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Why VCU Basketball Will Win the A10 Tournament

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. With a win in their most recent game, VCU basketball is looking to do more than just earn a double-bye. The Rams have their sights set on the top overall seed. VCU’s betting odds to win the A10 Tournament are currently +225. 

Nah'Shon Hyland Atlantic 10 conference VCU basketball A10 Tournament
Credit: Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VCU Basketball Season Recap

Nonconference Play

VCU basketball certainly didn’t pull any punches when it came to the nonconference schedule this season. The Rams failed to register a Power 5 win, losing to both West Virginia and Penn State. With that said, VCU was competitive in both games. They did earn two impressive wins over Utah State and Memphis, two teams that both could very well be in the NCAA Tournament themselves. The Rams entered Atlantic 10 Conference play with a 7-2 record.

A10 Conference Play

Unlike some of the other A10 Tournament contenders, VCU basketball had a relatively smooth start to the conference portion of the schedule. The Rams started off 3-1 before running into virus issues. Three of VCU’s next six games would be postponed. The Rams still managed to keep playing well despite the disruptions. This included a 23-point demolition of Dayton. Through February 19th, VCU’s only two A10 basketball losses came against Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. The Rams successfully avenge each of those defeats with wins over both teams in the second meetings.

After suffering a narrow three-point loss to George Mason last weekend, VCU basketball bounced back with a huge win over Saint Louis on Tuesday night. The Rams close out the regular season against a pesky Davidson squad on Saturday.

VCU Basketball A10 Tournament Outlook

They weren’t necessarily one of the preseason favorites, but VCU basketball has a great chance to enter next week’s A10 Tournament as the number one overall seed. With a record of 17-5 overall, the Rams have to be considered a threat to win the conference tournament.

VCU basketball has been led this year by sophomore guard Nah’Shon Hyland. His 19.2 points per game lead all Rams players. What made VCU’s most recent triumph over Saint Louis all the more impressive was that they were without Hyland in that game. As such, other players had to step up. Junior forward Vince Williams Jr. is the Rams best frontcourt player and led all VCU scorers against the Billikens with 16 points. Freshman Adrian Baldwin Jr. also stepped up huge with 15 points including the game-winning free throws in the dying seconds. Of course, the bread and butter of VCU basketball continue to be their swarming defense. Nicknamed HAVOC, the Rams continue to make life difficult on opposing Atlantic 10 scorers.

VCU Basketball is an A10 Tournament Favorite

Currently situated atop the Atlantic 10 Conference standings, it makes perfect sense for VCU basketball to be the betting favorite ahead of the A10 Tournament. It’s impossible to discount the season that the Rams have had. They will likely make the NCAA Tournament regardless of how they fair in A10 Tournament play. So long as Hyland returns to the lineup at full strength, VCU will be a contender. The Rams’ athleticism and intensity more than make up for their lack of experienced senior leadership when compared to other teams around the Atlantic 10.

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