With the Atlantic 10 Conference announcing that the men’s and women’s tournaments would swap dates, this is officially the final week of regular-season play. In a nod to the widespread parity and unpredictability of the conference, ten teams still have a mathematical chance to claim one of four double-byes into the A10 Tournament quarterfinals. Saint Louis basketball was one of two A10 programs to be ranked in the AP Top 25 this season. The Billikens currently have +245 betting odds to win the A10 Tournament.
Check out the latest Atlantic 10 basketball news and notes article for an update on the A10 Tournament schedule!
Saint Louis Basketball Season Recap
One undeniable fact about the Saint Louis basketball season is that the nonconference portion of the schedule went off far smoother than in-conference play. Saint Louis started off the season by going 6-0. This included a Power 5 win over North Carolina State of the ACC. The Billikens entered the AP Top 25 early in the year off the backs of this win and a hard-fought road loss to Minnesota, themselves an NCAA Tournament hopeful out of the Big Ten. Saint Louis destroyed UMKC to wrap up the nonconference season two days before Christmas. This would turn out to be the Billikens’ last game for over a full calendar month.
A10 Conference Play
Following their win over UMKC, the Billikens would not play another game until January 27th. All told, six of their first seven Atlantic 10 conference games were postponed. Saint Louis basketball lost each of their first two conference matchups to Dayton and La Salle. They followed the tough stretch of inactivity up with four straight wins, including over league-leading St. Bonaventure.
With their names firmly enshrined on the NCAA Tournament bubble watchlist, the Billikens have failed to bolster their case in recent days. They were blown out by Dayton and then fell in a back-and-forth nailbiter at VCU in their most recent outing. Saint Louis basketball currently in a tie for seventh in the A10 standings.
Saint Louis Basketball A10 Tournament Outlook
One has to feel for Saint Louis basketball and the scheduling turmoil they were forced to go through this season. After such a strong start in the nonconference portion, the Billikens essentially had a full offseason before they could get on the court to play an Atlantic 10 basketball opponent. Nonetheless, the Billikens simply cannot be taken lightly in next week’s A10 Tournament.
In a conference that is extremely rich in guard play, the Billikens arguably have two of the best of the lot in seniors Jodan Goodwin and Javonte Perkins. Both are experienced ballhandlers and scorers. With backcourt play being so important in March tournaments, Saint Louis basketball is certainly on an even playing field with even the top teams in the A10 Tournament seeding. Sophomore Yuri Collins is a tremendous ballhandler in his own right. Classmate Gibson Jimerson is lethal shooting the basketball from 3-point range. His 2-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the Billikens’ loss to VCU was uncharacteristic, to say the least. Saint Louis basketball also has the experience and a whole lot of muscle in the frontcourt in senior Hasahn French.
Saint Louis Basketball is an A10 Tournament Contender
They may only be .500 in Atlantic 10 Conference play but don’t count the Billikens out in the upcoming A10 Tournament. Travis Ford’s team will likely have to run the table in Richmond and may even have to win the A10 Tournament final in Dayton in order to qualify for March Madness. Despite their mediocre performance in conference play, the college basketball betting market clearly feels strongly about Saint Louis basketball. Their +245 odds to win the A10 Tournament are the second-shortest in the conference, behind only VCU (+225).