Breaking news from Woj:

The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Which Atlantic 10 bubble team is in best shape?

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

View photo

.

Tu Holloway and Paul Williams (US Presswire)

Although Saint Louis all but secured an NCAA tournament bid with its win over Xavier on Tuesday night and Temple has been comfortably in the field for weeks, the Atlantic 10 still has a handful of bubble teams in tenuous position.

Xavier, Dayton and Saint Joseph's still have realistic hope of making the field, but it's very unlikely more than one or two of them will earn bids. UMass may also have a faint pulse, but its bloated RPI and lack of non-league wins make that extremely remote.

[ Related: Mike Huguenin: Projecting the NCAA tourney field of 68 ]

Here's a closer look at the Atlantic 10's three major bubble teams and what they may need to do to make the field:

XAVIER (18-11, 9-6)
RPI/SOS: 54/44
Good wins: Vanderbilt, Purdue, Dayton, St. Joseph's
Bad losses: Hawaii, at LaSalle
Last 10: 5-5
Games remaining: vs Charlotte
Outlook: Had Xavier held onto its halftime lead on Tuesday night at Saint Louis, the Musketeers could have separated themselves from the Atlantic 10's crowded middle tier and taken a big step toward securing a bid. Instead Xavier crumbled at the first sign of adversity, an all too frequent problem for a team that hasn't regained its swagger since the brawl with Cincinnati in December. The Musketeers aren't dead yet, but they've left themselves with ample work to do. A win against Charlotte is an absolute survival must, as is at least an appearance in the Atlantic 10 semifinals.

Dayton (18-10, 8-6)
RPI/SOS: 60/52
Good wins: Alabama, Saint Louis, Xavier, Temple, Minnesota
Bad losses: Miami (Ohio), Buffalo, Rhode Island
Last 10: 5-5
Games remaining: at Richmond, George Washington
Outlook: Few bubble teams have a better collection of wins or a worse collection of losses than Dayton, which will make the Flyers a confounding case for the selection committee. In what was supposed to be a transition year under first-year coach Archie Miller, they've shown the ability to beat the likes of Alabama, Temple and Saint Louis yet also lost to a middling Buffalo team at home by 29. Dayton has two winnable games remaining against Richmond and George Washington, and it cannot afford a slip-up in either. Then, like Xavier, it then will probably need to make at least the A-10 semifinals to keep hope alive and an title game berth would be all the better.

[ Related: Forde Minutes: College basketball's five remaining big questions ]

St. Joseph's (19-11, 9-6)
RPI/SOS: 60/52
Good wins: Temple, Creighton, Drexel, Dayton
Bad losses: at American, Charlotte, at Penn, Richmond
Last 10: 7-3
Games remaining: at St. Bonaventure
Outlook: When the Hawks beat Georgia Tech, Penn State and Villanova in non-league play, they probably thought those victories would count for more now than they actually will. Instead all those teams are floundering in their respective leagues, which is why St. Joseph's is still a marquee win or two short of being in the field as of today. With a win at St. Bonaventure on Saturday, the Hawks can clinch no worse than a third-place tie in the final Atlantic 10 standings. Even so, St. Joseph's seems to need a deep Atlantic 10 tourney run — perhaps to the title game — even more than its bubble counterparts.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
NCAA Tourney Pick'em: Sign up and play today
Adam Scott brings huge hunting spears into Rays' clubhouse
Michael Jordan's Chicago estate on the market for $29M

View Comments (0)