Richmond and Xavier both needed to win the deep Atlantic-10 tourney to make it to the tournament, and both teams lost in unusual, dramatic–and devastating–fashion on Thursday.
Richmond lost their chance to make it to the NCAA tournament when they had three technical fouls assessed against them in the last five seconds, which turned a three-point lead into a five-point 68-63 loss to Charlotte, a team that also has to win the conference tournament to make the NCAA tournament.
Xavier, trailing 58-57 with one second left to St. Joe’s, almost pulled of a dramatic trick play, but a full-length pass off of the backboard that went straight to an Xavier player–as it was designed in the huddle–did not work when the Xavier’s Isaiah Philmore missed the uncontested layup.
Butler plays La Salle tomorrow. Both teams are projected to make the tournament regardless of the outcome. Temple plays UMass, and a Temple win should be enough to punch their ticket to the tournament. Charlotte plays St. Louis, a team projected to make the tournament. St. Joe’s will play VCU, a team that will also make the tournament.
Charlotte, St. Joe’s. and UMass all need to win the tournament to make it to the Big Dance.