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A-10 Seeding Scenarios: Pray for the 6/7 line

VCU’s win over GW paired with a UMass loss last night put the Rams in sole possession for eighth in the current A-10 standings. The Rams are currently favored to finish in that position by kenpom, a predicted 9-9 A-10 record. Pomeroy has the Rams a favorite at home against Duquesne, but with the Rams recent roster news, that is certainly far from a gimme against the 20-win Dukes that sit 10-6 in conference play at the moment, then sees VCU losing at Davidson, a Wildcats team VCU made easy work of earlier this season, but a squad that hasn’t lost a home game since January 14 against Richmond, their only home loss of the season.

Owning a new head-to-head tie-breaker over GW and sitting two games ahead of the Colonials in the standings, the Rams can finish no lower than ninth — that is no brag, it pains me to type that — so are currently staring down an Atlantic 10 path that would pit the Rams against the No.4 nationally ranked Dayton Flyers.

VCU fans, I get that you like a challenge, but if you enjoy stats/facts and are looking for the best shot at multiple party nights in Brooklyn and…god willing…a possible A-10 tourney championship, trust me, you want off that line.

The Flyers currently rank sixth nationally on kenpom with an adjusted efficiency margin of +23.71, which is…a problem.

Only one A-10 team since kenpom has tracked the stat has matched that number: the Jameer Nelson-led 2004 Saint Joseph’s Hawks that finished 30-2 and earned a No.1 seed in the ’04 NCAA tournament. Yes, I am aware that that Hawks team lost their only game in that season’s A-10 tournament, falling to eventual tourney champ, Xavier, but statistically it’s not a feat VCU will want to attempt to match…at least on a Friday in Brooklyn. Sunday would be a preferable date, if possible.

So how does VCU get off that line and on to the 6/7?

The answer is simple with just two games left to play: win out.

Bob McKillop and his Davidson Wildcats are all that stands in the way of VCU finishing in the top half of the A-10 conference

It doesn’t matter what Davidson does at Richmond on Tuesday. If VCU defeats Duquesne on senior night, then goes down to Belk and upsets Davidson, the two teams would finish the season with at best eight losses each, but VCU having the head-to-head tie-breaker via two wins over Bob McKillop and Co. and would move into the top half of the conference and up off of the Dayton line. If Davidson loses both their remaining contests, VCU could technically lose to Duquesne, but then still jump Davidson with a win over the Wildcats via the head-to-head tie-breakers and as well would take the top spot if, by some chance UMass won their last two (which would included a win over Rhode Island), over a group of VCU, Davidson and UMass if a tie-breaker would be needed in that scenario.

So as hard as it might be to do, you’ll want to root for the Richmond Spiders to hold serve at home against Davidson while VCU is hosting Duquesne. A Wildcats win on Tuesday paired with a VCU loss would lock the Rams into the 8/9 line and a path that would included two noon games to start VCU’s A-10 path in Brooklyn, should VCU win their first game.

Statistically speaking, you don’t want to be on Dayton’s line and for selfish fun-related reasons, as someone attending the tournament, I have no interest in playing at noon as opposed to 6PM or 8:30PM where the possible post-game celebration is much more preferable.

Back on Feb 16 I predicted the A-10 bracket (which you can see here), diving into each team’s remaining schedule and predicting outcomes and tie-breakers. Back then I predicted a loss at either UMass or Duquesne and then a road loss at Davidson. UMass grabbed that early upset to make us a favorite to finish on that 8/9 line instead of the 6/7. I’m hoping VCU can prove me wrong by beating BOTH Duquesne and Davidson, but especially Davidson, to give VCU a much more preferable path through Brooklyn.

The Rams have yet to really win a game they weren’t supposed to this season. What better time to start doing that than right now?

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd...
Aug 7, 2012
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I don’t totally agree. We’re probably going to have to beat Dayton to win the tournament. I think we’re more likely to beat them on Friday than on Sunday. Let’s go ahead and get them out of the way early.
 
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Natty

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I don’t totally agree. We’re probably going to have to beat Dayton to win the tournament. I think we’re more likely to beat them on Friday than on Sunday. Let’s go ahead and get them out of the way early.
Here's my realistic approach to all of this: We aren't likely to win the tournament, so I want as many games as possible, preferably ones that aren't at noon.

Having played noon games the last two years, I just hate them. With this being a vacation for me that costs a couple bucks, I want it to set up for as much fun as possible and I'm of the opinion it's just more fun when you can potentially win a game, then go straight to the bar for a party after. Not only does playing in the evening session make that more of an option for most fans, but are matchups are statistically much more winnable.

It also can just feel like you're in the tourney longer, even if ya lose in the quarterfinals. If we can get on the 6/7 line and win a game, not only do I get to party after that, but I can to watch the first half of the next day, watching teams get eliminated...and w'ere still alive in the tourney.

