VCU’s path to A-10 tourney Thursday bye
Ram fans, we are in the home stretch. VCU has just three home games remaining, six regular season contests in total. The black and gold are still 100% in control of their own destiny in terms of a regular season A-10 title run, but with a few slip-ups could also be playing a Thursday game in this year’s Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn (meaning outside of the top-4).
Here’s how to avoid that:
SCENARIO 1 – WIN FOUR OF THE NEXT SIX
VCU (10-2) is three games ahead of George Washington (7-5) and four games ahead of any other realistic top-four potential team (three tied at 6-6). If VCU wins four of their remaining six games there simply is nothing GW can do to take VCU’s spot in the top-four, giving the Rams a Thursday Brooklyn bye while making the Colonials and all below them win at least four games in Brooklyn instead of three to win the A-10 title. Very hard to do.
SCENARIO 2 – WIN THREE GAMES AND GET AT LEAST ONE GW LOSS
Ram fans can do their part to help this scenario happen as the black and gold play three remaining home games this season. If VCU is able to hold serve at home (or for example go 2-1 at home and win a road game at Mason) GW would have to go undefeated the remainder of the way to pass the Rams in the standings. That is certainly possible but the Colonials would have to defy the odds to do so, as GW is currently predicted to lose three of their final six according to kenpom’s computers. George Washington plays a tough Wednesday road game at Duquesne this week, has road games remaining at Richmond and Davidson, hosts VCU and has a home game against George Mason, a school that’s just a 30-minute drive away (meaning Mason fans could put some butts in those seats if they wanted to). Winning three games would put VCU at 13 wins and completely out of reach of the 6-6 pack who can finish 12-6 at best, meaning GW is most likely VCU’s only real competition to bump the Rams out of the top-four.
So there you have it. A very simple breakdown but one that hopefully alerts you of just how important all of these final home games are. The Rams defied the odds last season, winning four A-10 tournament games in four days to raise the championship trophy. No team had ever done that in CAA player, VCU’s former conference home, so you can imagine how surprised this Ram fan was when the Rams were able to do so in the even more competitive Atlantic 10. As rare as it was for an A-10 team to win four games in four days for one conference tournament championship (something that had happened before VCU), the chances of doing it in back-to-back year’s is even less likely. The Rams will want to avoid having to become the first team in A-10 history to do so by finishing strong over these next six games.