It appears as the NCAA basketball season progresses that two deserving A-10 teams are going unrecognized nationally. The VCU Rams and the George Washington Colonials consistently meet (or beat) the records of those making the AP Top-25 ranking. Fans can’t help but feel that the teams aren’t credited for their accomplishments. Well deserved #19 Saint Louis and #21 Massachusetts are representing the Atlantic 10 as of right now.
One thought that A-10 fans probably can’t shake is the reasoning behind keeping teams such as Ohio State in the Top-25. VCU and George Washington tied Ohio State’s record last week, all at 16-4. As for national rankings, GW beats Ohio in rebounds/game, assists/game and field goal Pct. Ohio does trump GW in PPG but VCU is battling closely with them in that ranking. Ohio is 51st and VCU is 66th.
Ohio State is obviously in the Big Ten which is known for their high level of competition, and complex match-ups. Still, a 3-5 record in their conference just isn’t great. Using Ohio as one example, there are 3 teams in which GW and VCU matched in regards overall records in week13. VCU and GW had better records than Memphis as well.
On the bright side, GW is receiving points which place them on the cusp of entering into the Top-25. VCU, on the other hand, still has more to prove it seems. As a fan, one can see the reasoning with this as they have had upsetting losses against teams such as Northern Iowa. Games like these hurt VCU, but with University of Massachusetts losing to St. Bonaventure in Wednesday night’s game, it only shows that it can happen to anyone. Additionally, #14 Wisconsin has lost 4 out of their last 5 games. Back to back losses should show more weakness than losses here and there like VCU has endured. Fans see VCU consistently winning games, wither close or not, they still keep their speed and energy up through the last seconds of the game. This spirit and proven success should be enough to at least earn some national recognition.
As VCU fans know, it wasn’t easy earning respect from critics in 2011 even when the team went all the way to the Final Four. With Wednesday’s win, Coach Shaka Smart sees his career best start at 17-4. Skeptics should watch out for what he has planned!
VCU plays area rival, the Richmond Spiders this Saturday at 11:00 AM in what should be an exciting match-up airing on ESPN2.
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