ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 3/8/12 – The three Philadelphia schools that are members of the Atlantic 10 Conference have advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament, and will take the floor at Boardwalk Hall. The number one seed Temple Owls will begin the action at noon against the Minutemen of Massachusetts. Following that game the #5 seed Hawks of Saint Joseph’s play the 4 seed St. Bonaventure. In the first evening round game #7 seed LaSalle Explorers will take on the 2 seed Saint Louis. In the final game of the quarterfinal round it has a non-Philadelphia feel as the Xavier Musketeers, the #3 seed, meets the # 7 seed Dayton Flyers.
Temple Owls vs. Massachusetts Minutemen
The Owls take the floor under the guidance of the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year Fran Dunphy. Temple will need their heralded three guards to advance. The Temple Big Three earned all-Atlantic 10 Conference honors. Senior guard Ramone Moore was named to the first team. Moore is second on scoring in the conference averaging 17.8 per game. Junior guard Khalif Wyatt was named to the second team, and was the A10 Sixth Man of the Year. Wyatt is third in scoring at 17.1 point s per game. Senior guard Juan Fernandez was named to the third team for the second consecutive season. Dunphy coached Temple to its first outright title since 1989-90. UMass advanced to Atlantic City with a win over Duquesne. The Minutemen will counter with the scoring of First Team All-Conference player Chaz Williams. These teams met at the end of the regular season with Temple out-pointing the Minutemen. The winner meets the winner of the Saint Joseph’s vs. St. Bonaventure game.
Saint Joseph’s Hawks vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies
Saint Joseph’s travelled to St. Bonaventure to close their regular season hoping to gain a first-round bye. The Hawks had their chances, but lost to the Bonnies in double-overtime. The result helped to give St. Bonaventure the #4 seed and Saint Joseph’s the #5 seed. The Hawks moved on beating Charlotte at home in first round action. Saint Joseph;s had 5 players earn All-Conference honors. Sophomore Center C.J. Aiken was named the Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged over 3 blocks per game and had 116 for the season. Sophomore forward Ronald Roberts was the 6th Man of the Year. He came off the bench in all 31 games and sparked the Hawks with his athleticism and enthusiasm averaging 11.1 points per game, third on the team, and 6 rebounds, second on the team. Also receiving honors were Sophomore guard Langston Galloway named to the second team, and Junior guard Carl Jones and Sophomore forward Halil Kanacevic received conference Honorable Mention. Galloway led the conference in 3-Point field goal percentage. St. Bonaventure is led by first team selection forward Andrew Nicholson who leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 17.9 points per game, and is second in rebounding with 8.3 per game.
LaSalle Explorers vs. Saint Louis Billikens
LaSalle earned its way to the shore beating defending champion Richmond, and now meet the #2 seed Saint Louis. Three Explorers received recognition. Senior guard Earl Pettis received the Chris Daniels Most Improved Player award. Junior guard Ramon Galloway was named to the second team, and Freshman forward Jerrell Wright was named to the conference All-Rookie team. Saint Louis finished second in the conference. Coached by Rick Majerus the Billikens are led by first team selection Brian Conklin and third teamer guard Kwamain Mitchell. The winner takes on the winner of the Xavier vs. Dayton game.
FIRST ROUND ACTION
Massachusetts 92 Duquesne 83
Saint Joseph’s 80 Charlotte 64
LaSalle 80 Richmond 72
Dayton 67 George Washington
Saturday Noon – Temple/UMass winner vs. Saint Joe’s/St. Bonaventure winner
Saturday 2:30 – LaSalle/Saint Louis winner vs/ Xavier/Dayton winner
Sunday 1 PM the semifinal winners