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The Richmond Spiders have ADVANCED TO GO, or to be more exact, they have exited Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City this afternoon as 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament Champions, defeating the No. 9 seed Dayton Flyers 67-54 to earn an automatic berth in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. (thanks for hanging in on that Monopoly reference)
After allowing upstart Dayton to get within five points early in the second half the No. 3 seed Spiders quickly righted the ship behind the continued stellar play of senior star Kevin Anderson, and held a comfortable lead for the rest of the second half. Anderson topped his semifinal performance by scoring 23 points, and once again he got all the offensive support he needed from fellow senior Justin Harper, who scored 18 points of his own. Richmond finished the game 10 of 21 from three (a gaudy 48 percent).
Chris Johnson and Juwan Staten led Dayton in a losing effort with 11 and 10 points, respectively. After a surprising run to the final it appeared the Flyers were gassed from the start, never seriously threatening to steal the Atlantic 10 crown from the Spiders.
SBNation.com's own PHD of Bracketology, Chris Dobbertean, currently has Richmond as a No. 11 seed in the Big Dance, though I'm now curious if this win bumps them up the S curve to a No. 10 seed? Either way, the Spiders are not a NCAA tournament team to be trifled with (this year's incarnation or historically) - as mentioned yesterday, Richmond is the only school to win NCAA tournament games as a No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seed. No matter where they're seeded this evening, I see them adding one more number to that list next week.
It appears the unlikely run of the No. 9 seed Dayton Flyers might be coming to a close in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship. Third seeded Richmond stormed out of the gates in today's championship game, taking a 34-24 lead into the locker room behind (check the stat sheet again) 8 of 15 shooting from three point land.
As Atlantic 10 followers have come to expect all season long, Richmond was led by Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper in the first half. Anderson scored 11 points and Harper eight behind 4 of 9 shooting from three. The Spiders have generated 13 points off seven Dayton turnovers, and they seem to be that proverbial one step ahead throughout this final Atlantic 10 game of the year.
Bubble teams everywhere (shameless #3bids4CAA plug here) hope the second half plays out like the first, because a Dayton comeback and victory will crush someone's tournament dreams.
The 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament championship game pits No. 3 seed Richmond against upstart No. 9 seed Dayton. The Spiders are likely in the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens, but bubble teams everywhere will be watching closely to see if the Flyers will steal one of their bids.
Dayton was in the bubble picture early in the season, but faded with a poor finish in Atlantic 10 play. However, they have rebounded in the Atlantic 10 tournament in a big way. After topping No. 8 seed Massachusetts in the opening round, Dayton shocked top-seeded Xavier, 68-67, then defeated No. 12 seed St. Joseph's in the semifinals to reach the title game. Led by Chris Wright, the Flyers will annoy some bubble team (Virginia Tech?) if they complete their Cinderella run.
Richmond took a move conventional route to the title game, outlasting No. 6 seed Rhode Island in the quarterfinals before defeating No. 2 seed Temple in an outstanding semifinal game. Led by Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper, Richmond is the favorite in this game.
Action gets underway at 1 p.m. on CBS.
Chris Mooney and his Richmond Spiders defeated the Temple Owls 58-54 today in the second 2011 Atlantic 10 semifinal match-up of the day. Somewhere Johnny Newman is smiling.
The No. 3 seed Spiders will face surprise finalist Dayton, who courtesy of a late season collapse entered the Atlantic 10 tournament as the No. 9 seed.
Kevin Anderson's 22 points on 8 of 17 shooting led the Spiders, receiving support from fellow senior Justin Harper, who finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds. The line of the game though has to go to Richmond forward Kevin Smith, who grabbed 14 rebounds while shooting 0 for 3 from the floor and 0 for 2 from the stripe.
Temple was led in defeat by guard Juan Fernandez, who was just a wee bit shy of recording a triple double, finishing with seven points, seven rebounds and 10 assists.
I'll leave you with this random fact: Richmond holds the distinction of being the only school to win NCAA tournament games as a No. 12, 13, 14 and 15 seed.
Break out the jello pudding pops Temple fans, and enjoy the Owls' 31-30 halftime lead over the Richmond Spiders in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament Semifinal Game No. 2. Temple's razor thin margin can be directly attributed to their five made three pointers in the first half and two measly turnovers (as opposed to just two made three pointers and six turnovers for Richmond).
A balanced attack (five players between four and nine points) has fueled Temple, while Richmond has relied on senior stalwarts Justin Harper and Kevin Anderson to provide the scoring punch (12 and 11 points, respectively).
Richmond currently sits on the bubble, probably in the Big Dance, but still a little bit nervous about Sunday evening. Taking down the #24 ranked Owls would go a long way towards solidifying their place in the field of 68. Getting blown out in the second half would be "crossing the streams"-bad.
