Busting Brackets

Atlantic 10 Basketball: Richmond, VCU, and Loyola-Chicago rise in latest power ranking

Coppin State v George Mason
Coppin State v George Mason / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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4. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers - 15-7 (7-2)

It’s been an impressive start to league play for the Ramblers, especially since the non-con campaign wasn’t as optimistic. Davidson transfer Desmond Watson has become the team’s best player, averaging 15.9 ppg in league play. And after a slow start due to injuries, Dame Adelekun has been highly effective off the bench behind freshman center, Miles Rubin.

That being said, Loyola’s best win to this point is at St. Joe’s having lost to its two toughest tests (Richmond and VCU). The schedule is very tough on the back end, starting with road games at George Mason and George Washington. If they can get through this week with wins, we may have to start taking them seriously as a team that can win in March.

3. VCU Rams - 14-8 (6-3)

Home losses to St. Bonaventure and GW to start league play was very concerning but the Rams have since won 6 of 7, including wins over Loyola-Chicago and Richmond recently. The backcourt has four double-digit scores, led by Max Shulga and Zeb Jackson. Even when there have been injuries, they’ve had plenty of firepower to pull out wins in league play.

Last week’s win over rival Richmond showed that VCU can compete for a title but they have a big opportunity this week to prove they’re in the mix again, taking on Dayton at home this weekend. But first is a road battle at Fordham, which is the ultimate “trap game” for those who overlook them.