The LaSalle Explorers are having a landmark season for their program.
With the win today against the Rhode Island Rams, the Explorers are 19-7 overall and are tied with the Butler Bulldogs at 9-4 in third place in the Atlantic 10 standings, although they beat the Bulldogs in the team’s only head-to-head matchup.
One of the keys to LaSalle’s great season is that they have not lost back-to-back games all season and today’s win helped keep that streak intact.
Despite LaSalle’s consistent play, they will need some luck, maybe even a miracle, to catch the St. Louis Billikens for the A-10 regular season crown.
St. Louis who has four games remaining in the A-10, while all the other contenders have just three, play a relatively tough schedule with both the Xavier Musketeers and Explorers remaining. LaSalle on the other hand has really just St. Louis to be concerned about.
The LaSalle-St. Louis matchup is the last game of the season for both teams, but unless Xavier can upend the Billikens, the game will not have first place implications for the Explorers.
LaSalle’s only other chance rests in the hands of the George Washington Colonials or St. Joseph’s Hawks, which does not seem like much of a chance at all.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the Explorers cannot catch the Billikens.
Still that may not matter much. Even if the game is not for first place it could mean LaSalle could most likely solidify at least second place and a ton of confidence going into the A-10 tournament.
In addition, a win over the Billikens will definitely secure an NCAA tournament bid, which has not been accomplished in 20 years.
Quite a feat for a team that was picked to finish 7th in the A-10 preseason poll.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo