Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Post Atlantic

Here's the Atlantic 10 Preview as promised. All seeds are as they would project today with the current A10 standings:

March 7th, Atlantic City NJ

Noon: 5 Fordham vs. 12 St. Bonaventure - Fordham coach Dereck Whittenberg is famous for air-balling a shot that led to a title-winning dunk in North Carolina State's win in 1983. He would potentially bring his Rams into face St. Bonaventure, a program trying to turn it around after some embarrassing recruiting violations that placed them on probation. Sorry St. Bonaventure, a welding certificate does not count as a Junior College education.

2:30 PM: 6 Saint Louis vs. 11 Charlotte - This blog was in St. Louis last year, although not to see the Billikens. Brad Soderberg, a pretty decent guy that used to coach Wisconsin, will make sure this potential game's score stays at or below 60. The Billikens feature Ian Vouyoukas, a Greek center who (perhaps unwisely) declared for last year's NBA draft, then withdrew after a cool response from scouts. Charlotte is led by head coach Bobby Lutz and leading scorer De'Angelo Alexander, who has a 4-year-old daughter (already?).

6:30 PM: 7 Saint Joseph's vs. 10 Temple - Saint Joseph's, featuring the Hawk that never dies (and flaps its wings an average of 3500 times per basketball game), hoping to advance in the A10 Tournament. Arguably the 2 best coaches in the league if this faceoff happens. Phil Martelli of St. Joseph's and Fran Dunphy of Temple have combined for over 800 total wins, and Dunphy is trying to put his stamp on the Temple program as he did in Penn for the last 17 years.

9:00 PM: 8 Duquesne vs. 9 Dayton - Any game Duquesne plays in will be interesting. Coach Ron Everhart, faced with some tough circumstances this year, decided to scrap everything and bring a new system in mid-year just 5 games ago. The results have been staggering. Points per game before the switch: 68.6. Points per game after the switch: 96.0. Record preceding the switch: 5-10. Record after the switch: 4-1. The only loss was at Massachusetts, 67th in the country in RPI. The Dukes run two lines of 5 at teams, substituting frequently, pressing, running, and gunning. Because Duquesne lost some players to an on-campus shooting before the year, they're doing this all short-handed. Two of the 2nd-line's players are walk-ons. For this reason, Pun City is nominating Everhart for coach of the year over strong candidates like Tony Bennett of Washington State, Ernie Kent of Oregon, and Bo Ryan of Wisconsin. As much as this blog would want to cheer for Duquesne, it would be a little bummed to see them play Dayton, because this blog would be sporting a Dayton Monty Scott jersey for Dayton's games, and would be obligated to root for the Flyers. Given the great tradition at UD, this wouldn't be the worst situation, but there would be a big part of this blog in favor of the Dukes.

March 8th

Noon: 2 Massachusetts vs. 7/10 winner - UMass head coach and former Kentucky sharpshooter Travis Ford has the Minutemen aiming for their first NCAA appearance since Marcus Camby was around. Shotblocker extraordinaire Stephane Lasme has opponents keeping it out of the lane.

2:30 PM: 3 George Washington vs. 6/11 winner. GWU coach Karl Hobbs got Carl Elliott to return for his senior year, and the Colonials have had somewhat of a disappointing season with him back. Though Elliott is averaging 13 points and 5 assists this season, GWU is only 15-6 with the 73rd-best RPI in the country. This means they'll most likely need to win this tournament in order to make the NCAAs this year, which wouldn't be required if they'd have won their games against Providence, USC, and Air Force.

6:30 PM: 1 Rhode Island vs. 8/9 winner - The biggest little state in the union looks to get their opponents beside themselves trying to handle the best Rams team since Lamar Odom was attending class here. Please excuse Pun City while it laughs hysterically at the thought of Odom actually attending class. In any case, Pun City challenges you to find 2 powder blue teams better than Rhode Island.

9:00 PM: 4 Xavier vs. 5/12 winner - A much bigger disappointment than GW this year has been Xavier. The Musketeers swept through the A10 Tournament last year and earned an automatic NCAA bid, one of the 4 lower seeds to upset higher seeds on the 2nd day of the Atlantic 10 tournament in 2006. The team brought back pretty much everyone this year, and added former Oklahoma point guard Drew Lavender to the mix. This blog thinks that it's another case of the Big XII being overrated again, as Lavender hasn't infuchsed this team with the kind of leadership they may have expected, and Xavier has fallen to Cincinnati, Bucknell, Alabama, and Creighton. Not to mention 3 conference foes.

March 9th

6:30 PM & 9:00 PM - Semifinals

March 10th

6:00 PM - Final

Some weird Missouri Valley news there, a gratuitous Erin Andrews photo here:

and a couple Pete Gillen quotes to take us home:

(Gillen of course is a former Virginia head coach and current CSTV analyst best known for his quote, "Duke is Duke. They're on TV more than Leave it To Beaver.")

"Never kick a dog when a dog's a pup. Because you better run for cover when the dog grows up."


"I haven't been right since the Dead Sea was alive."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 Powder Blue teams better than Rhode Island? Let's go with the obvious North Carolina, and a longshot North Carolina Women's team.

- Moike

5:16 AM  
Blogger Cooler Brian said...

I'm gonna go with the Rhode Island men's team could crush the UNC women. They'd go on a Rampage.

11:42 PM  

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