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VCU no longer controls their own destiny for an A-10 regular season title, but still in good position

Yesterday’s stunning home loss to George Mason increased VCU’s degree of difficulty in securing a surprise regular season title despite being picked to finish 9th in this year’s Atlantic 10 preseason poll, but as of this morning at least, the Rams still remain in great shape in the standings and in control of their own destiny for a much-needed A-10 tournament double-bye.

Due to COVID scheduling difficulties this season that have seen an extreme unbalanced schedule across the conference, the Atlantic 10 has adjusted this year’s Atlantic 10 seeding policy and even tournament schedule, shortening the regular season and redoing schedules of teams across the conference. With that, VCU will play just two more games to finish their regular season, hosting preseason No.2 and the previously nationally ranked, Saint Louis Billikens, before traveling to Belk Arena to finish the regular season at Davidson.

Our friend Derrick from St. Bonaventure world has created a helpful spread sheet to help fans across the conference keep up with the seeding, taking into account the A-10’s new seeding policy.

SBU Unfurled A-10 seeding spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1R9gAy_wXof46dVd4a6geJD74UIz80f7bdVKHpylkvU/edit#gid=0

TOP-4 CONTENDER REMAINING GAMES

  1. VCU (9-3, 75%): v Saint Louis, at Davidson
  2. DAVIDSON (6-2, 75%): at St. Bonaventure, v St. Bonaventure, v VCU
  3. UMASS (6-2, 75%): at Richmond, at Saint Louis
  4. ST. BONAVENTURE (8-3, 73%): v Davidson, at Davidson, v GW, v Dayton
  5. SAINT LOUIS (4-3, 57%, 47 NET rating): at VCU, v Richmond, v UMass
  6. RICHMOND (5-3, 63%): v UMass, at Saint Louis, v Saint Joseph’s
  7. DAYTON (8-6, 57%): at Saint Joseph’s, at St. Bonaventure

A three-game losing streak to end the regular season would drop VCU to 9-5 in conference play and a 64% winning percentage that could prove a challenge in securing a double-bye top-4 seed, but certainly not impossible to remain top-4 if such a skid were to occur. VCU can max their winning percentage out at 78.6% by winning their next two contests.

UMass, surprisingly enough, can jump the Rams if they are to somehow win two road games to finish the season. An 8-2 conference record would put the Minutemen at an 80% win percentage. That would include two upsets however, with UMass currently an 8-point underdog in both road games remaining.

A flawless Bonnies squad to finish the season would jump VCU as well. Four more wins would put Mark Schmidt’s squad at an 80% win percentage, but kenpom predicts a 1-point road loss at Belk against the Wildcats. St. Bonaventure plays one of the most shallow benches in the country (Bona ranks 347th nationally in bench minutes) and faces a daunting four games in eight days gauntlet.

Saint Louis and Richmond were two of the favorites to win the league to start the season, but a head-to-head matchup between the two who are already both several games back is sure to eliminate at least one from a regular season title and top-4 contention.

A huge question for the Rams going forward in their quest to finish first, or even top-4, will no doubt be the availability of leading scorer, Bones Hyland. The sophomore star who’s name is more and more frequently appearing in 2021 NBA mock drafts, went down late in the loss against Mason with a foot injury and did not return. Hyland has been banged up with a number of minor injuries, but the Rams will likely need some minutes from him with an already depleted front court due to the dismissal of fellow sophomore guard, Tre Clark, earlier this season.

Not taking into account Hyland’s injury, kenpom.com predicts a 10-4 finish (71.4% win percentage) for the black and gold and an 11-4 Bona finish (73%) that would leapfrog VCU in the standings. Pomeroy predicts 7-4 finishes for both Richmond and Davidson (63.6%) with SLU and UMass predicted at 6-4 as well (60%).

The Atlantic 10 tournament will start March 3 in Richmond, splitting rounds between the Siegel Center and Richmond’s Robbins Center before heading to Dayton March 14 for the conference final.

A two-time graduate of VCU (School of the Arts '07, Center for Sport Leadership '10), Mat is a co-founder of VCU Ram Nation and a longtime fan as the ...

theyaintwantit

Top Member
Dec 22, 2009
1,222
3,357
VCU could be as high as the #1 seed, as low as the #7
I'm doing a little digging right now.
If our schedule stands, we have a 9-3 record with two games remaining: vs SLU and @ Davidson. The worst we could finish is 9-5 which is a .642 Winning Percentage.

