The Atlantic 10 is getting interesting and twisted in a hurry, and it’s all Dayton’s fault.
The Flyers had gone 77 games without losing two straight. But that streak ended on Saturday afternoon with St. Bonaventure’s 79-72 road victory over the 15th-ranked Flyers.
Bonnies shooting/combo guard Jaylen Adams sank a 3 with 36.4 to go to give his team a lead it did not hand back. The Bonnies led for most of the second half. This was an impressive win, a performance that indicated Mark Schmidt’s team is mentally engaged and certainly ready for the biggest part of the season.
Adams was so good. He had a game-high 31 points, plus five assists, four rebounds and two steals. The Bonnies are now 18-7, and 10-4 in the laegue. They now have road wins over Saint Joe’s and Dayton — and are looking at a three-game home stand against Duquesne, UMass and Saint Joe’s. Things are looking optimistic in Olean, N.Y. Chances are good you haven’t seen much of BONA this season, but behind Adams and backcourt teammate Marcus Posley, this squad has the talent and savvy to clear the bar and play in the field of 68.
As for Archie Miller’s team. It lost a home game to an A-10 team for the first time in 21 games. This loss succeeds the road L to Saint Joseph’s earlier this week. You could easily make this case: Five days ago, Saint Joe’s and St. Bonaventure were bubble teams on the outside looking in. And now, because both beat the conference’s best team, they’re in the field (for now).
Dayton’s seed is slipping and fast. UD isn’t in real danger of missing the tournament (not yet, anyway; it would take a real collapse, and I doubt that happens), but it’s gone from a team tracking on the 5 line to one closer to a No. 7, in my humble opinion. Dayton is now 11-3 in the league and 21-5 overall. Its RPI was 11th best in the nation coming into the day, and it has five wins against Top 50 RPI teams, including over Iowa. What the committee will take note of with these two UD losses is the absence of starting junior forward Kendall Pollard, who has missed the last three games with a knee injury. His MIA status won’t save Dayton from dropping on the master seed list, but if he comes back and Dayton looks even stronger, then yes, it could have an impact in terms of where Dayton ultimately ends up.