The No. 9 seed Dayton Flyers, after a sluggish end to their season, will be playing in the 2011 Atlantic 10 Championship Final Sunday afternoon. Dayton beat St. Joseph's 64-61 in Atlantic City in the first semifinaI contest of the day.
Chris Wright (no, not the other one who has twitter all a flutter at this very moment) scored 17 points to go along with 15 rebounds and five assists to lead Dayton. Teammate Chris Johnson (no relation) chipped in 19 points and four rebounds for the Flyers, who await the winner of semifinal game two, piting No. 2 seed Temple vs. No. 3 seed Richmond.
The No. 12 seed Hawks made a valiant run in Atlantic City, winning back-to-back overtime games just to get here. Phil Martelli, we will miss you, but know we always love you for telling Billy Packer what a pompous windbag he really is on national television.
Just when it looked like Phil Martelli’s magic might be wearing off, his No. 12 seed St. Joseph’s Hawks have climbed back into their match-up with the No. 9 seed Dayton Flyers after trailing by 11 midway through the first half of this 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament semifinal game.
In an unlikely battle of Davids, Dayton has been led by the Duo Chris, as guard Chris Johnson has scored nine points and burly forward Chris Wright has filled the halftime stat sheet with six points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Martelli and his Hawks should be happy to be down just four points, as they shot a woeful 31 percent (9-29 field goals) in the first half, a number that was actually much worse before the iron became a little less unkind for St. Joseph's late in the half. The Hawks have been lead by the guard tandem of Charoy Bentley and Langston Galloway in the first half, with the duo combing for 15 of St. Josephs' 24 first half points.
It was a thrilling day of quarterfinal action at the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament in Atlantic City on Friday, with one side of the bracket completely busted. On Saturday afternoon, Dayton, St. Joseph's, Temple and Richmond will play for two spots in Sunday's championship game.
The first upset of the day came early, as No. 9 seed Dayton moved back to the fringes of the NCAA Tournament bubble with a 68-67 upset win over No. 1 seed Xavier. The second upset came after that, as No. 12 seed St. Joseph's, who only won nine games in the regular season, pulled off its second straight upset, topping No. 4 seed Duquense in overtime. St. Joseph's had defeated No. 5 seed George Washington in the opening round.
Here is a schedule of Saturday's action.
No. 9 Dayton vs. No. 12 St. Joseph's, 1 p.m., CBS College Sports: Dayton lost its bubble status late in the regular season with a poor finish in Atlantic 10 play, but could regain it with a win over the upstart St. Joseph's squad.
No. 2 Temple vs. No. 3 Richmond, about 3:30 p.m., CBS College Sports: Richmond is probably in the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens in this game, but a win would certainly lock that bid up.
Richmond took control mid-way through the second half and held on to beat Rhode Island, 55-45, in a rock fight to reach the semifinals of the 2011 Atlantic 10 tournament.
The Spiders won despite shooting a miserable 32.1% from the field (18-56) and 19.2% from beyond the three-point line (5-36). Richmond only turned the ball over six times and outrebounded the Rams, 40-33.
Kevin Anderson and Justin Harper combined for 33 points for Richmond, while Marquis Jones led Rhody with 14. Harper grabbed a game-high 13 boards.
After the Rams took a 32-31 lead on Will Martell's layup with 13:50 remaining, Richmond ran off 10 consecutive points over the next 6:30, taking a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The Spiders avenged a regular season home loss to the Rams in running their record to 25-7 and likely assured themselves of an NCAA Tournament bid.
Richmond advances to take on Temple Saturday afternoon at 3:30 in Atlantic City. The winner draws the unlikely Dayton/St. Joe's winner for the A-10 autobid.
Kevin Anderson scored eight first half points as Richmond took a 23-20 lead into the break in a hard-fought, but fairly ugly Atlantic 10 quarterfinal matchup against Rhode Island.
The third-seeded Spiders shot miserably in the first frame, connecting on just nine of 32 shots (and 2 of 12 from beyond the arc), but turned the sixth-seeded Rams over eight times while only committing a single miscue of their own to maintain a slim edge.
Marquis Jones led Rhody with nine points, while Jamal Wilson made all three of his shots for seven points. Francis-Cedric Martel came off the bench for Richmond to chip in five points and grab five boards.
Rhode Island got out of the gate quickly, leading 7-3 at the under-16 timeout, and again at 16-15. Richmond scored the next seven points to take a 22-16 lead. Jones hit a late layup to get the Rams to within a pair at the break.
The winner of this game takes on second-seeded Temple in the A-10 semifinals.