If the amount of games for each team remain where they are at now, then Dayton, Mason, Duquesne, GW, Rhody, La Salle, Fordham, & St Joe's CANNOT catch us even if we lose our last two.

Richmond, UMass, & SLU all play one another. One of those three teams CAN definitely pass us, but not all three. Two of them can pass us specially if UMass were to beat SLU.

And.... with St Bona beating Davidson today, Bona definitely has a good shot at passing us. If they win at Davidson on Wednesday, then Davidson CANNOT pass us either.

Long story short - if the schedule remains the same and that's a big *if*, then 1 win from VCU all but guarantees a top 4 finish and even a 9-5 finish could result in a Top 4 seed.
 
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PRock

Top Member
Insider
Feb 9, 2010
4,953
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I'm doing a little digging right now.
If our schedule stands, we have a 9-3 record with two games remaining: vs SLU and @ Davidson. The worst we could finish is 9-5 which is a .642 Winning Percentage.

If the amount of games for each team remain where they are at now, then Dayton, Mason, Duquesne, GW, Rhody, La Salle, Fordham, & St Joe's CANNOT catch us even if we lose our last two.

Richmond, UMass, & SLU all play one another. One of those three teams CAN definitely pass us, but not all three. Two of them can pass us specially if UMass were to beat SLU.

And.... with St Bona beating Davidson today, Bona definitely has a good shot at passing us. If they win at Davidson on Wednesday, then Davidson CANNOT pass us either.

Long story short - if the schedule remains the same and that's a big *if*, then 1 win from VCU all but guarantees a top 4 finish.
Excellent work!
 
Dec 8, 2011
826
430
I'm doing a little digging right now.
If our schedule stands, we have a 9-3 record with two games remaining: vs SLU and @ Davidson. The worst we could finish is 9-5 which is a .642 Winning Percentage.

If the amount of games for each team remain where they are at now, then Dayton, Mason, Duquesne, GW, Rhody, La Salle, Fordham, & St Joe's CANNOT catch us even if we lose our last two.

Richmond, UMass, & SLU all play one another. One of those three teams CAN definitely pass us, but not all three. Two of them can pass us specially if UMass were to beat SLU.

And.... with St Bona beating Davidson today, Bona definitely has a good shot at passing us. If they win at Davidson on Wednesday, then Davidson CANNOT pass us either.

Long story short - if the schedule remains the same and that's a big *if*, then 1 win from VCU all but guarantees a top 4 finish.
Right. .643 is the magic number right now; any team who can't max out with a pct better than that, is eliminated. Richmond would be eliminated with a loss against UMass or SLU; the loser of UR/SLU is also eliminated (assuming UR beats UMass). Davidson has to win out at this point.

Crazy enough, UMass is the #1 seed with two wins plus a single loss by the Bunnies (if UMass and Bonaventure finish tied at .800, Bonaventure wins)

Don't you just love this time of year? Why can't they teach THIS type of math in school??
 
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SpiderRAM

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Aug 17, 2014
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Right. .643 is the magic number right now; any team who can't max out with a pct better than that, is eliminated. Richmond would be eliminated with a loss against UMass or SLU; the loser of UR/SLU is also eliminated (assuming UR beats UMass). Davidson has to win out at this point.

Crazy enough, UMass is the #1 seed with two wins plus a single loss by the Bunnies.
And we were #1 yesterday morning. This is a big bummer.
 

GuardTheArc

Top Member
Dec 4, 2014
707
1,105
Dear VCU and A-10 Admin -

You're both idiots (in some respects)!

The moment the final buzzer sounded at the VCU-Richmond game Wed 17 Feb, you should have shut VCU down the rest of the regular season. VCU was 16-4, 9-2, #1 in the conf, and an absolute at-large lock for an NCAA bid (no matter what happens in the A-10 tourney). We had played plenty of games (more than most), had a 31 NET, played the toughest A-10 schedule by far, a very competitive non-conf schedule, etc. We were "money in the bank." It's now quite possible VCU could go from a 16-4 lock to a 16-8 out!

