It's been a couple of years since the first round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament had this much attention. Charlotte, Dayton and Rhode Island all hosted games and needed to move on to Atlantic City in order to maintain their hopes of getting into the NCAA Tournament as an at-large. But while the Rams took care of business by beating Saint Joseph's 87-76 and Dayton beating George Washington 70-60, the 49ers weren't as fortunate, falling to an opponent you have to beat if you're to make a solid case to the selection committee.
Western Kentucky is once again the favorite after last year's impressive 25-win season. Up and coming teams like Troy, Denver, and North Texas hope to make some noise as well.
NEW ORLEANS - WKU, UALR and Troy have earned the top three seeds in the upcoming 2009 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championship, set to begin this week. The trio will receive first-round byes and will await their opponents in the quarterfinals in Hot Springs, Ark.