Pittsburgh -PA – Rhode Island defeated VCU 70-63 to win the Atlantic 10 tournament. Jared Terrell led the team with a game high 20 points.
The win secures Rhode Island a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999 when former NBA standout Lamar Odom was lightening up the competition for the Rams.
Led by head coach Dan Hurley, the Rams (24-9 overall, 13-5 conference) were considered to be one of the remaining six teams on the bubble for an at large birth.
Rhode Island fans need not to worry as it is a guarantee the Rams will be participating in an opening round game next week.
Rhode Island should be seen as potential sleeper team capable of making a run. Led by guards, Terrell and E.C Matthews, the Rams have the pieces in place.
If they are able to improve on their 32% team shooting percentage from 3 and shoot it at the 40% clip they did against VCU, expect them to be a difficult out.
The win gives the Atlantic 10 conference three bids for the upcoming tournament as Rhode Island will join Dayton and VCU in the field.
Rhode Island’s win does not bode well for teams such as Syracuse , Illinois State, and USC as bubble spot just burst. These remaining teams will have to sweat out the Sunday’s selection show wondering if their resume is of quality enough to receive and invitation to the dance.