Fresno St. Alum wrote:
damn, JP your conference loses it's biggest name and looks even better and deeper than it did before. VCU, GMU, Butler. That would be 4 final four appearances by the 3 in the last 6 years. Now just wait for Charlotte to leave for the SBC and you could get ODU while they maybe put fb in the MAC.
Yeah, but here's the thing:
VCU is having a good run with Shaka in charge. GMU had a good run in 2006 and is good in the CAA.
Those are two good teams.
Temple is a PROGRAM. They've been in 19 of the last 29 NCAA tournaments with six Elite Eight finishes. Butler can be considered in that "program" stage. They've done it a little more quietly, until their two Final Fours. But Temple's got a longer tradition of excellence than Butler. It'd definitely a step down.
All three would make the league a lot deeper. But honestly, that's what the A-10's problem has been: They could be a 5-6 bid league if there was a massive drop off between #6 and #7. The depth is kind of hurting them come Selection Sunday.
For example, look at this year.
Temple and Xavier got ranked. Saint Louis was an NCAA lock all year
Then you have:
Bonaventure went 10-6 in conference and finished fourth.... but lost to Illinois, Va Tech, NC State, Cleveland State, and Arkansas State (!). 7-5 out of conference? NO CHANCE at an at-large. If they don't choke a lead away vs Illinois and Va Tech. and give up a near buzzer beater to Cleveland State and a full on buzzer beater to NC State, they're 24-7 and safely in.
Dayton beat Temple, SLU, Alabama, Xavier, Ole Miss, UMass and Minnesota.... but in addition to eight acceptable losses, also lost to Miami OH, Rhode Island, Richmond, and Duquesne. If Dayton had Bona's conference season, they have gotten an at-large.
Saint Joe's beat Creighton, Temple and Drexel. But 9-7 in the A-10 with losses to #167 Charlotte, #126 Richmond.
UMass beat Temple, SLU, Xavier, Davidson, SJU, Bonaventure… but 9-7 with losses to URI, DUQ, #86 LaSalle (twice).
The league had eight Top 100 RPI teams, and 10 in the top 126. But a four-way tie for fifth at 9-7 and all four went to the NIT. Teams #9 and #10 beat the 9-7 teams a total of five times.
Look at Dayton's resume again. If they didn't lose to #9 and #10 in the A-10, they'd have been 22-10, #53 in the RPI and the A-10's FIFTH team.
The A-10 had 10 good teams. If they had eight good teams, the top six could have gotten NCAA bids.