Brooklyn, NY – The quarterfinals of the Atlantic Ten provided more than roughly 12 hours of action. We were not disappointed, as the four contests provided a wealth of story lines, not to mention drama, excitement and an appreciable amount of (take your pick) exhilaration or heartbreak.
The exhilaration and heartbreak were mixed into the first three games, probably none as much as the opener at Barclays. La Salle led for over 39 minutes, a second removed from knocking off top seed Davidson when a last second penetration by Tyler Kalinoski in traffic found the bottom of the net.
The second game saw the ‘Battle of Richmond’ decided when VCU came back to edge the Richmond Spiders. The night cap saw a valiant effort by St. Bonaventure come up short against higher-seeded Dayton. The ‘blow out’ of the night, if you want to call it that, was Rhode Island’s 13-point decision over George Washington.
The stage is set for the conference ‘Final Four’. VCU-Davidson and Dayton-Rhode Island. Two games on tap at the Barclays Center. That does not necessarily mean there will be less excitement and story lines. Quite opposite. The stakes are higher on this afternoon. These games, not just in the Atlantic Ten, but virtually any in the nation, are the type that create memories. Whether good, or not so good, they are remembered for quite some time. The fans and followers do not make their way into the official box score. In many ways, they are participating in these tournaments, doing their part to make them memorable.
Morning at Barclays, the start of an eventful day: