It took a few weeks, but the official announcement that the Davidson Wildcats will join the Atlantic 10 finally came today. The move had been rumored for a while, but as is customary, these things take time. ESPN’s Andy Katz was the first to report that things were a done deal, and the official announcement came from the conference this morning. Following the loss of Xavier and Butler, the A-10 bounced back quickly, adding George Mason last month. The Wildcats now round out a strong 14-team conference.
The only difference is this: George Mason is set to join for the 2013-14 season, while Davidson will play one final season in the Southern Conference before coming over for the start of the 2014-15 campaign. Davidson could be worth the wait, for those that like tough competition. The Wildcats won the Southern Conference Tournament last season, earning a 14-seed in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Marquette in the first round. One of the toughest conferences in the country will get a little bit tougher, for sure.
So with just 13 teams this season, what will the conference schedule look like? How about when Davidson comes over? Andy Katz has some info:
[Atlantic 10 commissioner Bernadette] McGlade said the A-10 will play a 16-game schedule with 13 teams next season and then the hope is to play 18 games as a 14-team league in 2014-15. Scheduling will be discussed at the league meetings on May 20 in Naples, Fla. McGlade said the A-10 wants to be in line with the high-profile leagues it is competing against that will all be playing 18 league games like the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, new Big East and likely the American Athletic Conference, too.
The A-10 will explore various scheduling models but McGlade said there are natural rivals in the 14-team A-10 with VCU-Richmond, George Mason-George Washington, Saint Joseph’s-La Salle, UMass-Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure-Duquesne and Saint Louis-Dayton. Fordham and Davidson could be paired together (Davidson coach Bob McKillop is from New York and the Wildcats like to play games in the Northeast). But the A-10 could also look to form triangle combinations of scheduling, with Davidson figuring in with the two schools in Richmond or the D.C.-area while Fordham could be paired with UMass-URI.
Can the season just start already?