This is where Ed needs some pull w/ Bernie and the A-10 office. VCU was a good soldier all season long while everyone else was "COVID-pausing" left and right. The A-10 could have shuffled the "scheduling deck" and had UR, St. Bonny, St Louis playing each other and Dayton/Davidson a lot up until Selection Sunday in order to perhaps create a "second at-large lock" resume and perhaps become a likely "3-bidder."

With this revised/current schedule and manner of tourney seeding, VCU could now easily end up 16-7, 9-5 (w/ Bones hurt now) and finish 5th or worse (meaning 4 games to win it). VCU will have played, by far, the toughest conf schedule of anyone and may have little to show for it in the standings (unless we can beat St Louis or Davidson, likely w/o Bones). Out of 14 games, we'll have played 1 Davidson, 1 St Louis, 1 UR, 2 Dayton, 2 Rhody, 2 St Bonny, 2 GMU. 11 of 14 games = challenging (Top 135 NET). Nobody in the league even comes close. By now using win percentage for seeding, we are penalized, standings-wise, for a tougher schedule. Had the league used some SOS component for seeding (as they should), we'd easily be Top 4, even at potentially 9-5.

A-10.............you very well may have cost yourself units, revenue, prestige, a multi-bid NCAA tourney, etc. Now the competing schools could very well cannibalize each other's at-large resumes. The idea to move the tourney up a week was actually smart (as a COVID buffer and as an opportunity to get a few additional games between at-large candidates who lose in the conf tourney prior to the title game on Selection Sunday in Dayton -- another smart move btw). But for the guaranteed "lock" at-large bids/resumes for the conf and for VCU, you both blew it!

VCU...........you could have easily called Bernie Wed eve and said "we're done. See you 3 Mar in Richmond." We've played and done enough. We've been cooperative and compliant (when others haven't). We need a COVID pause/break ("Johnny's got the sniffles"). Even w/ a first-round A-10 tourney loss, we'd have been 16-5, NET probably 33-ish, likely a 9-10 seed. And Bones would likely have been healthy/rested. Rhoades and Hyland would have been lauded as heros. Recruits would have taken notice (another NCAA tourney banner). Fans and donors would be going bananas (w/ joy) and flooding the AD with cash!

Now, because of what transpired Saturday (GMU loss/Bones injury), we are really up against it. If the name VCU isn't called on Selection Sunday (14 Mar), we have no one to blame but ourselves. We had it firmly in our hand and tossed it right back to the A-10/NCAA.

Funny thing is..........we're still pretty much in the same boat today. If I was Ed, I'd COVID-pause us tonight (right now) w/ a phone call to Bernie and shut us down until 3 Mar. At 16-5, 9-3, tied for first, and NET 35, we are still an at-large lock even with a first round A-10 tourney loss (16-6, probably NET 37-ish).
 

WillWeaverRVA

Top Member
Dec 30, 2011
10,290
22,462
Dear VCU and A-10 Admin -

You're both idiots (in some respects)!

The moment the final buzzer sounded at the VCU-Richmond game Wed 17 Feb, you should have shut VCU down the rest of the regular season. VCU was 16-4, 9-2, #1 in the conf, and an absolute at-large lock for an NCAA bid (no matter what happens in the A-10 tourney). We had played plenty of games (more than most), had a 31 NET, played the toughest A-10 schedule by far, a very competitive non-conf schedule, etc. We were "money in the bank." It's now quite possible VCU could go from a 16-4 lock to a 16-8 out!

This is where Ed needs some pull w/ Bernie and the A-10 office. VCU was a good soldier all season long while everyone else was "COVID-pausing" left and right. The A-10 could have shuffled the "scheduling deck" and had UR, St. Bonny, St Louis playing each other and Dayton/Davidson a lot up until Selection Sunday in order to perhaps create a "second at-large lock" resume and perhaps become a likely "3-bidder."

With this revised/current schedule and manner of tourney seeding, VCU could now easily end up 16-7, 9-5 (w/ Bones hurt now) and finish 5th or worse (meaning 4 games to win it). VCU will have played, by far, the toughest conf schedule of anyone and may have little to show for it in the standings (unless we can beat St Louis or Davidson, likely w/o Bones). Out of 14 games, we'll have played 1 Davidson, 1 St Louis, 1 UR, 2 Dayton, 2 Rhody, 2 St Bonny, 2 GMU. 11 of 14 games = challenging (Top 135 NET). Nobody in the league even comes close. By now using win percentage for seeding, we are penalized, standings-wise, for a tougher schedule. Had the league used some SOS component for seeding (as they should), we'd easily be Top 4, even at potentially 9-5.

