Busting Brackets

Atlantic 10 Basketball: 2024 conference tournament preview and predictions

March represents a new beginning for every college basketball program. This week, each A-10 team will fight to punch their ticket to the Big Dance. Will we be surprised to see which team earns an automatic bid on Sunday?

Mar 9, 2024; Henrico, VA, USA;  A general view of the trophy prior to the Atlantic 10 Conference
Mar 9, 2024; Henrico, VA, USA; A general view of the trophy prior to the Atlantic 10 Conference / Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
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With the 2023-24 regular season over, a fresh slate starts Tuesday for all fifteen Atlantic 10 programs competing for an at-large bid and an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament. The A-10 tournament will occur in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclays Center, home to the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association and the New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association. 

After finishing atop the Atlantic 10 standings with a 15-3 record in conference play, the Richmond Spiders and Loyola Chicago Ramblers each earned a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title. While both programs were named co-regular season champions, there can only be one No. 1 seed in the tournament bracket. The Richmond Spiders claimed the one seed in the bracket because they defeated Loyola Chicago in the lone matchup between the two programs this season.

The biggest surprise out of the Atlantic 10 this season is the success of the Loyola Chicago Ramblers, led by head coach Denzel Valentine. While the program is only in its second season in the league, the Ramblers took a significant leap from last to first place this season and will be a team to watch as the second seed this week. Loyola Chicago has been known to succeed in March Madness in recent years, so they moved from the Missouri Valley Conference to the A-10 last season.

Conversely, the Saint Louis Billikens finished second to last, going 5-13 in conference games this season. This is surprising because the program has been known to finish towards the top of the conference in recent years. Last year, SLU finished fourth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with a 12-6 record in conference play and advanced to the tournament's semifinals before being taken down by the top-seeded VCU Rams. A significant reason for Saint Louis' struggles this year could be the losses of Yuri Collins, Javonte Perkins, Javon Pickett, and Francis Okoro.

While Richmond and Loyola Chicago were crowned the Atlantic 10 co-regular season champions, the remaining top seven teams kept it close in the standings. Richmond and Loyola Chicago finished just one game over Dayton, who was picked to win the conference at the start of the season, four games over UMass and VCU, five games over Duquesne, and six games over George Mason, Saint Joseph's, and St Bonaventure.

The bracket should be wide open for any team to steal crucial wins over the next week to earn an at-large bid. It should be interesting to see who comes out on top, with confetti falling from the rafters on Sunday at the Barclays Center. With that said, it should be an exciting week in Brooklyn. Let's preview what to expect from this year's Atlantic 10 tournament.