As A10 Non-Conference play wraps up... where does the league stand?

St Louis with gr8 W over New Mexico - am I totally wacky but FROM TOP TO BOTTOM A-10 might be better than SEC & PAC 12! Give ur feelings

A10 is currently 6th in conference RPI, even with boat anchors like #255 Fordham. Source: http://www.rpiforecast.com/confrpi.html

Conference OOC record: 123-70 (63.7% - which I believe is our highest ever raw W% - at least since 2005)

123 Wins is more than any other conference other than the Big East (141). It is 2 more Ws than the B1G, 10 more than the ACC, 8 more than the SEC, 14 more than the Pac 12, and 34 more than the Big 12.

10 A10 teams are in the top 100 of the RPI, and 11 are expected to be in the final top 100 (selection sunday),a nd that’s with Xavier projected to be #100. 13 are expected to be in the top 150 (the threshold for “quality wins” - versus Top 50 wins which are “tournament quality” wins).

Right now, parity pojects a league with only 3 top 50 teams, 3 teams in the 60s and 4 teams in the 80’s.

13-3 takes the league, with 11-5 in 2nd, 10-6 in 3rd, and almost everyone else (9 teams) hovering around .500 (between 7-9 & 9-7) .

That last part testifies to the expected parity in the league and just how hard wins are going to be to come by. If a few teams distance themselves, they will easily vault into the top 50, and stand out with more top 50 Ws, and I really think this league has a legitimate shot at 6 bids, with 5 being the most likely scenario.

Can the league capture 6 bids? Cam we finish top 6 in this league?

Correction, that would not be our best Non-Conf Winning %…
Out-of-Conference Winning % Since 2000 and Number of Bids (from A10 board):

.643 - 2008 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.638 - 2013 Atlantic 10 Projection Before AOSF
.624 - 2012 Atlantic 10 - 4 bids
.624 - 2010 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.615 - 2013 Atlantic 10 Projection After AOSF
.593 - 2009 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.587 - 2004 Atlantic 10 - 4 bids
.587 - 2011 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.559 - 2000 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.556 - 2001 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.555 - 2006 Atlantic 10 - 2 bids
.541 - 2007 Atlantic 10 - 2 bids
.536 - 2003 Atlantic 10 - 3 bids
.522 - 2002 Atlantic 10 - 1 bid
.406 - 2005 Atlantic 10 - 1 bid

Considering that the A10 has gotten no less than 3 bids since 2008, combined with adding 2 new teams that will likely make the dance, I could definitely see the A10 getting 5 in, but I’m not so sure about 6. One major factor of course will be which of the 9-7 teams slip up against the bottom feeders (Fordham, Rhode Island, GW and Duquesne).

Two other factors that could lead to the A10 getting 6 are:

  1. A few of the bids that you would usually expect to go to the power conferences will be up for grabs. The ACC, SEC, Pac-12 (again) are down this year. The Big Ten & Big East appear to be the only power conferences that look poised to land 6+ bids.

  2. At least one 9-7 team has to upset one of the Top 3 in the A10 tourney in the 2nd round and make a deep run.

Can we finish in the top 6 in the league? I still believe that it is possible. It is conceivable that we could be 6-0 or at worst 5-1 after January. We have La Salle, Fordham & Xavier at home, Rhode Island, Richmond & GW on the road. GW seems to always have our number on their floor and Richmond is never an easy win on their court. Take care of business in January and that’s at half (or more) of the wins we need to finish Top 6.

February, as everyone has acknowledged, is brutal. All 7 games will be tough ones. We do get 2 shots at Temple though. 2 or 3 wins vs February would be huge. 4 would definitely exceed all expectations.

March concludes with 3 winnable road games @ St. Bonnie, Duquesne & St. Joe’s (though it also wouldn’t be a surprise to drop one, just don’t let it be St. Bonnie or Duquesne). I’m keeping my predictions realistic, so my predictions are:

January 5-1
February 2-5
March 2-1
9-7

If that happens, to be in the conversation for that 6th bid, we’ve got to go deep in the A10 tourney…at least semis, but realistically the championship game. Or just eliminate all doubt and cut the nets down ;D

League will probably get 5 teams, but I doubt 6. Selection committee still leans heavily to the “big 6” even when they aren’t so big. Pac-12 and SEC have deserved to be one big leagues and gotten at-larges some times multiple bids. You can count on one of our deserved bids going to a power conference.

I wonder if that will hold if we get lots of the Dickie V types campaining nightly for the league?

I think 10 wins will be the cutoff for most plausible teams except for maybe Butler, who have enough non-conference wins to get there even if they only get 8 or 9 in conference.

9-7 with a deep tournament run (especially considering that this tournament will exclude the bottom 4 teams!) might be enough. The rpi rating, which is expected to end up around 7th, is important, as the committee tends to use that as a benchmark for how to evaluate conference strength.

It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the MWC, who are expected to end up in the top 3 of conference rpi. Will they get 6 out of their 9 teams in? Currently the 6th place team is Boise st. at expected rpi of 56. If that was a “power” conference, then they would get in no questions asked. But somehow I bet they find a justification after-the-fact that keeps one or two MWC teams out.

I’m thinking 5 teams - Butler, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU + one to be named later.