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.