akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

NEW YORK — If the introduction of each of the top four seeds during the 2024 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament was supposed to restore order to what already was a topsy-turvy first couple of days of the event, think again. Thursday’s results plunged the tournament into absolute chaos, yet also assuredly catapulted the league into multiple-bid-league territory as it comes to the NCAA Tournament.

Madness in March, indeed.

The balance of the A-10 was on display from breakfast to almost last call, with four seed upsets in the four games of the quarterfinals, starting with No. 9 Saint Joseph’s upsetting regular-season co-champion and top-seeded Richmond in the first game. Embodying the ethos of the program’s basketball teams, “The Hawk Will Never Die,” Saint Joe’s overcame a 10-0 deficit in the game’s first five minutes and came roaring back, led by Erik Reynolds II and his 30 points.

In the mildest upset of the quartet, No. 5 VCU broke the pattern of close games that have dominated the first couple of days of the tournament, defeating the fourth-seeded Massachusetts Minutemen 73-59. Guard Joe Bamisile led the Rams with 18 points as VCU opened up a 17-point lead at halftime, 42-25, then, when it saw its lead cut the lead down to six with just over four minutes left in the second half, held the Minutemen scoreless for the final 4:24 of the game to seal the deal. The win now marks the eighth time in the 11 seasons that the Rams have been a member of the Atlantic 10 that they have advanced to the conference tournament semifinals.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Wednesday evening’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Danny Suriel. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 26 pictures in total.

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Tags : Atlantic 10 ConferenceCollege BasketballDayton FlyersDuquesne DukesLoyola Chicago RamblersRichmond SpidersSaint Joseph's HawksSt. Bonaventure BonniesUMass MinutemenVCU Rams

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