The Bonnies should be able to dismiss Saint Joseph’s pretty quickly, which would throw them right into the teeth of Dayton, the second seed. It would also give them a four game winning streak, dating back into the regular season. Not a bad way to be coming into a game with Dayton, who has not played really well on the road this season.
On the other hand, St. Bonaventure has played well away from home and so might do better on a neutral site. Really, only three games separate the Bonnies and Dayton anyway—so it’s not hard to imagine an upset there.
It’s hard to say who would come next—it’s possible Duquesne or Saint Louis could make a run, but more than likely it would be George Washington or Rhode Island. Both are teams the Bonnies lost to in the conference season, and George Washington can be a very tough, physical team when they want to be.
Again though, neither of these teams are world-beaters.
Bonaventure has averaged 64.6 points per game during conference play, while allowing the exact same number. They’ve out-rebounded their conference opponents, 647-596, and are turning the ball over just 11.9 a game compared to the 12.7 they force. They’re also out-scoring teams in the second half—it’s always positive when teams close a game hard.
They can play with anyone in the conference and have a great chance at making a run this week.
Why it won’t happen:
While they are allowing as many points as they are scoring, the Bonnies have been prone to defensive lapses at bad times and while they are shooting well from the floor (41.8 percent), the opposition is better (43.5 percent).
Also it’s all well and good to finish strong in the second half, but it won’t help if you dig yourself a hole before you get there.
If the Bonnies fall behind enough in the first half, a strong second half will be worth nothing more than a ‘well, we were in the game’ after they lose.
Next: Tulane— AAC