Thursday, March 09, 2000

A-10 lobbies for NCAA bids

        Is the Atlantic 10 having a down year? You decide.

        The league had four teams in the top 100 of Wednesday's Ratings Percentage Index, and the 12 teams' average RPI was 111.

        A breakdown: Temple (9), Dayton (41), St. Bonaventure (48), Xavier (67), St. Joseph's (103), George Washington (105), Massachusetts (115), Fordham (119), Virginia Tech (143), La Salle (159), Duquesne (199) and Rhode Island (226). What's hurting Xavier are losses to three of the four lowest-rated teams.

        Here's a sample of some other conferences:

        • Southeastern: 10 top-100 teams; average RPI 58

        • Big Ten; 10 top-100 teams; average 64

        • Conference USA: 9 top-100 teams; average 70

        • Pac-10: 7 top-100 teams; average 76

        • Atlantic Coast : 6 top-100 teams; average 79

        • Mid-American: 6 top-100 teams; average 123

        What happens if Xavier advances to the second round of the A-10 tournament and beats St. Bonaventure, then loses? Would that mean only two A-10 teams in the 64-team NCAA field?

        “I think it would be a disaster for the league,” Xavier coach Skip Prosser said. “I think we have a better league than we're getting credit for. To go from five (NCAA bids in 1998) to three (in '99) to two in a three-year span in terms of our national profile would not be a good thing.”

        UMass coach Bruiser Flint agrees. “I think we definitely should have three teams in it, and Xavier's right there for a fourth. I think it's ridiculous for anybody to say we're only going to get two teams.”


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- A-10 lobbies for NCAA bids
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