A-10.............you very well may have cost yourself units, revenue, prestige, a multi-bid NCAA tourney, etc. Now the competing schools could very well cannibalize each other's at-large resumes. The idea to move the tourney up a week was actually smart (as a COVID buffer and as an opportunity to get a few additional games between at-large candidates who lose in the conf tourney prior to the title game on Selection Sunday in Dayton -- another smart move btw). But for the guaranteed "lock" at-large bids/resumes for the conf and for VCU, you both blew it!

VCU...........you could have easily called Bernie Wed eve and said "we're done. See you 3 Mar in Richmond." We've played and done enough. We've been cooperative and compliant (when others haven't). We need a COVID pause/break ("Johnny's got the sniffles"). Even w/ a first-round A-10 tourney loss, we'd have been 16-5, NET probably 33-ish, likely a 9-10 seed. And Bones would likely have been healthy/rested. Rhoades and Hyland would have been lauded as heros. Recruits would have taken notice (another NCAA tourney banner). Fans and donors would be going bananas (w/ joy) and flooding the AD with cash!

Now, because of what transpired Saturday (GMU loss/Bones injury), we are really up against it. If the name VCU isn't called on Selection Sunday (14 Mar), we have no one to blame but ourselves. We had it firmly in our hand and tossed it right back to the A-10/NCAA.

Funny thing is..........we're still pretty much in the same boat today. If I was Ed, I'd COVID-pause us tonight (right now) w/ a phone call to Bernie and shut us down until 3 Mar. At 16-5, 9-3, tied for first, and NET 35, we are still an at-large lock even with a first round A-10 tourney loss (16-6, probably NET 37-ish).
That’s a totally brainless idea. A COVID pause means no team activities can happen, including practice. We would go into the A10 tournament cold, and if we got bounced early we could fall off the bubble.
 

Cyniclone

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Jan 30, 2013
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That’s a totally brainless idea. A COVID pause means no team activities can happen, including practice. We would go into the A10 tournament cold, and if we got bounced early we could fall off the bubble.
To say nothing of the blowback if it's revealed that VCU and the A-10 colluded to protect their at-large status by creating a COVID issue out of whole cloth. Maybe Kentucky can get away with that ish, but not VCU. The NCAA

And even if the Rams could pick up where they left off, a lengthy pause (even if it were legitimate) would impact their seeding, and for that matter whether they even get a bid (sure, VCU looked good three weeks ago, but where the heck are they now?) You think they'd take a hot Duke over a mothballed VCU? I sure as shoot do.
 
Jul 30, 2014
1,051
1,143
We go as Bones goes. If he didn't get hurt, we would not have lost to Mason. Can't really expect much with him out. Coach probably should have let him rest for the Mason game with him still hobbling around from the Richmond game. No need to play injured when you're making your way into 1st round draft talks. But all we can do is hope for a speedy recovery.
 

RowdyPkunk

Top Member
May 19, 2009
21,682
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We go as Bones goes. If he didn't get hurt, we would not have lost to Mason. Can't really expect much with him out. Coach probably should have let him rest for the Mason game with him still hobbling around from the Richmond game. No need to play injured when you're making your way into 1st round draft talks. But all we can do is hope for a speedy recovery.
Couple things to this....

1. To say we would not have lost to GMU if Bones didn't get hurt.... I like the positive thinking, but we don't know that for sure.... considering when the injury happened the game was close & GMU I think even had a 1 or 2 pt lead when bones went down?

2. I kinda thought the same thing about the resting Bones against GMU... but I also understand the players wanna play, and if Bones felt good enough to go, why wouldn't Bones put his best player on the court?

3. As far as the "we go as Bones goes" (while I never hope or wish for an injury on a player)... this could be a little bit of a blessing because now we got at least 1 game, if not more where Bones is gonna be on the sideline... and the rest of the team and MR is gonna have to win the game without Bones on the court. Which will be a good test for us to see where we are as a team for the A10 Tourney & NCAA's if we make it.

But definitely hoping for a full recovery by Bones.