As January becomes February, who’s in first place in the Atlantic 10?
“Almost everybody” is not a bad answer.
The shiny, new A-10 is as competitive and as deep as advertised, and a little less than a full month into league play it’s anybody’s race. No. 10 Butler went to Saint Louis and got blitzed Thursday night, 75-58, dropping back to the pack at 4-2 in the league.
Mathematically, VCU and Xavier lead at 5-2. Five teams are 4-2, and LaSalle is 4-3. LaSalle has beaten both VCU and Butler.
The margin for error is very slim, and the fact that teams play one one conference opponent twice makes things even less predictable. Saint Louis and Butler will meet again in February. So, too, will Dayton and Xavier after they played to the buzzer on Wednesday night.
Xavier already beat Butler way back on Nov. 12, but that was a pre-scheduled non-conference game. The one that counts is at Butler in early March.
After a nightmarish December, not many would have seen Xavier atop the league now. It’s still a long way to March, and anything can happen. If these first few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as a gimme and that no team is going to win this thing without a few more losses and more than a little luck.