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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Sizing up Atlantic City odds

First off, let me apologize for last night’s live blog. We had every intention of doing a very thorough job (as you can likely tell from the early updates), but my computer and the Smith Center wireless connection stopped getting along and things got messy. The next time we are able to do one, we will do it right.

Anyway, last night’s win puts the men’s team within a game-and-a-half of 12th place and what would be the final spot in March’s Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City, N.J. Here is the current bundle in the bottom half of the conference standings, with GW’s upcoming opponents in bold:

8. La  Salle 5-6

9. Richmond 5-6

10. Charlotte 4-7

11. Massachusetts 4-7

12. St. Bonaventure 4-8

13. GW 2-9

14. Fordham 1-10

As you can see, the Colonials have a pretty good chance to vastly improve their standing in the final five games, three of which come against teams currently two or three games ahead of them. It helps that the team directly ahead of them, the Bonnies, are only one game ahead in the loss column and that GW owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over them after last night’s win.

What doesn’t help GW is everyone else’s remaining schedule. On the upcoming slate are the following matchups:

Feb. 21: Charlotte at Richmond

March 1: Massachusetts at La Salle, Richmond at Charlotte

March 7: Charlotte at St. Bonaventure

In each of those four games, someone from the aforementioned cluster GW is chasing is guaranteed a win. If Charlotte, for instance, were to split the pair of Richmond games and lose to St. Bonaventure, it would mean the 49ers and Bonnies both have at least five wins – a total GW has to win three of its final five to reach. Considering two of those five come against nationally-ranked (albeit recently struggling) Xavier and defending A-10 tourney champ Temple, getting any more than three more wins will be very difficult.

Also not doing GW any favors is Fordham, now the A-10’s stand-alone bottom-feeder. Three of the Rams’ final games come against teams GW is chasing: home against Richmond and then at Charlotte and La Salle. While we are constantly reminded that nothing in the A-10 is guaranteed, it can’t be encouraging to look at the upcoming schedule and see the teams you’re chasing having dates with Fordham.

So what is GW’s best chance? Well, the more they win, the less the rest of this matters. Other than that, they have to hope no one in front of them pulls off any upset shenanigans (a la Charlotte last night) and that at least one of those teams really stumbles down the stretch to the tune of dropping four of five. Fordham knocking off Richmond, Charlotte or La Salle certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Most importantly, they must win. If they play like they did last night, a three-out-of-five run is certainly not out of the question. But if they follow up this win like they did their last – with flat starts, an inept offense and a pair of losses – the already-uphill battle may quickly become too steep to summit.

The Colonials travel to Xavier Sunday for an afternoon matchup scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.

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