Virginia Commonwealth Rams Looking to Gain A-10 Conference Ground

By Joseph Nardone
Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlantic 10 Conference has a slew of NCAA Tournament teams. Most of the notoriety goes to the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and Butler Bulldogs, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a few other teams worth mentioning. One of them, the Saint Louis Billikens, got their due when they upset VCU on Monday.

Although, I think the word “upset” is a little too strong. Saint Louis, who is now sitting atop the conference standings, is just a good team that you have never heard of. There is no shame in VCU losing to a basketball team like that.

Heck, there isn’t even shame if the Rams didn’t win the Atlantic 10 regular season championship this year. They, along with perennial favorites Butler, are a half game out of Saint Louis.

VCU’s next game is against the Xavier Musketeers, who is usually a player in the A-10. However, Xavier is having a down year, and it presents a great opportunity for the Shaka Smart-led Rams to bounce back and gain some ground. And they better take advantage of it, because after they battle Xavier, a tough remaining schedule awaits VCU.

Not only does the Rams still have Butler on their schedule, a fair Richmond Spiders team awaits, as well as a solid Temple Owls squad. Adding the Xavier game to it, that’s a tough four-game stretch for any team in the country, nevertheless a VCU team trying to win a conference championship.

Being that the A-10 is as strong as it is this year, it will be interesting to see how many teams get an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament. Considering Butler and VCU might not even win their conference, but are shoe-ins for the dance, I wonder if the Selection Committee will shove the doors open, and if a slew of A-10 teams will be wearing slippers come March.

As for VCU, this season has been another excellent one under Shaka Smart, or what the Rams like to call, just another season.

Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone

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