When St. Bonaventure fell to Davidson in the A-10 tournament I felt to get in the NCAA tourney they needed Dayton and VCU to play in the finals. That was because Dayton was already in the NCAA’s, VCU was probably in and the A-10 was only getting three teams in the tournament. Sharing the regular season title with Dayton and VCU gave Bona a place at the table, but not if another A-10 school won the league post-season championship, like St. Joe’s.

St. Joe’s earned a NCAA bid by upsetting both Dayton and VCU over the weekend. However, the fact St. Bonaventure defeated St. Joe’s twice this season makes their absence from the NCAA’s all the tougher.

What probably hurt Bona was the fact they failed to beat a good non-conference team during the season. Wins in your league are important, but the selection committee likes to see how you do outside your conference.

The Dayton Flyers had a strong first two months of the season defeating Iowa, Vanderbilt and rising to #15 in the polls. Then Dayton ran into injuries and sickness on their roster and staggered to the finish line, beating VCU at home in the final regular season game to earn a piece of the title. It was Dayton’s play in December and January that assured them a NCAA bid in March.

Bonaventure beat Dayton at Dayton, always tough to do, but lost to Syracuse and weak teams like Siena and LaSalle. Those losses did not help their cause with three teams stacked above them from their own league.

What Mark Schmidt has accomplished at Bonaventure is truly amazing especially when you consider what went down at that school over a decade ago. It would have been another feel good story for the Bonnies like they are experiencing at UB today. A long run in the NIT will take away some of the sting, but the season if 2016 will always be remembered for “what should have been” by the folks in Olean.

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