2. Saint Joseph's Hawks - 9-2
When the Hawks lost to Texas A&M-Commerce at home early on, it looked as if they would be the same underachieving team as in the past. To Coach Billy Lange and the veteran guards' credit, they've been great since, nearly beating Kentucky in overtime and currently on a 6-game winning streak, including victories over Villanova, Temple, and Princeton.
Erik Reynolds (17.5 ppg) is having a big year as expected but there are four other double-digit scorers helping out the roster. Rasheer Fleming has quietly been one of the top forwards in the conference, with the team ranking in the top 30 nationally in scoring defense (63.3 ppg). There's no other choice than to be a believer in this team, who has a viable path to the NCAA Tournament.
1. Dayton Flyers - 8-2
When starting guard Malachi Smith suffered a season-ending injury, Dayton's season was already on the ropes. But when you have an All-American caliber player like DaRon Holmes (17.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg), you're capable of still contending for the A-10 title. It helps that Pitt transfer Nate Santos (12.4 ppg and 7.0 rpg on 55% 3PT) has been a massive addition to the roster, while guards Koby Brea and Kobe Elvis are double-digit producers out of the backcourt.
The Flyers have wins over LSU, St. John's, and UNLV, with losses to just Houston and Northwestern. Assuming they beat Oakland and Longwood at home, they'll have an at-large resume heading into league play. We'll see if Javon Bennett and Enoch Cheeks will hold up against the top backcourts in the Atlantic 10 but it has so far, which has been the most notable development throughout the non-con slate.