Wednesday through Sunday, Barclays Center, Brooklyn.

Defending champion:

St. Joseph's

SCHEDULE

Wednesday, first round

(12) Fordham vs. (13) George Mason, 6:30 (A-10 Network)

(11) Duquesne vs. (14) St. Louis, 9 (A-10 Network)

Thursday, second round

(8) UMass vs. (9) La Salle, noon (NBC-SN)

(5) VCU vs. Fordham-George Mason winner, 2:30 (NBC-SN)

(7) St. Bonaventure vs. (10) St. Joseph's, 6:30 (NBC-SN)

(6) George Washington vs. Duquesne-St. Louis winner, 9 (NBCSN)

Friday, quarterfinals

Game 7: (1) Davidson vs. UMass-La Salle winner, noon (NBC-SN);

(4) Richmond vs. VCU-Fordham-George Mason winner, 2:30 (NBC-SN)

(2) Dayton vs. St. Bonaventure-St. Joe's winner, 6:30 (NBC-SN)

(3) Rhode Island vs. GW-Duquesne-St. Louis winner, 9 (NBC-SN)

Saturday, semifinals

1:30 and 4 p.m. (CBS-SN)

Sunday, championship

1 p.m. (CBS).

Players to watch

Kendall Anthony, Richmond, G, 5-8 (16.3 ppg.); DeAndre Bembry, St. Joe's, F, 6-6 (17.9 ppg. 7.8 rpg.); Treveon Graham, VCU, G, 6-6 (16.2 ppg.); Tyler Kalinoski, Davidson, G, 6-4 (16.9 ppg. 4.2 apg.); Hassan Martin, Rhode Island, F, 6-7 (11.9 ppg., 3.1 bpg.); E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island, G, 6-5 (16.6 ppg.); Eric Paschall, Fordham, F, 6-6 (16.5 ppg.); Jordan Price, La Salle, G, 6-4 (17.3 ppg.); Jordan Sibert, Dayton, G, 6-4, (16.6 ppg.); Brian Sullivan, Davidson, G, 5-11 (13.1 ppg. 3.9 apg.).

Outlook

Just two games separated the top five teams in the conference.

Newcomer Davidson, which moved over from the Southern Conference and proceeded to win the Atlantic Ten, goes into the tournament riding a nine-game winning streak fortified by the best offense in the tournament.

The Wildcats should expect their stiffest challenge to come from the upper-echelon teams in the conference, such as Dayton, VCU, Rhode Island and Richmond.

Defending champion St. Joe's has leaned very heavily on Bembry. If he doesn't get any help in the tournament, don't expect much from the Hawks. La Salle has been up and down for most of the season.

- John N. Mitchell

EndText