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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2. Richmond Spiders - 16-6 (8-1)

There’s no question that Coach Chris Mooney and the Spiders have been the biggest surprise so far, with four road wins and a massive home victory over Dayton in the first half of league play. Jordan King (19.1 ppg) has been the biggest impact transfer to this point and they’ve found different ways to win to this point. Still, four of those wins came down to the last minute and they could’ve lost each of them.

Could the VCU defeat be the start of a regression to the mean? Richmond has two winnable home games to get them back on track, taking on La Salle and UMass. With a revised outlook on this team, expectations are now that they have to get a sweep this week, especially if they want to keep up with the No. 1 team in the standings.

1. Dayton Flyers - 18-3 (8-1)

Had I written an Atlantic 10 power ranking last week, I would’ve given Richmond the nod out of respect for the big win. Yet the reality is that the Flyers are the clear best team in the conference right now. DaRon Holmes (20.0 ppg and 7.8 rpg) is one of the best 10 players in the country, while the guard play has been able to withstand the loss of Malachi Smith at the start of the season.

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Dayton is a current lock to make the NCAA Tournament. So right now, they’re playing for seeding and simply just need to keep winning. But they have easily their toughest slate of the season coming up, having to take on St. Joe’s and VCU on the road. If they can win these, the odds will be good that the Flyers will enter the A-10 Tournament with just three losses on the season.