In what has been a bit of a down year for the Atlantic 10 conference, perennial stalwart Temple trounced conference foe (dare i say doe) La Salle 96-76 tonight to advance to the semifinals of the A-10 tournament (despite no one knowing this game even existed). The A-10 has the potential to be an absolute bubble buster this weekend , as both No. 9 Dayton (who upset No.1 seed Xavier) and No. 12 seed Phil Martelli's St. Joseph's squad march into the semis as well.
The A-10 might want to move their conference tournament out of the marshes of Atlantic City in coming years, because it's pretty hard to focus on any game recaps when "Cash for Gold " signs are flashing before you face every block.
The 9pm match-up of Lamar Odom U and Richmond has just become all the more interesting. The #3bids4CAA movement has hit a roadblock tonight. Damn you Hillman College!
The top of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament bracket has officially been busted. After No. 9 seed Dayton shocked No. 1 seed Xavier earlier Friday, No. 12 seed St. Joseph's pulled off a surprise of its own, defeating No. 4 seed Duquense 93-90 in overtime. The two teams will now square off Saturday in an unlikely semifinal.
St. Joseph's went just 9-21 in the regular season, but is now improbably 6-4 in its last 10 games, including a win over No. 5 seed George Washington in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament on Tuesday. Now, they topped a Duquense team that started off the season on a roll, but limped to a 18-12 overall finish.
St. Joseph's took an 11-point lead, but Duquense went on an 11-1 run to cut the lead back down to one. Duquense then took a two-point lead with seconds remaining, but Ronald Roberts tied the score with four seconds left on a dunk off a broken play. St. Joseph's then took a six-point lead in overtime and held on for the win.
We have a major upset in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament. Dayton nearly blew a big lead, but held on to upset No. 1 seed Xavier, 68-67. Luke Fabrizius provided the winning margin with two free throws with 5.8 seconds left, and Tu Holloway missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, allowing the Flyers to survive.
And survive is exactly what they did. Dayton took a 21-3 lead to start the game and led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but Xavier rallied and eventually tied the score at 64 with a Holloway layup with 2:48 remaining. Holloway then put Dayton ahead for the first time, scoring a layup and drawing a foul with 25 seconds left. The Flyers then worked the clock down and missed a jumper, but Fabrizius grabbed the rebound and was clobbered in the lane before hitting two free throws.
Dayton now improves to 21-12 on the year, and at least moves to the fringes of the NCAA Tournament bubble, with a winnable game against either No. 4 seed Duquense or No. 12 seed St. Joseph's in the semifinals. Xavier falls to 24-7, but its spot in the field is safe.
There are two teams in the 2011 A-10 Tournament that have a spot in the NCAA Tournament all sewn up. One of them, is in danger of losing in the quarterfinals today. In a bit of a surprise result, Dayton is leading top-seeded Xavier 36-27 at the half.
Dayton used a balanced attack and excellent shooting from the field to build their early lead. They have six players that have scored between three and seven points, led by Chris wright and Chris Johnson. Overall, they are shooting 53.8% from the field, and have made 4-8 three point attempts.
Xavier isn't playing particularly poorly, they just aren't shooting the ball very well and they have an unfortunate matchup against a very hot Dayton team. As a team, they are only shooting 38.5% from the field and have made just three of eleven attempts from beyond the mark. They are also being outrebounded by Dayton 17-8.
Xavier is going to be in the tournament regardless of this result. But if Dayton makes it through this game and can win the conference tournament, it could shake up the bubble a little bit. We'll keep you posted.
In some ways, the smaller conference tournaments are more exciting than the bigger ones. The 2011 A-10 Tournament features a bunch of teams that are scrapping to get into the tournament, while the bigger tournaments are going to be decided between teams that pretty much have a spot in the Big Dance all sewn up. Not that a conference tournament title isn't enough motivation for them, but when you're playing to keep your season alive (NIT doesn't count, for this example anyway) it provides an extra element of suspense. Here is the schedule for today's quarterfinal action.
Dayton Vs. Xavier, Noon: Xavier is the top seed and should be favored pretty heavily in this game. Dayton has a pretty solid player in Chris Wright, but that's about it. But again, teams do funny things when a win helps get them into the NCAA Tournament.
St. Joseph's Vs. Duquesne, 2:30: St. Joseph's is coming off their upset of George Washington, and are the lowest seeded team remaining in the tournament. Duquesne should be favored in this game as well, but we saw how that worked out for George Washington.
La Salle Vs. Temple, 6:30: Temple is the last team ranked in the top-25, and they have a spot in the tournament sewn up. Having said that, they have too much talent to really let La Salle hang around in this one.
Rhode Island Vs. Richmond, 9: Richmond is on everyone's bubble. A win over Rhode Island isn't particularly impressive, but a loss to them could be crushing.
We'll be updating this Stream with all the scores and updates as they become available.
