The Atlantic Ten is a lovely double-misnomer. There are actually 14 teams and they hail from such Atlantic Coast states as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri. Last years affair was fairly chalky but, such is life when you give the top seeds double-byes, and honestly I think we might just see more of the same. Davidson earned their first A10 title with some nice wins last year, including a very exciting final vs #1 seed Rhode Island.
When and Where: March 13-17, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Defending Champ: Davidson Wildcats
Who’s Good: VCU, Davidson
Who’s Sneaky: Dayton
Who Stinks Out Loud: George Washington. Found this out personally when they had this doozy of a 2H performance.
Coolest Team Nickname: Saint Louis Billikens. Named after some creepy charm doll from the turn of the century, which is how teams were named back then.
Seeding and rules: All 14 teams qualify, top ten get a bye, with the top four getting a double bye to the quarterfinals. All games played on a neutral.
Multi-Bid League: There was a time when the A10 was looking like a two bid league, but between the performances of Dayton and Davidson and the way the bubble filled up, it’s not looking great. VCU is locked in for sure, and I think if anyone else were to win the league, they’d get in. A VCU title, although, leaves everyone else on the wrong side of the bubble
Breakdown: If there is a case for some madness here, I suppose the middle tier teams aren’t that far behind the league leaders, as there are eight teams with winning records. On the other side of the coin, the 4, 5 & 6 seeds are a combined 2-10 against the top three seeds, so maybe I’m looking too hard to try to find a rose in a pile of shit. VCU won the league, and has a halfway decent rating in my model, but I don’t know if I can lay them at the current price, and will probably look to find a couple of teams that can run with them under the lights in Brooklyn.
Quick fun fact about I team I won’t be backing: Rhode Island is the single worst 3-point shooting team in the country, hitting just 27.5% of deep shots.
My Pick(s): Good model metrics + motivation = me sprinkling some future bets in the bottom half of the bracket. The combination of my metrics putting them on par with VCU, and them knowing that their most realistic path into March is hoisting the trophy in Brooklyn makes me like Dayton and Davidson a bit at their current numbers. As for the long shots: they are outliers in my model that grade out well and for as much as I’ve played them this year, it would be disloyal to not put a couple bucks on them just in case.
Dayton +350 (0.3x)
Davidson +460 (0.25x)
St. Joseph’s +10000 (0.02x)
Richmond +30000 (0.01x)