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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This Will Be The First Ever Perfect Bracket….Probably Not

Winning Bracket

Threw in a few upsets here and there which will inevitably back fire on me. Got Wisconsin going to the Elite 8, Cal upsetting UNLV in the Round of 64 (let’s be real here, it’s still the first round – those play-in games can fuck right off), Minnesota over UCLA, and St. Louis to the Elite 8 (what can I say, I believe in this team of destiny).

In the end, I got Michigan St., Ohio St., Florida, and Indiana in the Final Four with Ohio St. beating Florida for the championship.

I am so torn filling out brackets. On one hand I LOVE upsets. Makes the whole tournament more interesting when a VCU, Butler, or George Mason can make it through the gauntlet to the Final Four. On the other hand, the Lehigh’s and the Norfolk St.’s of the world always seem to fuck up my bracket early on and really take away my enjoyment of watching the tournament. The catch here is: everyone fills out brackets. It’s un-American to not fill out a bracket. If I don’t fill out a bracket, then I feel like the terrorists have won. Everybody should feel that way. Don’t support terrorism, fill out a bracket.

NCAA Tournament Field Set, A-10 Teams In Upsets?

ESPN: (4) No. 13 Boise State Broncos or La Salle Explorers versus No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats

Upset chance: 32.5 percent (La Salle) or 34.8 percent (Boise State)

What you need to know: Either play-in team can shoot well enough to show why Kansas State has been one of the most overrated teams in the country all season.

(6) No. 11 Bucknell Bison versus No. 6 Butler Bulldogs

Upset chance: 29.4 percent

What you need to know: The ultra-conservative Bison are a resistible force; the over-seeded Bulldogs are a movable object.

(7) No. 12 Akron Zips versus No. 5 Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Upset chance: 28.9 percent

What you need to know: VCU is now a trendy pick, but the Rams need to be careful: their high-pressure, outside-shooting game profiles better for Killers than Giants, and Akron’s offensive rebounding can keep them in games.

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So these are the potential upsets that could happen as they relate to A-10 teams. Two teams being “giants” and one team as a “giant killer.”

It would be a great day for A-10 fans if La Salle beats Boise State then goes on to upset K-State and Bucknell upsets Butler. A nice parting shot as Butler (expectedly) goes one-and-done in the A-10 and leaves for the Big East which basically spits in the faces of all A-10 fans. La Salle is also a great story here too as one of the last 2 teams announced as participants in the NCAA tournament. La Salle had a great season, which, in my opinion, came out of nowhere. It gives this tournament berth a bit of that “Cinderella” vibe for the Explorers and I hope they make it last until the Round of 32.

The confusing part of this is the 29% upset chance given to Akron over VCU. Is this adjusted for Akron’s best player being ineligible after getting arrested for being the worst drug dealer in America? If it was adjusted, what would the chances have been given to Akron with Alex Abreu active? Seems like some disrespect towards VCU. VCU is a “killer” and can survive Akron and then give Michigan (and even perhaps Kansas) all that they can handle.

VCU Gets Destroyed In OT Against Richmond

So VCU went into Richmond riding a 13 game winning streak. Richmond was down 7 with less than a minute to go in the game and ended up forcing OT. For a game that was neck and neck, save for a few mini runs, it ended up in a slight blow out.

VCU, despite being ranked #19 and favored, ended up getting outscored in OT 17-5.

So there we have it. Richmond takes this game from VCU.

Could this be the beginning of an intrastate rivalry? I hope so and think it would be good for the conference.

This is the second time in a week’s time that this vaunted HAVOC defense of VCU has given up 86 points (did so a week earlier against St. Joe’s). Because those 2 games were OT games, I will normalize the data to be more comparable. Before these games, VCU’s defense was giving up 1.499 points per minute but in those games they gave up 1.911 points per minute. Once is an anomaly, but I think twice in 1 week is very telling.