Yesterday Philadelphia was eliminated from the Atlantic 10 Tournament as Temple University and St. Joseph's both lost in the semifinals. This was the first time since 2007 that a representative from Philly missed out on a conference title.
This now creates a cluster of teams from the A-10 with aspirations of playing in the NCAA tournament.
Xavier and Temple should have already had their tickets punched by the selection committee prior to the start of the tournament. However with both of the front runners losing, and Richmond advancing to the final, one would think the Spiders now are going dancing.
That's what makes today's game all the more interesting. If Dayton ends up continuing their improbable run with a win, would the selection committee grant access to four A-10 teams? Does this mean a bubble team like Villanova would be left out in the cold? I can imagine smirks coming across the Temple fans faces right now. Their loss may have paved the way for Villanova in the NIT.
All hypothesizing aside, the Richmond Spiders will take on the Dayton Flyers in an exciting A-10 final in Atlantic City's historic Boardwalk Hall.
If I were a betting man...and I'm not, (I have been in Atlantic City for three days without placing a single bet) I would give the advantage to Richmond. The reason is simple; Dayton today will play their fourth game in six days. Richmond still is relatively fresh having had a first round bye.
Dayton however, has been the underdog in their three previous games as well. If college basketball has taught me anything, it's that strange things happen in March.
This will be an interesting match up between senior forwards Chris Wright and Justin Harper. Both have played exceptionally well this weekend. Chris Wright, in my opinion, is one of just a few NBA ready players I have seen this weekend.
Winner gets an automatic bid today as #9 Dayton takes on #3 Richmond in Atlantic City for the Atlantic 10 Championship.