The Finals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament takes place today and we will see the VCU Rams take on the St Louis Billikens. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on CBS. Currently the Odds for the game have St Louis favored by 3 points while the total sits at 135.5.
Analysis: No. 22 Virginia Commonwealth gets a shot at revenge — and improving its seed for the NCAA Tournament — when the Rams take on No. 16 St. Louis in the Atlantic 10 championship game today. The Rams can put up points, thanks in part to the large number of turnovers they force and strong outside shooting. Senior guard Troy Daniels (12.5 points) led the barrage in a 71-62 win over Massachusetts in the semifinals, going 6-for-9 from 3-point range. If the Rams are going to knock off Saint Louis, they'll need leading scorer Treveon Graham (15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds) to bounce back after going 1-for-12 for three points Saturday. Forward Juvonte Reddic (14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds) had 18 points and 12 rebounds against the Minutemen. The 2012 CAA tournament champions will now have an opportunity to win the A-10 tourney in their inaugural season in the league. With 10 3-pointers in VCU's first two Atlantic 10 Tournament games, senior Troy Daniels moved into sole possession of fifth-place on the A-10's single- season 3-pointers list. He's now one away from Jimmy Baron's mark of 118. Shaka Smart's squad improved to 26-0 this season when forcing 15 turnovers or more on Saturday as it baited the Minutemen into 23 miscues with its constant full-court press.
The top-seeded Billikens, who won the regular-season title outright, have advanced to their first conference championship game since joining the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06. Although the Billikens were a balanced unit offensively for the majority of the season, it has been the Dwayne Evans show in the A-10 Tournament. Evans went 8-of-9 from the floor in the quarterfinals to post 25 points and nine rebounds against Charlotte. He then went 7-of-10 from the field en route to a double-double of 24 points and 11 boards against Butler on Saturday. Jim Crews, filling in for the late Rick Majerus, led his squad to their first outright regular-season conference title since capturing the Missouri Valley Conference in 1956-57. Cody Ellis added 13 points in the win over Butler for Saint Louis, which has won 14 of its last 15 games. In the semifinals, Saint Louis shot 44.4 percent (20-of-45) and forced 20 turnovers, while giving the ball away just 11 times. The Billikens have now forced 20 turnovers in back-to-back games.
Pick: Well they say defense wins championships and that's where the Billikens have the biggest edge in this game, especially of late. In their last 10 games the Billikens have not allowed more that 62 points during regulation in any game, while allowing an average of 56.4 ppg over that stretch. The Rams come in having no such luck at that department as they have allowed 76.8 ppg in their last 4 games, while also allowing 68.9 ppg on the road, compared to the average of 62.9 that St Louis allows away from home. VCU does get the edge on offense, but the Billikens have been pretty good at that end of the floor as well this year. St Louis has averaged 68.9 ppg on the year, including 72.3 ppg in their last 3 games and they did hang up 76 points on VCU earlier in the year. St Louis won by 14 in that earlier meeting and really nothing makes be think that they can't win this one by at least 7, especially will how well their defense is playing.
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