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Archive for March 9th, 2008

The A10 had as many as 6 teams in position for NCAA appearances before A10 play started back in January. Rhode Island, UMass, Dayton, Xavier, Charlotte and St. Joe’s all looked poised to finish 1-6th in the conference. That changed quickly when young teams which performed poorly in non-conference play got hot, like Saint Louis, Temple, Richmond and La Salle. Reducing the teams with single digit loss columns into teams closer to .500. So while we are looking at 4 bids max to the NCAA tourney and a lot of NIT representation does that mean the A10 is a poor league?

In an article about the Rhode Island Rams final game of the season, Charlotte 49ers head coach Bobby Lutz mentioned how he recently spoke to some NBA scouts about the level of play in the A10 vs. the level of play in more championed leagues,

“I hope people realize it is because of the strength of the league, not the weakness,” Lutz said of the balance in the A-10… “We have quality teams, not mediocre teams. We just keep beating each other up.”

Lutz wondered why, when there is in balance in the ACC, people speak about the overall strength of the conference. But when there is balance in the A-10, as there has been this season, people don’t give it the same recognition.

“We had NBA people here at our game (last week) who had just been to the Massachusets-Rhode Island game, then the Miami-Virginia game,” Lutz said. “There was no doubt in their mind what was the higher level game. It was the UMass-URI game.”

Xavier head coach Sean Miller added to those sentiments,

“To me,” Miller added, The A-10 “established our credibility a long time ago. When we play against each other, we have to be looked at like the seventh-strongest conference. We just played George Washington. If they’re a team that might not even make our conference tournament, that should tell you all you need to know. They are a very good team here in March.”

“Our conference tournament should be the most competitive and exciting tournament out there,” Miller concluded. “We’re going to have a number of teams that play themselves into bids.”

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Richard Florida, author of Who’s Your City, has put together a wealth of online information on the advantages of particular regions. The tool I found most useful as I choose the location of my graduate education is the Place Finder. The Place Finder will gauge your perception of each city you would potentially consider moving to (and even help you decide which cities to list).

The Place Finder told me I would be happy in Charlotte, should definately consider moving to Austin, probably consider moving to Portland or Seattle and  probably not consider moving to Boston.

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