The 2015 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to get underway on Wednesday, March 11th and run through Sunday, March 15th. This conference tournament will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. It will feature 14 teams this year with the addition of Davidson.
Speaking of Davidson, it managed to win the conference in its first season as a member with a 14-4 record. The Wildcats edged out Dayton (13-5) and Rhode Island (13-5) for the title. These three will receive double-byes along with No. 4 Richmond. The Nos. 5-8 seeds each receive a first-round bye. The Nos. 11-14 seeds all play on Wednesday to open the tournament.
Davidson (+240) is the favorite to win, but there are plenty of other solid contenders. VCU (+325), Dayton (+360), Rhode Island (+550), George Washington (+600) and Richmond (+700) all have reasonably short odds. Here is a look at the schedule, the favorite, my value play, and my sleeper pick for the 2015 Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Atlantic 10 Tournament Schedule
First Round (Wednesday, March 11)
- Game 1 – (12) Fordham vs (13) George Mason
- Game 2 – (11) Duquesne vs (14) Saint Louis
Second Round (Thursday, March 12)
- Game 3 – (8) UMass vs (9) La Salle
- Game 4 – (5) VCU vs Winner of Game 1
- Game 5 – (7) St. Bonaventure vs. (10) Saint Joseph’s
- Game 6 – (6) George Washington vs Winner of Game 2
Quarterfinals (Friday, March 13)
- Game 7 – (1) Davidson vs Winner of Game 3
- Game 8 – (4) Richmond vs Winner of Game 4
- Game 9 – (2) Dayton vs Winner of Game 5
- Game 10 – (3) Rhode Island vs Winner of Game 6
Semifinals (Saturday, March 14)
- Game 11 – Winner of Game 7 vs Winner of Game 8
- Game 12 – Winner of Game 9 vs Winner of Game 10
Championship Game (Sunday, March 15)
- Game 13 – Winner of Game 11 vs Winner of Game 12
The Favorite: Davidson (+240)
The Wildcats were one of the most underrated teams in the country all season. They came through in a big way for spread bettors all year while compiling a 23-6 overall record and a 14-4 mark within the conference.
Davidson was nearly unstoppable offensively all year. It ranks 4th in the country in scoring (80.6 ppg) and 3rd in assists per game (17.4). It features a balanced attack with four different players averaging 11.7 or more points per game, which makes it tough to tame.
The Value Play: Dayton (+360)
With the No. 2 seed, the Flyers will not have to play Davidson until the championship game if it were to come to that. The postseason darlings from last year in the NCAA Tournament had another solid 2014-15 campaign, going 23-7 overall and 13-5 in Atlantic 10 action.
The two stars on last year’s team were back this season and led the way. Jordan Sibert (16.6 ppg) and Dyshawn Pierre (13.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg) are two of the best players in the conference. These two, along with Kendall Pollard (12.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg), are more than capable of carrying the Flyers to the tournament title.
The Sleeper: Richmond (+700)
The oddsmakers are really only giving six teams a chance to win the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Those are the six teams that have +700 odds or shorter, and Richmond is that +700 team. Considering it is one of only four teams to get a double-bye, I believe it is showing excellent value at this +700 price.
The Spiders will only have to win three games to be crowned champs. Well, they come into the tournament as perhaps the hottest team in the conference. They have won six straight to put themselves on the NCAA Tournament bubble at 19-12 overall and 12-6 within the conference. They have wins over VCU (twice) and Davidson (by 26 points). They can win this tournament given their seeding and their state coming in.
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