Part of the local interest might be gone now that George Washington has been eliminated, but the 2011 A-10 Tournament still has some intriguing games left. They take a couple days off today as all the remaining teams travel to Atlantic City for the rest of the tournament, which look like this.All of these games will be played on Friday.
1 Xavier Vs. 9 Dayton, Noon.
12 St. Joseph's Vs. 4 Duquesne, 2:30 p.m..
2 Temple Vs. 10 La Salle, 6:30 p.m..
6 Rhode Island Vs. 3 Richmond, 9 p.m..
The semifinals and the final will be played over the rest of the weekend. Richmond is still in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament spot, so their remaining games in this field will be very important. If they can at least make the final, it will go a long way in securing the coveted at large bid. We'll be covering their progress, as well as the rest of the tournament results, in this story stream.
George Washington entered the Atlantic 10 Tournament as a possible sleeper. They instead exited meekly in the first round. The Colonials fell to No. 12 seed St. Joseph's 71-59 in overtime on their home court, in what could be their final game of the season. George Washington ends the regular season at 17-14 overall, and now must hope for a berth in the NIT or the College Basketball Invitational.
The Colonials fell behind early and never led in the game. They embarked on a furious rally to tie the score at 49 at the end of regulation, and had the ball with a chance to win the game. Tony Taylor drove right and had an open shot for the win, but missed. Jabari Edwards carved out offensive rebound position and had a point-blank tip-in to win the game, but missed it. St. Joseph's then scored the first 12 points in overtime to roll to victory.
Had the Colonials won, they would have faced a vulnerable No. 4 seed in Duquense that has lost six of its past eight games. Instead, they will not even make it to Atlantic City and have to consider an opportunity missed.
George Washington is a heavy favorite in its first-round game against St. Joseph's in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, which makes this first-round score all the more concerning. The No. 5-seeded Colonials trail No. 12 seed St. Joseph's 31-20 at halftime at the Smith Center in Washington D.C.
The Colonials started off slowly and have yet to recover. They are shooting just 33 percent from the field, and are allowing St. Joseph's to shoot 52 percent from the floor themselves. St. Joseph's has maintained a solid lead throughout the contest, taking their biggest lead of the half when Daryus Quarles nailed a three-point jumper from the left corner at the buzzer. Idris Hilliard leads St. Joseph's with eight points, while no GW player has more than five points in the half.
A loss would be particularly damaging due to the way the Colonials finished the season. St. Joseph's is just 9-21 overall on the season, and are dressing just 10 players in this game. The Colonials worked hard to finish with four wins in their last five after a disappointing start to the season, so to not even make the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals would be a big disappointment.
We already talked a little bit about the Atlantic-10 Tournament starting today, but we're a D.C. site so I figured we could pay a little bit more attention to the local boys of George Washington. They take on St. Joseph's tonight at the Smith Center, and are aiming to advance to the next round in Atlantic City.
For more information on the first round game, we turn to USA 9.
Fifth-seeded George Washington will tangle with 12th-seeded Saint Joseph's in the first round as well. This season has been a tough one to endure for Saint Joseph's, which owns a 29-26 record in this event and has won the title twice, most recently in 1997. Generating offense has proven to be problematic for the Hawks, who place 13th out of 14 A-10 teams in regard to scoring offense (63.5 ppg). They are also 13th in scoring margin, as they are being outgunned by 6.1 ppg overall. As for George Washington, it also has two A-10 tourney titles to its credit and last hoisted the crown in 2007. The Colonials, who closed out their regular season with back-to-back wins, rank in the middle of the A-10 pack in most important statistical categories. Tony Taylor is the man to watch for GW, as he is posting 14.8 ppg, good for 11th place among A-10 players.
It's this time of year that the StoryStream feature on our SB Nation sites is incredibly useful. It's the only way that we can organize all of the different conference tournaments that are going on in one place. Without them, our website, and the Internet as a whole, would probably just explode.
The latest tournament to get underway is the A-10, and it features Xavier as its No.1 overall seed. George Washington has earned a five seed in the tournament, and they host 12th seeded St. Joesph's. Here are all the first round matchups that will take place today.
8 Massachusetts Vs. 9 Dayton, 9 p.m., game to be played at the Mullins Center on the campus of UMASS.
5 George Washington Vs. 12 St. Joseph's, 7 p.m., game to be played at the Smith Center at the campus of George Washington
7 St. Bonaventure Vs. 10 La Salle, 5 p.m., game to be played at the Reilly Center at St. Bonaventure.
6 Rhode Island Vs. 11 St. Louis, 7 p.m., game to be played at Ryan Center on the campus of Rhode Island.
The winners of these four games will meet the teams that earned first round byes in Atlantic City for the rest of the tournament.
We'll be updating this stream with news about the A-10 Tournament, and you can get more information about the tournament at their website.
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