The problem I see with the remaining A-10 is it's basically a Catholic 12 reject conference. Many of the schools are in the same city or close by so the market they're in, they don't carry.
Georgetown - George Washington
Villanova - St. Joe's, La Salle
Providence - Rhode Island
St. John's - Fordham
Richmond - VCU (this is a case where the A-10 might be ahead)
That leaves UMass, St. Bona, and Duquesne. UMass has a foot out the door, Duquesne is in Pitt's shadow, and Bona doesn't offer much (sorry).
So ultimately I do think it's realistic they just pick off some MAAC schools and survive as a NE conference. I can't say I'd be too confident about Davidson though.
EDIT: In the current standings, of the bottom 9 schools, they will be keeping 7. Only VCU and La Salle are in the top 7. And this is assuming they do pass on VCU for Richmond which is not a sure thing
That's actually not a bad plan so to have double representation in these areas, yes they are in the shadow of some other schools but so are tons of others conferences and grabbing even a 10th of the total TV audiences of Balt/DC, Virginia, or North Carolina is still worth more than what the bottom of the MAAC/NEC/AEC can bring.
Maryland - Georgetown - George Washington, George Mason
- American (clearly 3rd)
Penn St - Temple - Villanova - St. Joe's, La Salle
- Lafayette, Lehigh - Drexel (likely 4th)
Boston College - UConn - Providence - UMass, Rhode Island, Northeastern
- Holy Cross, BU - Bryant (likely 4th)
Rutgers - Syracuse - Seton Hall, St. John's - Fordham, Iona, Hofstra, St Bon, Siena
- Stoney Brook, Albany (clearly 4th)
Virginia, Virginia Tech - Old Dominion - Richmond - VCU
-Liberty - William & Mary - VMI (likely 4th)
Penn St - Pitt - West Virginia - Dunesque
- Robert Morris (likely 4th)
UNC, Duke, NSCU, WF - East Carolina - Charlotte - Davidson, UNC-Greensboro
- App St, Elon, WCU (clearly 4th)
If they took the 16 I bolded above, they'd have a pretty strong set of teams and markets even as the 3rd/4th option even at 10% is still a ton of possible eyeballs to sell for whatever media deal they could get.
And while yeah the A10 moves from a top 8 conference (w/ the Big6+MWC) to likely the bottom of the top the 12 behind the Catholic 7...but still its with the others conferences that would routinely be considered multiple bid leagues by the sports pundits (ACC, B1G, B12, SEC, P12, nBE, C7, MWC, CUSA, WCC, and the MVC).
And FYI Davidson has more tourney bids than any currently in the A10 other than VCU/Butler(which its tied with both) and StJoe's/LaSalle/Xavier/Dayton.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...