Damian Saunders (25), taking a shot past Temple's Sergio Olmos in last year's Atlantic 10 Tournament final in Atlantic City, leads Duquesne today against St. Bonaventure in the A-10 tourney. Staff photo by Edward Lea

(Editor's note: The Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball tournament quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be held at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall from Friday to Sunday.)

Before the Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball tournament gets to Atlantic City, it will have already started.

The first round of the tournament begins tonight on school campuses. The higher seeds host.

Latest Video

Temple, Xavier, Richmond and Saint Louis earned byes into the quarterfinal round, which is at Boardwalk Hall on Friday starting at noon. The semifinal and championship rounds also are at the Hall.

Here's a look at the games that will shape the tournament in Atlantic City.

No. 9 Duquesne at No. 8 St. Bonaventure: This is their third meeting this season and just the second in six days. They split the season series and finished with identical conference records (7-9), but the Bonnies earned the higher seed based on a tiebreaker.

This is St. Bonaventure's highest seed since 2001. The Bonnies' last tournament win came in 2002 against Duquesne. St. Bonaventure sophomore Andrew Nicholson is the first Bonnie to earn a spot on the all-conference team since 2006. He was named to the second team after averaging 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds a game. In four career games against Duquesne, Nicholson has averaged 24.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks a game.

Duquesne is led by All-Conference first-team member and Defensive Player of the Year Damian Saunders. He is one of five Dukes averaging double digits in points this season with 14.8. The junior leads the A-10 in rebounds (11.4) and double-doubles (19).

The winner plays top-seeded Temple on Friday at noon.

No. 10 George Washington at No. 7 Dayton: Dayton stumbled into the tournament having lost four of its last five. The Flyers defeated George Washington 66-51 on Jan. 20 in their only regular-season meeting.

Dayton junior forward Chris Wright was named to the A-10 first team. He leads the Flyers with 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.

The Colonials are finally back in the conference tournament. After winning it all in 2007, George Washington missed the tournament the last two seasons. Damian Hollis leads George Washington with 13.1 points and 4.8 rebounds a game.

The winner plays Xavier at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

No. 11 Massachusetts and No. 6 Charlotte: Charlotte won the only meeting between the teams this season, 72-58, on Jan. 30. However, the 49ers are struggling. They lost six of their last seven games, including four at home. Charlotte is led by junior forward Shamari Spears with a 16.3-point scoring average.

UMass clinched a spot in the tournament with a 69-67 win over Rhode Island that ended a four-game losing streak. The Minutemen have not had a tournament win since 2002, losing eight straight since then. Senior guard Ricky Harris leads UMass with 19.7 points a game and leads the A-10 with 21.9 points in conference games.

The winner plays Richmond at 9 p.m. on Friday.

No. 12 Saint Joseph's at No. 5 Rhode Island: It has been nearly two months since they last met. Rhode Island won 101-74 just after ending a season-long eight-game winning streak to Temple.

Rhode Island once looked as though it would make the NCAA tournament but has struggled, dropping five of its last seven games, including a 69-67 loss to UMass in the last game of the regular season.

The Rams' Keith Cothran leads three scorers in double digits, averaging 15.0 points in 29 games.

Saint Joseph's won its last two games of the season to get into the tournament. The Hawks have never missed the A-10 tournament in 28 years, but this is their lowest seed. Saint Joseph's struggled all season and had losing streaks of six and five games. The Hawks are led by seniors Darrin Govens (13.4 ppg.) and Garrett Williamson (12.2 ppg.).

The winner plays Saint Louis at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.

Weekly honors: Temple's Lavoy Allen UMass' Ricky Harris earned A-10 Co-Players of the Week. Allen averaged 15.7 points and 12.3 rebounds in three wins to give the Owls a share of the regular-season title.

Harris averaged 29.5 points, seven rebounds and five assists in a pair of wins, including 31 points and the winning field goal in a 69-67 win over Rhode Island to earn a berth to the tournament.

Saint Joseph's freshman guard Carl Jones was named Rookie of the Week. He averaged 12.5 points in two wins.

(This is the final weekly A-10 notebook leading up to the tournament. )

Contact Susan Lulgjuraj:


Schedule for A.C.

At Boardwalk Hall

Atlantic City



Temple vs. St. Bonaventure-Duquesne winner, Noon

Saint Louis vs. Rhode Island-Saint Joseph's, 2:30

Xavier vs. Dayton-George Washington winner, 6:30

Richmond vs. Charlotte-Massachusetts winner, 9



Temple-St. Bonaventure-Duquesne winner vs. Saint Louis-Rhode Island-Saint Joe's winner, 1

Xavier-Dayton-George Washington winner vs. Richmond-Charlotte-Massachusetts winner, 3:30



Semifinal winners, 1


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.