Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Hawks among many still looking for A-10 berth

St. Joseph’s basketball coach Phil Martelli has been miffed about all the talk (or actually the writing) about the Hawks chances to qualify for the Atlantic-10 Tournament.

Hawks among many still looking for A-10 berth

St. Joe´s coach Phil Martelli. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)
St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

St. Joseph’s basketball coach Phil Martelli has been miffed about all the talk (or actually the writing) about the Hawks chances to qualify for the Atlantic-10 Tournament.

Twelve of the 16 teams will qualify. There is one week left in the regular season.

And with two games remaining, the Hawks are 16-11 overall and 7-7 in the A-10 and are among many teams who haven’t earned a berth.

The Hawks could clinch on Wednesday if they beat Rhode Island (3-11 A-10) and have either Charlotte, Dayton or George Washington, lose. All three are 6-8.

Here are the list of A-10 teams with six or more conference losses and what their schedules this week.

Xavier (8-6) – Wednesday vs. St. Louis (12-2) ; Saturday at Butler (9-5).

Massachusetts (8-6)– Thursday vs Butler (9-5); Saturday at Rhode Island (3-11).  

St. Bonaventure (7-7) – Wednesday at Dayton (6-8); Saturday vs. Fordham (2-12).

St. Joseph’s (7-7)– Wednesday vs Rhode Island (3-11); at Charlotte (6-8) Saturday.

Richmond (7-7) – at VCU (11-3) Wednesday; Saturday vs. Duquesne (1-13).

Dayton (6-8) – Wednesday St. Bonaventure (7-7), Saturday at George Washington (6-8).

George Washington (6-8) – Wednesday at La Salle (10-4); Saturday vs. Dayton (6-8)

Charlotte  (6-8)– Wednesday at Duquesne (1-13);  Saturday vs. St. Joseph’s (7-7).

We'll get to tiebreakers later. The tiebreakers a different for two teams than for three or more teams.

Still, St. Joseph’s is clearly in the driver’s seat to earn a bid and once in, any of the twelve teams could be considered dangerous.

After Saturday’s 82-56 win over Fordham, Martelli voiced his displeasure when asked about the Hawks not having clinched yet.

“I think is the most overblown thing I read, the thing that St. Joe is a threat of not (qualifying) why, what is the point,” he said. “I don’t get what it is all about.”

Martelli gave the impression that he thought it was negative reporting on his team. That’s not the point.

The entire importance on the college basketball season is based on teams reaching the NCAA Tournament. For a team like St. Joseph’s to earn an NCAA bid, as remote as it seems now, the Hawks have to qualify for the A-10 Tournament.

If we’re not tracking the chances that St. Joseph’s or teams have in being a postseason participant, then why are we following the games?

So Martelli wasn't asked about not yet clinching (by this reporter) because St. Joseph’s has had a disappointing season, but only because it’s the only relevant part left in the Hawks’ season.

About this blog
Marc Narducci has performed a variety of jobs at The Inquirer since beginning with the paper in 1983. A long-time high school sports reporter in South Jersey, Narducci has also served as a beat writer for the 76ers, a backup Eagles and Sixers writer and has covered all the professional and colleges in the Philadelphia area. Among his duties at The Inquirer over the years, Narducci has covered one Super Bowl, two World Series and three NBA all-star games. Most recently he has covered the Philadelphia Union soccer team and this season will be adding college basketball duties, paying specific attention to St. Joseph’s. A life-long Southern New Jersey resident, Narducci is a 1977 graduate of Paul VI High and 1981 graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). Email Marc at mnarducci@phillynews.com and follow him on Twitter.

Marc Narducci
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