The Atlantic 10 tournament bracket is set and it will start VCU’s journey as the No.8 seed at noon this Thursday against No.9 seed Dayton in a rubber match to decide who wins this year’s three-game series and advances to the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals.
A number of conference season missed opportunities — a game-winning three that came a fraction of a second too late at Saint Joseph’s, a senior night last-second tip-in by George Mason, a last minutes collapse at Richmond — put VCU tied with three other teams at 9-9 to finish the conference schedule, but thanks to a 2-3 overall record against that group that has VCU on the wrong side of some conference tie-breakers, the Rams get the lowest seed of the four.
VCU split their season series with Dayton. The Rams were annihilated by the Flyers 106-79 at UD Arena, giving up a Dayton record 66 first half points in the first meeting, then outlasted Anthony Grant’s team 88-84 in a Siegel Center home win, needing overtime to pull out the victory despite leading Dayton by 17 with just over six minutes left in regulation.
The winner of that matchup will take on top-seeded Rhode Island who went a perfect 3-0 against the combo of VCU an Dayton this season. URI somewhat limps into this year’s A-10 tournament however, as losers of their last two and three of their last five, a stretch that includes 30-point Rhody home loss to No.4 seed, Saint Joseph’s.