Who is the favorite to win the Atlantic 10?
This is a question that I have seen a lot of people wonder about and it is with good reason the Atlantic 10 looks loaded at the top this season and the league can be won by anyone. It is a good thing for the league because over the last few seasons, the league has been down and they have only been able to rely on the automatic bid for their NCAA tournament team but this season the league does look like it has a chance to get two or maybe three teams in the NCAA tournament.
Dayton heads into the season as the favorite to win the league and as a favorite to secure a very high seed in the NCAA tournament. The Flyers are loaded and have the player of the year in the league in DaRon Holmes. However, Dayton has been the favorites in the league now for two straight seasons and last year they dropped a lot of games that they should have won and they did not find themselves in the NCAA tournament. Dayton went out and played people this year though and currently have a top 20 NET and a 3 quad 1 wins. They are going to get an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament barring a collapse.
So that leaves the other two bids in the league. One of them is going to go to the automatic qualifier in the conference tournament and let's just assume that for argument's sake, it is not Dayton. That leaves VCU who is an annual participant in the NCAA tournament. The Rams currently sit at 0-2 in the league and the post Mike Rhoades era has not started well for VCU. Well, what about Duquesne? The Dukes were a team that many were and still are high on despite their recent three-game losing streak. The Dukes have arguably the best guards in the conference and have three of the better frontcourt players in college basketball. They are a dangerous team and when they break out of the funk they are a real contender in the A-10 and can win the tournament because of their excellent guard play.
Saint Bonaventure was the team that I picked as the biggest threat to Dayton in the preseason and I still believe that. The Bonnies are loaded and look to have one of their better teams. They are also a team that is extremely under the radar because they play in the same league as the Flyers. The Bonnies have already beaten Oklahoma State, which isn’t a great win but is still over a power school. Their best win is against Akron who is the favorite to win the MAC. The Bonnies still can beat anyone in the league and can lose to anyone in the league but don’t sleep on them to grab that coveted second Atlantic 10 tournament spot.