Owls atop Atlantic Ten power rankings

Here are my Atlantic Ten power rankings heading into Wednesday’s matchups.

1. Temple (15-5, 4-2). With Micheal Eric, the Owls are much improved. Expect them to extend their four-game winning streak with upcoming games against Fordham, Rhode Island and George Washington.

2. Massachusetts (16-5, 5-2). The Minutemen haven’t exactly had a tough schedule.  But Saturday’s victory over St. Louis goes a long way in the statement-game category.  

3. St. Louis (16-5, 4-3). After winning 12 of their first 13 games, the Billikens are 4-4. St. Louis, however, is tough to beat at home. And that should help down the stretch.

4. La Salle (16-6, 5-2).  The Explorers are having their best season since Doug Overton and Randy Woods were in the backcourt during the 1990-91 season.  La Salle’s schedule is about to get tougher. How will it respond?

 5. Xavier (14-7, 5-3).  One paper, Xavier is the best team in the A-10. And the Musketeers played that way before the brawl with Cincinnati on Dec. 10. Talk about still taking some lumps.

6. St. Bonaventure (12-7, 5-2).  The Bonnies won three straight and seven of their last nine games.  Yet, people are still wondering if they are legitimate league contenders.

7. St. Joseph’s (13-9, 3-4). The Hawks pulled off a thrilling victory over Dayton only to follow it up with a humbling loss to Temple.  It was their fourth loss in five games. Ouch!

8. Dayton (14-7, 4-3).  The Flyers have lost two straight and are in danger of missing out on an expected first-round bye in March’s A-10 tournament.

9. Duquesne (12-7, 3-4).  The Dukes held a nine-point lead against La Salle on Saturday, but lost 71-68 in large part because they couldn't make stops with the game on the line. It won’t get easier on the road against a motivated Dayton sqaud on Wednesday.

10. Richmond (12-10, 3-4). Talk about being on a seesaw.  Three days after setting a season-high for points (101), the Spiders made a season-low 13 field goals in Saturday’s 62-47 loss to St. Bonaventure. 

11. George Washington (8-13, 3-4).  Let’s just say this hasn’t been an enjoyable season for first-year coach Mike Lonergan.  The Colonials have lost 12 of their last 16 contests.

12. Charlotte (10-10, 2-5).  Don’t count on the 49ers snapping their five-game losing streak to conference opponents at La Salle on Wednesday.  Charlotte struggles to make baskets.

13. Fordham (9-11, 2-5). The Rams are having their best season since the 2006-07 season.  Unfortunately for Fordham, that’s not saying much.

14. Rhode Island (4-18, 1-6).  The Rams snapped a six-game losing streak by upsetting Dayton on Saturday. That’s the good news. The bad news is they are expected to lose eight of their final nine games.