But yeah, mostly it's just about the best chance to party longer.
 

PhantomRam

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I don’t totally agree. We’re probably going to have to beat Dayton to win the tournament. I think we’re more likely to beat them on Friday than on Sunday. Let’s go ahead and get them out of the way early.
Yep agree, the A-10 championship goes through Dayton. Play them first or last, doesn't matter, you will have to get through them one way or the other. Makes no difference if we get beat in the first game or the championship game, we still have to win it to make the NCAA.
I would almost rather play them first after we have had a game to get accustomed to the background and rims at the BC's and maybe get first game jitters out of the way. Also it would be Dayton's first game in a week.. they are good so don't know if any of this makes a difference.... Also going into the championship game, they will certainly have a full head of steam.
 
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Here's my realistic approach to all of this: We aren't likely to win the tournament, so I want as many games as possible, preferably ones that aren't at noon.

Having played noon games the last two years, I just hate them. With this being a vacation for me that costs a couple bucks, I want it to set up for as much fun as possible and I'm of the opinion it's just more fun when you can potentially win a game, then go straight to the bar for a party after. Not only does playing in the evening session make that more of an option for most fans, but are matchups are statistically much more winnable.

It also can just feel like you're in the tourney longer, even if ya lose in the quarterfinals. If we can get on the 6/7 line and win a game, not only do I get to party after that, but I can to watch the first half of the next day, watching teams get eliminated...and w'ere still alive in the tourney.

But yeah, mostly it's just about the best chance to party longer.
Ignoring the games/matchups, I have a very different opinion on game times for my vacation in NYC.

I would much rather play in the first session of the day and have my nights free for going out for dinner, drinks, comedy clubs, Broadway shows, etc.
 
Aug 7, 2012
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Not likely, but there is always the chance that Dayton has an off night early and we meet up with a better match up later in the tournament.
Is a team like Rhode Island really a better matchup for us? I’d rather play Dayton. Have Rhode Island on the opposite side of the bracket and hope they get knocked out before Sunday.
 
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Wolfpack Ram

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Seeding in this tournament is all about what gives VCU the best chance for wins. The ONLY chance VCU has at making the NCAA's is to win the A-10 Tournament, and that's not going to happen. This team is now playing for an invitation to the NIT, and the best seeding they can get in that. Right now, VCU is in the bottom half of the projected NIT seeding. I think VCU needs to go at least 1-1 in their last two regular season games and then win at least one game in the A-10 Tournament in order to get an invitation to the NIT.

If VCU can get into the NIT and with a decent seeding, it's a new season for this team. Many times, top seeds in the NIT do not perform well because they are still focused on not making the NCAA's. It's happened to VCU before. If VCU can make it to the NCAA's, it's a great opportunity for the young pups on this team to get more playing time/exposure against some decent teams, while still possibly salvaging the season from a W/L standpoint.
 

Natty

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Yep agree, the A-10 championship goes through Dayton. Play them first or last, doesn't matter, you will have to get through them one way or the other. Makes no difference if we get beat in the first game or the championship game, we still have to win it to make the NCAA.
While I feel that sentiment, when you've paid for a four-night trip tp Brooklyn that revolves around basketball, I've found it more enjoyable to get as many games as possible. I'd rather lose to Dayton in a possible finals matchup after three wins than have to play them Friday at noon and have our tournament over. It's not that it's impossible to beat them or to lose to any of the other teams, it's just your chances of advancing are statistically better when you aren't playing the second most efficient A-10 teams in decades Friday morning.

All my favorite nights in Brooklyn have come from when we were on the 2-seed side of the bracket playing those later games. Plus being both the 1 and 8 has sucked previously, each bringing us a Friday loss. Those tournaments sucked.
 

mrA10

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Is a team like Rhode Island really a better matchup for us? I’d rather play Dayton. Have Rhode Island on the opposite side of the bracket and hope they get knocked out before Sunday.
I was thinking more along the lines of a SBU, Davidson or Duquesne team upsetting Dayton early and we get them later in the bracket (instead of Dayton)
 
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I was thinking more along the lines of a SBU, Davidson or Duquesne team upsetting Dayton early and we get them later in the bracket (instead of Dayton)
We’re either going to be on the Dayton side or on the Rhode Island side (since they’ll likely be a 2/3 seed).

Personally, I’d rather play Dayton after our recent history against RI.
 

mrA10

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We’re either going to be on the Dayton side or on the Rhode Island side (since they’ll likely be a 2/3 seed).

Personally, I’d rather play Dayton after our recent history against RI.
Same goes for either side of the bracket. Hoping that Dayton (or URI) go down before we get to them. Just looking for the best match ups.
 

HBK

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And just like that, the Spiders are the #2 seed. Barring any defections, they will likely be your preseason winner of the A-10 in the 20-21 season. Hurts to type that, but it's probable.