2013 Cinderella Casting: Atlantic 10 Bids

March 18, 2013

The unfortunate thing about the last Cinderella Casting article each season is that the tournament field has been set, and thus some of the uncertainty has been taken out of the equation. The nice thing about this, however, is that I now have a much better sense as to how far certain teams might make it in the Big Dance.

As it turned out, I only have one more mid-major conference to report on, but it’s a good one. If you’re still interested, here is a short report on the tourney bound teams from the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Atlantic 10

Teams in: Butler, La Salle, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU

Seed: 6 (Butler), 13 (La Salle), 4 (Saint Louis), 9 (Temple), 5 (VCU)

Second Round Opponent: Bucknell (Butler), Boise State (La Salle), New Mexico State (Saint Louis), N.C. State (Temple), Akron (VCU)

Probability of being a Cinderella: N/A (Butler, Saint Louis, VCU), Decent (La Salle and Temple)

With the addition of Butler and VCU (both Final Four participants in the last two years), the Atlantic 10 is only grandfathered into the “mid-major” category. In actuality, this conference is far from mid-major caliber, as its teams participating in the NCAA Tournament would suggest. Only La Salle and Temple would be considered a Cinderella with a couple of wins; the other three squads are actually expected to win some games.

One team to keep an eye on out of this conference is Saint Louis, the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. The Billikens have been flying under the radar for most of the season, but are “a legitimate contender for the whole thing” according to Butler coach Brad Stevens. Just in case you’re not aware, people listen when that guy talks now. With plenty of experience and the ghost of Rick Majerus on their side, this isn’t a team to overlook.

As for the rest of the conference, VCU has the defense to roll into the Sweet 16 and potentially meet No. 1 seed Kansas in the tournament again, Butler poses a matchup issue for Marquette if it can get by Bucknell, and Temple would be an extremely tough out for Indiana. I’d even say La Salle has a good chance of upsetting Kansas State, but I’m rooting for Boise State to beat the Explorers.

– K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *