The Atlantic 10 tournament got underway last night on the campuses of the higher seeds, but the tournament really begins in earnest as it shifts to Atlantic City on Friday. The first round saw tow big upsets on the part of Philly schools La Salle & St. Joe's, which means three local schools will be taking the bus ride down the Atlantic City Expressway to Boardwalk Hall.
The first matchup of the day will be #1 seeded Xavier who faces #9 seeded Dayton. Because the tournament doesn't re-seed, Xavier ends up drawing the second highest seed to come out of the first round. Still, Dayton shouldn't be a major threat to the Musketeers.
St. Joe's gets a remarkably similar opponent in the quarterfinals, Duquesne, to the team they upset in the first round, George Washington. GW & Duquesne finished with identical conference records at 10-6, but the Dukes won an extra non-conference game. No doubt a tough matchup for Phil Martelli's squad, but they've already got an upset under their belt and they're at a lot closer to home than the Pittsburgh based Duquesne. Plus, the Dukes have lost 6 of their last 8 games... So St. Joe's is in a decent position for another upset.
The third game of the day is a matchup of Philly schools Temple and La Salle. As we said earlier about La Salle, they can flat out score with anyone, Temple included. Just three days ago the Explorers put up 82 points on Temple. Of course, the other side of the coin is that La Salle can't defend and Temple put up 90 on them in that game.The battle between La Salle's Aaric Murray and Temple's Lavoy Allen should be fun to watch.
In the final game of the night, the #3 seeded Richmond Spiders will take #6 seed Rhode Island in the most evenly matched game of the quarterfinals. Rhode Island actually handed the Spiders a 78-74 loss in Richmond earlier this season.
Friday, March 11
Quarterfinals - Boardwalk Hall - Atlantic City, N.J.
Game 5 - #1 Xavier Musketeers vs. #9 Dayton Flyers - 12:00 p.m.
Game 6 - #4 Duquesne Dukes vs. #12 St. Joseph's Hawks - 2:30 p.m.
Game 7 - #2 Temple Owls vs. #10 La Salle Explorers - 6:30 p.m.
Game 8 - #3 Richmond Spiders vs. #6 Rhode Island Rams - 9:00 p.m.