March Madness is an exciting time of year for college basketball coaches, players and fans, and we start our own version of the "Madness" this week with the Atlantic 10 Championships at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
It has been a very, very balanced season in the A-10 which should make for a tremendous tournament. The first portion of the season all the coaches in the league would agree that Xavier had separated itself from the field. Then all of the sudden Dayton comes on strong and Rhode Island really started playing well, especially down the stretch. I also think that we have had a good season at Temple, but no team can be overlooked as evidenced by our 12-seed Charlotte defeating Xavier and Richmond closing out the season with a win over Xavier.
With the A-10 Championships it is a whole different world. You have to play well for three nights in a row, but before you can play three games, you have to win the first one. It is going to be a tough road, but the team that stays together is going to survive.
As a coach, when your teams takes the floor you hope your guys are ready. Coaches prepare their teams through practices, film work and strategy then we just throw it up against the wall and hope that it sticks.
You cannot change much this time of year. The interesting thing for our team is that we are going to play an afternoon game on Thursday and, if we are lucky enough to win, we will play an evening game on Friday. That will at least allow us some time to prepare for the next opponent. It is not like you are playing at night then noon on the next day. We will have also played the our seminfinal opponent so we will know something about them. Plus we will have watched them play during the tournament.
We hope to become the first team since Coach Chaney's 2001 squad to successfully defend its A-10 title. It takes a lot of luck to repeat as champions, hopefully we have the luck on our side again this season.
Hope to see you down at Boardwalk Hall.