold hands shooting. While teams can go into slumps shooting, good defense is slump proof. Whether SLU is hot or cold shooting the ball, their defense will keep them in all the games.

I don’t want to read too much into VCU’s win against an Akron team with their star player suspended for trying to run enough drugs to make Pablo Escobar blush and two other starters limited with the flu. A good win and a good way to get their “havoc” defense going for when they face real competition in Michigan on Saturday.

La Salle had one of the gutsiest wins of the A-10 teams. They came in after being a play-in team and taking on a much, MUCH bigger K-State. They did blow an 18-point lead but they made enough plays to pull off the second biggest upset of the tournament so far (Harvard as a 14-seed is the biggest upset so far). I thought Henriquez was going to completely shut down the Explorers in the second half. The 3-point shooting started to get cold and Henriquez towered over the smaller Explorers and seemingly swatted every shot taken inside the paint. Glad La Salle won. See if they can be the next VCU (from Play-in to Final Four).

Temple over NC State was a great win for the Owls. NC State was a preseason pick to win the ACC and are considered to have a very talented team. Temple has what it takes to go far in the tournament a dominant player (Khalif Wyatt) and a few good role players (Scootie Randall and TJ DiLeo). Wyatt won’t have to carry a team all by himself but together they all have the talent to be a Sweet 16 team.

PS: Can we please stop calling the play-in games the “first round”? The “First Four” is not the first round. I refuse to recognize a tournament that has 8 teams play in the first round and 60…SIXTY…teams get a first round bye? Get outta here with that shit.

Round 1 Different than Play-ins

Well said, KFC.

PPS: Stat of the day so far…

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Atlantic 10 Announces POY, ROY, COY Award Winners

Khalif Wyatt, Myck Kabongo

Atlantic 10: Temple senior Khalif Wyatt was named Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and Saint Louis coach Jim Crews was chosen as the Coach of the Year the league announced Tuesday. VCU’s Briante Weber earned Defensive Player of the Year honors and Xavier freshman Semaj Christon was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

Cody Ellis of Saint Louis was named the A-10’s Sixth Man of the Year and Xavier’s Travis Taylor was selected for the Chris Daniels’ Most Improved Player Award. The league also released its All-Conference teams, which along with the major awards were voted on by a panel of the A-10’s 16 head coaches. The All-Academic team, which was selected by the A-10’s sports information directors, was also announced Tuesday.

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The A-10 got the POY selection 100% correct (they also got the Coach of the Year right too – but I didn’t preach about that in previous posts). There is not much more I can say beyond what I wrote here. Wyatt was the single best choice for POY and was, hands down, the most important player on their team this season.

A side note about Jim Crews who took over SLU under such extreme circumstances and turned in a great season that included time as a ranked team towards the end of the season as well as the #1 seed in the A-10 tournament. Maybe I am biased, but I think he should be the national COY as well (at least in the consideration as a top 3 coach). Do the right thing, voters. Vote for Crews for COY. I know Miami had a completely unforeseen season that saw them go from unranked to top 5 in a matter of 3 weeks, but maybe that’s the fault of the voters ranking the teams and not really something Miami did, per se.