Hawks have little margin for error

St. Joseph’s could have been clearly in the NCAA conversation with a win over St Louis. And while Wednesday’s 65-49 loss to the Billikens won’t eliminate St. Joseph’s from consideration, the Hawks certainly have their work cut out for them.

Some have estimated that as many as five Atlantic-10 team can earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Here’s a warning – don’t count on it.

It says here the A-10 will get no more than four and that isn’t a guarantee.

The Hawks (15-7) have eight games left, beginning with Saturday’s killer at home against VCU.

Right now St. Louis already is a lock to earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament and VCU, unless the Rams fall flat on their face, should also be in.

That means teams like St. Joseph’s, George Washington, UMASS, Richmond and La Salle could be battling for one or two spots. And nobody can take St. Bonaventure and Dayton for granted, although both would have to do some serious winning to get in the picture.

St. Joseph’s also plays La Salle twice in the final eight games and the Explorers are in an even more desperate situation.

Both teams have very little margin for error.

For the Hawks, each remaining regular season game should have a playoff feel to it.

And at least the Hawks won’t have to face a better defensive team, unless they hook up with St. Louis in the A-10 Tournament.