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Joel v. the Coin: A-10 Tournament Conclusion

After the first round of Boardwalk Hall games, the coin and I were tied at 2-2, but my champion was already eliminated. With the growing feeling that I was about to lose to a coin toss so lacking in nuance that I hadn't even weighted the favorites, I watched the rest of the A-10 tourney play out.

In a game where I had Xavier over Duquesne and the coin had St. Joe's over X, Dayton and St. Joe's faced off. While Dayton had to feel like they have been given a gift with that matchup, the Hawks actually made a game of it. Dayton had a 13-point lead with eight and a half minutes to go, but St. Joe's came storming back to cut it to one bucket with 8 seconds left. After Josh Parker split a pair of free throws, the extent of the Hawks efforts to get a last-second shot to tie the game consisted of turning it over. Chris Johnson led all scorers with 19, and Chris Johnson went for 17-15. A combined 8-28 shooting for Jones and Galloway ultimately doomed St. Joseph's bid for a win, and the coin and I both moved to 2-3.

Meanwhile, Richmond knocked off Temple 58-54 in a game that Dan Geriot described as "getting over the hump." The contest was nip and tuck the whole way, but Richmond scored the last five points of the game while holding Temple scoreless for the last five minutes of the contest. In those five minutes, Temple shot 0-5/0-1/0-1 and turned the ball over twice. Not great execution down the stretch. Kevin Anderson had 22, Justin Harper had 18, and Kevin Smith grabbed 14 boards without scoring a point. Khalif Wyatt had 15 off the bench for Temple, and I'd love to know why Juan Fernandez was allowed to shoot 17 times while making only 3.

In the final, Richmond knocked off Dayton in a game but not a contest. The Spiders led by 10 at the half and - despite a Dayton mini-run that cut the lead to five - cruised to a 13-point victory. Kevin Anderson took home an award he actually deserved when he was named the MVP of the tournament, and Justin Harper added another 18 to his CV. Nobody did anything good for Dayton, but I'm kind of hating the thought of three more years of Juwan Staten.

More importantly, the coin and I both won the Richmond v. Temple game to move to 3-3. Sadly, I had X winning it all and the coin took Richmond, so it beat me with a 4-3 record. That's kind of embarrassing, but we had a lot of fun doing it and watching Dayton's dreams grow and then die. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of the coin this year.