Someone much smarter than I once said, “It always ends in a loss.” Continue reading “UMBC Falls To Kansas State In NCAA Tournament Second Round”
I thought today would be the end. I had planned on doing a roundup of all the games the NYC Buckets coverage had played in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and beyond and that would be it. Continue reading “A Stunning Win (And Other Thoughts)”
Like many of Shaka Smart’s recruits after his Final Four run, Jairus Lyles came to VCU with many stars next to his name and national rankings not usually associated with mid-majors.
But the 2013-14 campaign was mostly frustrating for Lyles, as he scored only 13 points all season. Lyles decided – like many players – that he would like to have a chance to be on the court more than not, so he transferred to Robert Morris, joining up with what would have been an NEC powerhouse. After his first semester there, though, he missed home (Silver Spring, Md.) and he left that program without ever suiting up in a regular season game.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about a streak like Vermont’s is taking perspective when it finally ends. The Catamounts had the longest current win streak in the nation (15), hadn’t lost a regular season conference game in more than two years (33 games), and had the country’s second-longest home win streak nationally (22, and would have been tops if Vermont had won, as Cincinnati lost later in the day to Wichita State).
But it was a poised, veteran, well-coached Hartford squad that came to Patrick Gym and finally wiped all those streaks off the board with a 69-68 upset in front of a sellout crowd of 3,168. While the Hawks hope the ultimate culmination will come in the America East finals in three weeks, this win will show the national crowd just how far Hartford has come since posting a 19-46 record the last two seasons (and just 8-24 in America East).
Perhaps the rise of the UMBC basketball program can be explained best not by its 68-59 win at a veteran New Hampshire squad Sunday afternoon, but by the relative lack of shockwaves such a victory made around the rest of America East.
The Retrievers are in second place now after all, at 9-3, and – with all due apologies to Albany and Hartford – are probably Vermont’s biggest obstacle en route to another NCAA Tournament berth.
In a change of pace from earlier in the season, the middle of the America East conference showed some bite this past week, with a number of teams winning all of their games. Some were easier than others, but it’s a positive step. Unfortunately, the close losses for the top of the league, including two by Stony Brook, prevented it from being a banner week for the conference. Continue reading “America East Weekly Recap: Middle Wins”
As we near conference play, the picture in the America East is finally starting to sort itself out as teams play on a regular basis. Every AE team played at least two games this past week. Vermont and Albany are the top contenders, but Stony Brook, UMBC and Binghamton all look like worthy challengers (and a tough out on any given night). Continue reading “America East Weekly Recap: Twofer December”