Race to the finish in the A-10

        Xavier was the lone team from the Atlantic 10 ranked in the pre-season, climbing as high as No. 8 in the polls and looking like a serious threat to keep on rising. But then the infamous brawl occurred against rival Cincinnati and the Musketeers just have not been the same since. Even after suspensions were dished out and served, the lineup continued to struggle as lately as the 2011 Player of the Year Tu Holloway scored exactly zero points against Fordham.

        But Chris Mack and the Musketeers may have figured things out, trouncing Duquesne this week, but they may not even be the league favorite anymore. Actually, is there a league favorite? All but one team (LaSalle) has one loss in A-10 play, while there are many intriguing teams like Temple (1-1), Saint Joe's (2-1), Dayton (2-1) and Saint Louis (1-2). All four, along with Xavier have been mentioned as possible NCAA Tournament teams recently.

        Temple has notable wins over Duke and Wichita State on neutral floors and Saint Louis on the road. But then again, the Owls dropped a game to the lowly Bowling Green. Dayton is coming off their first loss in five games to St. Bonaventure after taking down Saint Louis and Temple. They also have a notable victory over then-ranked Alabama. Saint Joe's may be back, or they may be another year away and we will find this out during conference play- they were able to beat Creighton at home and would have greatly benefitted from a win over Seton Hall or Harvard in non-conference play. And last, but not least, Saint Louis is considered a contender in the Atlantic 10, despite their sub-.500 record. With some stellar play in their non-conference schedule combined with Xavier's slide, the Bilikens were thought to be the conference's best, but with a loss to Dayton on the road and Temple at home, it's anyone's guess who may come out on top of this year's Atlantic 10.

By President Corey Ruff - 1 - 14 - 12