While the chances Stony Brook would continue undefeated in America East play ended last Wednesday, there was plenty learned in the last week of play.
We are less than a week away from knowing all the league’s key awards and complete playoff seedings, but plenty is at stake in the season’s final week. Vermont could sweep and overtake New Hampshire for the 3rd seed and Maine can hold onto a five seed, their highest since 2013.
Current America East Playoffs (if the season ended today): 1 Stony Brook (clinched home court throughout) vs 8 UMBC, 2 Albany vs 7 Hartford, 3 New Hampshire vs 6 Binghamton, 4 Vermont vs 5 Maine. Albany, New Hampshire and Vermont will host a quarterfinal game on Wed. March 2. UMass Lowell is not yet eligible for NCAA championships (2017-18 season).
2,000 – Stony Brook senior Jameel Warney surpassed the 2,000 point mark for his career, becoming the 110th player in the history of Division I to score 2,000 to go with 1,000 rebounds. He is also the seventh player this season to reach the 2,000 point mark.
0 – The number of losses Albany and Stony Brook have on their home courts. The two could easily be on a collision course for a third meeting on March 12 in the championship game. That means that home teams other than those two have won 18 of the 50 home games (36%) in league play.
21 – The total number of conference wins UMass Lowell have accumulated in three seasons in America East play. To put that in perspective, Bryant won only nine conference games in three seasons transitioning into the NEC.
5 – The number of wins Stony Brook has by greater than 19 points this season. In America East play, 11 games have been decided by a margin greater than 19 points, with the Seawolves taking the most.
In the last two decades, there have been six teams that have finished conference play with one loss. Stony Brook will have a chance to finish 15-1 on Saturday when they take on Vermont. Should they win, they will be the seventh team in the last 20 seasons to lose just one game. Of the previous six, three have won the tournament championship, but only one team has had a more lopsided loss than the Seawolves did last week at Albany.
|2015-16||Stony Brook||at Albany 82-70||?|
|2014-15||Albany||vs Stony Brook 59-56||won tournament championship|
|2013-14||Vermont||at Stony Brook 67-64||lost in semifinals 65-58 to Albany|
|2006-07||Vermont||vs Maine 69-64||lost in final 60-59 to Albany|
|2003-04||Boston University||vs Vermont 59-57||lost in quarterfinals to Stony Brook 62-58|
|1996-97||Boston University||at Drexel 73-42||won tournament championship|
|1995-96||Drexel||vs Boston University 76-74||won tournament championship|
Tweets of the Week
Stony Brook wins their fourth regular season championship in seven seasons after beating Maine on Sunday
Albany knocks off Stony Brook and their 18 game win streak, which means they get mentioned on SportsCenter
Rehab progress for one of Hartford’s bigs
Quotes of the Week
“Peter Hooley said it best late in the game during the last time out Stony Brook called (with the game decided). He looked at everybody and said, ‘There is no celebration. We do not celebrate this win. We’ve been here. We’ve done this.’ I said, ‘You’re darn right. And nobody better come out of the crowd, either.’ We’ve beaten them in meaningful games before. No disrespect to Stony Brook, but we feel we should have won the first game. Our perimeter guys especially, I mean Peter has played in three NCAA Tournaments, those guys don’t know anything else.” – Albany head coach Will Brown on Hooley’s message in their win over Stony Brook on Wednesday
“I don’t believe in that, but enough people say it, so there may be some truth to it. But we want to win every game. This was a high level game, which I like, because we’re going to have to play in another one.” – Stony Brook head coach Steve Pikiell on if seeing his team’s 18 game win streak snapped at Albany was a good thing
“Coming in I knew we had three returning All America East guys, all these guys they can play at such a high level, I knew coming in we had three of them returning starers, so I knew it was going to be competitive from the start and I wanted it to be the way. If we want to be good it’s got to be competitive and it definitely helped me out.” – Albany freshman Joe Cremo on his approach to his first season
“It gives me a lot of confidence. I mean not many coaches in America tell you you’re going to have the ball in your hands, just make plays, that’s what they basically told me at the beginning of this year. I just accepted it and took it head on.” – New Hampshire junior Jaleen Smith on the support he gets from head coach Bill Herrion
Games to Watch: Wednesday Feb. 24 New Hampshire at Vermont 7pm, Saturday Feb. 27 Vermont at Stony Brook 7pm ESPN3
Ryan Restivo wrote the America East conference preview for the 2015-16 Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He covers the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the America East conference among others for Big Apple Buckets. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanarestivo or contact Ryan at rrestivo[at]nycbuckets.com.