Scenarios Aplenty For Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship
Because everybody LOVES ridiculous scenarios.
SLU and the VCU Rams are tied atop the A-10 standings at 12-3 with the La Salle Explorers lurking just behind at 11-4 and with Saturday’s game remaining before tournament time, a few interesting scenarios could play out:
Scenario #1: Saint Louis beats the Explorers and VCU doesn’t get past the 22-8 (10-5 A-10) Temple Owls and the Billikens take the conference outright.
Scenario #2: Saint Louis beats the Explorers and VCU takes down Temple but the Billikens win the title by virtue of a tiebreaker held by SLU after beating the Rams 79-62 on Feb. 19.
Scenario #3: Saint Louis falls to the Explorers and VCU beats Temple to take the conference crown back to Virginia.
Scenario #4: Saint Louis falls to the Explorers and VCU loses to Temple, giving La Salle the title by virtue of a tiebreaker held by the Explorers after beating the Rams, 69-61 on January 26.
The first scenario is feasible in the sense that SLU can pretty much outgun and up-tempo team in the conference because the Billikens have the poise to slow down their game and make their points from either the free-throw line or from 3-point range.
That being said, Ramon Galloway is currently playing his best basketball of the season, averaging 20 points per-game over La Salle’s past six contests. Yet, if La Salle is to play its best basketball, Galloway needs to lay off the hero mentality and trust his teammates to make shots. If the Explorers can spread the ball around, the first stage of a Cinderella story could be written.
The Rams didn’t play like a team coached by the incomparable Shaka Smart towards the start of conference play and as a result, could fall to a streaky-shooting Owls team that has shown the ability to defend as of late.
A scenario favoring VCU could play out the Rams could build on their three-game win streak but Treveon Graham can’t keep playing like a sophomore and turning the ball over a handful of times per-game. Also, this is a game tailor made for the sticky fingers of Briante Weber. VCU’s Sixth Man can fluster offenses as well as anybody else in the country but he needs to maintain his aggressiveness when VCU needs it the most.
With so many balls in the air for the closing of the regular season in the Atlantic 10, Saturday promises to be one for the ages.
Mike Gillmeister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter:@mgillmeiRantCBB. Like his Facebook page here for updates on Big 12/A-10 men’s basketball.