The official 2017 Atlantic 10 Tournament bracket was released last night. Here’s a look at what it means for Rhode Island.
The regular season is now in the rear view for the Rhode Island Rams, but the exciting stuff is just getting started. That’s because the 2017 Atlantic 10 Tournament is set to get underway this week from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. As always, the winner will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. So who will URI face, and when? Here’s a look at the official bracket, which was released last night.
Rhody finished with the same conference record as Richmond, but the Rams will be the four seed in the tournament due to the head-to-head tiebreaker. It gives Rhode Island a slightly more difficult path in the bracket, but let’s be real: there aren’t any “easy” routes to the title. URI did earn a double-bye, which means they’ll play either St. Bonaventure, UMass, or Saint Joseph’s on Friday afternoon. Bona, the five seed, earned a single bye and will face the winner of (12) UMass and (13) St. Joe’s. It’s worth noting that Rhody is a combined 5-0 against those three teams this season.
It’s hard to envision Rhode Island facing a team other than the Bonnies in their first game. And should it happen, it figures to be a good one. Mark Schmidt and Co. have had plenty of success in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in recent years, and they’re armed with a prolific scorer in Jaylen Adams.
The winner of that one will face… well, Dayton, most likely. But the Rams can’t look that far ahead just yet. Rhody needs wins — plural — in Pittsburgh. Gotta get that first one.