America East Tournament Preview

By Kevin Sweeney

Here’s my preview of the America East Tournament, which will take place at campus sites starting on Wednesday.

Seeds:

  1. Stony Brook
  2. Albany
  3. Vermont
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Binghamton
  6. Maine
  7. Hartford
  8. UMBC

NOTE: UMASS-Lowell is ineligible for the conference tournament as they are in the third year of their 4 year grace period while they transition into full Division 1 status.

Schedule:

  • Quarter-finals: March 2 at higher seed
  • Semi-finals: March 7 at higher seed
  • Championship: March 12 at higher seed

Team to Beat: Stony Brook

Despite losing 2 of their final 3 games following an 18 game winning streak, the Seawolves are still the favorites to bring home the title.  They have 3-time A-East Player of the Year Jameel Warney, a dominant figure in the low post that opposing teams have yet to have an answer for this season, as well as star point guard Carson Puriefoy.  The only thing to worry about with the Seawolves is their recent history in the A-East Tournament.  Despite reaching the championship game in 4 of the past 5 seasons, the Seawolves have yet to get over the next hump of reaching the NCAA Tournament.  Should they return to the form they were in during that 18 game streak, the Seawolves should return to the Big Dance.

Dark Horse: New Hampshire

The Wildcats are a team who seem to be getting hot at the right time.  They finished the season winning 7 of their final 9 games en route to their tied-highest win total ever as members of the America East.  They also have confidence against the leagues top teams, having beaten 2nd place Albany and losing by just 1 point at Stony Brook.  If first team all-league performer Tanner Leisner can build on his strong regular season, UNH has a chance to send shockwaves through the America East.

My Pick: Stony Brook

This is the year that the Seawolves bust down that final barrier and make a run to the NCAA Tournament.

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