Atlantic Ten Power Rankings

Temple head coach Fran Dunphy. (Michael Bryant/Staff Photographer)

Here are my Atlantic Ten power rankings heading into this weekend’s regular-season finales.

1. St. Louis (23-6, 12-3). The 16th-ranked Billikens had their 11-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night at Xavier. But a win Saturday against La Salle would give them the regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tourney. Last week: No. 1

2. Virginia Commonwealth (24-6, 12-3).  The 21st-ranked Rams wrapped at least a third seed in the next week’s conference tournament with Wednesday’s victory over cross-town rival Richmond. Last week: No. 2

3. Temple (22-8, 10-5). Since a humbling setback to last-place Duquesne, the Owls are on a six-game winning streak. They are still mathematically alive for one of the top four seeds in the A-10 tourney. That would provide Temple with a first-round bye. Last week: No. 4

4. La Salle (23-8, 11-4).  The Explorers have won three straight following an eight-point setback at Temple. As a result, La Salle is assured of a first-round bye in the conference tourney. Last week: No. 5

5. Butler (23-7, 10-5). The Bulldogs halted a two-game skid with Thursday’s important victory at Massachusetts. They are eyeing the fourth seed in the tourney. Last week: No. 3.

6. Xavier (17-12, 9-6).  The Musketeers could challenge for the fourth seed with victory over Butler on Saturday and a Temple loss to VCU. If that doesn’t happen, Xavier will miss out in a first-round bye for the first time since 2006. Last week: No. 6

7. Massachusetts (18-10, 8-7). Even after beating Xavier last week, the Minutemen needed things to go right this week to nab a first-round bye in the A-10. They didn’t. Now, UMass will have a tough time getting an NCAA tournament at-large bid. Last week: No. 7

8. St. Joseph’s (17-11, 8-7). The Hawks clinched a spot in the conference tournament with Wednesday’s victory over Rhode Island.  As a result, St. Joe’s still has a chance at their second straight 20-win season and a potential postseason bid. Last week: No. 8

9. Dayton (17-12, 7-8).  The Flyers have won four of their last five games and are tied with Richmond, Charlotte and St. Bonaventure for ninth place in the conference standings. A loss by any of those teams would put Dayton in the conference tourney, even if it loses at George Washington Saturday, due to holding the tiebreakers. Last week: No. 13

10. Richmond (17-13, 7-8). The Spiders finished the A-10 road slate 1-7 after losing to cross-town rival VCU on Wednesday However, there we some positives in the latest setbacks. Richmond shot 54 percent and outrebounded the Rams, 33-26. Last week: No. 9

11.  St. Bonaventure (14-14, 7-8).  The Bonnies were one of the hottest teams in the A-10 before Wednesday’s loss at Dayton. St. Bonaventure had won three straight and four of six games before that setback. Last week: No. 12

12. Charlotte (19-10, 7-8). The 49ers are hovering on the A-10 tournament bubble. If George Washington beat Dayton, Charlotte must defeat St. Joe’s Saturday to make the conference tourney. Last week: No.11              

13. George Washington (12-16, 6-9). The Colonials have lost four straight and six of their last seven games. Yet, they are on still in the running to reach the conference tournament. Last week: No. 10

14. Rhode Island (8-20, 3-12). The Rams have lost four straight and 10 of their last 12 games. Dan Hurley’s first season as Rhode Island coach will conclude on Saturday against UMass. Last week: No. 14

15. Fordham (6-24, 2-13). The Rams are expected to finish the season with 11th consecutive setbacks after Saturday’s game at St. Bonaventure.  Last week: No. 15

16. Duquesne (8-21, 1-14). Wednesday was just another example of how the Dukes have mastered the art of losing.  They suffered an overtime loss to Charlotte despite leading by 17 points with just over 10 minutes in regulation. Last week: No.16