Atlantic 10: Savor the good times while they last?
TribLIVE Sports Videos
This should be a time for some serious pride in the Atlantic 10.
Saint Louis, VCU, Butler, Temple and La Salle all made the NCAA Tournament, putting more A-10 teams in the field than the Big 12, Pac-12 and even the ACC.
It's the third time the A-10 has received four at-large bids and placed five teams in the tournament.
That's a pretty stout feat for perhaps the best so-called mid-major conference in the sport.
But the A-10 should enjoy the good times while it can.
The league may be about to lose the identity of small teams-big results it worked decades to craft once the season ends. Temple, long one of the flag-bearers of the conference, is bolting to join a conference with the football-playing members of the Big East.
Butler and Xavier, which missed the tournament for only the second time since 2001, are headed to the reimagined, basketball-oriented Big East.
With another wave of conference realignment always possible, Saint Louis and VCU would be prime candidates to get plucked from the A-10, too.
"If there are going to be realignment impacts that would affect the league, then we have to be ready to make the next-best decision. That's my job, to make sure that the A-10 stays as strong as possible," A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said. "I feel like it's been my daily work for the last 28 months, to be honest with you."
For three weeks, conference shuffling is a worry for another day. The A-10 would rather focus on how far teams advance in the tournament, not movement to another league.
The fourth-seeded Billikens are already one of the trendy outside-the-box picks for the Final Four. VCU reached the Final Four in 2011 and won another tournament game last season. With their "Havoc" defense always a disruption, the Rams could cause trouble for a turnover-prone team like top-seeded Kansas. Butler reached back-to-back national championship games in 2010 and 2011 and would like to add a third.
Temple and La Salle have no recent history of tournament success but both have knocked off top 10 teams this season.
"It's a program thing," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "Harry Litwack, John Chaney, John Baum, Marc Macon, Dionte Christmas and all of those people who played before this group. We're just thrilled to be representing Temple University and Philadelphia."
And, for the last time, the Atlantic 10.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Arrests follow South Side fracas
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 4, Braves 2
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, ‘day-to-day’ with concussion
- Flash!: ‘Bowling with the Bus’; Dreams of Hope fundraiser
- Oakmont club brings gardening inside at senior facility
- Alvarez latest in Pirates’ revolving door at first base
- Income tax’s origin provides spark for Berry’s new thriller
- Michigan State tops Louisville in OT to reach Final Four
- Gifting Gala attendees tell of Family House’s support system
- 20-plus eateries participate in sold-out Glass Slipper Ball in Cranberry