DUQUESNE: The Dukes might not have many wins, but they certainly make them count. UP
RHODE ISLAND: The Rams showed they were legit with their win against Massachusetts. UP
CHARLOTTE'S DEFENSE: The 49ers have allowed their past two opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field. DOWN
3 Key Matchups
GEORGE WASHINGTON at RHODE ISLAND: Another test for the Rams as they try to remain in first place in the conference.
DAYTON at XAVIER: Dayton is undefeated at home, but the Flyers have struggled on the road this season. Both teams need the win to stay within striking distance for the regular-season title.
MASSACHUSETTS at CHARLOTTE: Maybe the comforts of home will give the 49ers some assistance in Sunday's showdown with the Minutemen. Charlotte is 5-2 at home this season with losses to North Texas and Saint Joseph's.
Rebounds per game by UMass' Stephane Lasme, best in the league.
Charlotte's rank out of 14 teams in field-goal percentage this season.
Average minutes played by Saint Louis guard Tommie Liddell, highest in the league.
• For the college basketball fan, the range of upsets in the Atlantic 10 so far makes for an unpredictable and exciting season. But, that will likely hurt the conference. In leagues that feature several teams that are nationally ranked or that have a high Ratings Percentage Index score, losses within conference play don't hurt as much. Atlantic 10 teams have struggled in nonconference play this season, and none are ranked. In the end, those conference upset losses will take a far heavier toll, particularly for teams hoping for an NCAA at-large bid.
• It's almost to the point now where Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz should take some chances on his player rotation to see if it sparks worthwhile changes. With the unpredictability of the 49ers on offense and defense this season, could it really hurt to give more court time to players like Sean Phaler and David Booker or even walk-on Kyle Church?
• Don't the shooting tragedy and ongoing medical problems of players and the coaching staff at Duquesne, coupled with the Dukes' ability to pull wild upsets, have the makings of a nice, inspirational movie?