Vermont 65, Harvard 62: Setbacks Plague Crimson

2015 ended so well for Harvard: The Crimson won four of their final six games, with only close losses to the likely #1 and #2 in tomorrow’s national rankings. November’s struggles were a distant memory, and they looked ready to challenge for yet another Ivy League title. Continue reading “Vermont 65, Harvard 62: Setbacks Plague Crimson”

Conference Check-ins: America East and Patriot League

With only three to four weeks left in the regular season, I felt it was an excellent time to look at some of the mid-major regular season races across the east coast. Time is running out for teams attempting to jockey into favorable position before making a run at qualification into the NCAA tournament. Today, we’ll break down the top of the standings for the America East and the Patriot League conferences. Continue reading “Conference Check-ins: America East and Patriot League”

Binghamton’s big win helps Stony Brook

Ken Pomeroy gave Binghamton just a 4% chance of beating Vermont tonight at home, but the Bearcats pulled off the stunning (appropriate use) upset 57-53. The win broke Vermont’s 10-game winning streak and coupled with Stony Brook’s road win at Hartford gave the Seawolves the inside track for the top seed in the America East tournament and an automatic bid to the NIT.

Of course the first one of those things is much more valuable than the second. SBU still has to get one more win on Sunday against Maine, but if Stony Brook can get through that one and the quarterfinals and semifinals of the America East tourney in Hartford they’d then host the finals. Home court advantage is huge. It might’ve been the difference between the Seawolves making their first ever NCAA tournament last season and Boston University surviving.

Home court has already proved to be important in America East play. All three of Vermont’s conference losses have come on the road as have both of Stony Brook’s. The Catamounts won by 19 the last time SBU and Vermont played, but back on January 2 the Seawolves pulled out a six-point victory.

You know how big the impact is of being about to play your championship on your home court is? Something like 30% according to Ken Pomeroy. Your typical 50/50 game becomes 65/35 or so. That’s a huge change. It’s going to help Stony Brook possibly reach its first NCAA tournament.

Binghamton provided a gift tonight. The Seawolves have to take advantage of it and take care of business moving forward.

Weeding out the contenders in America East

In order for a team to win a championship in America East there are a lot of qualities a team should possess. A team should be able to handle elite opponents, it should be have an top-notch front court player and a crunch time scorer. It should also have an efficient offense and a defense that can get big stops. There are five contenders for the AE title. Which one is best suited to make a title run?

Continue reading “Weeding out the contenders in America East”

Conference battles highlight busy Monday night

The New Year holiday is over and it’s time for conference play. America East opens in earnest tonight and the biggest game on the schedule is Stony Brook hosting Vermont. Also, Manhattan starts MAAC play up again by hosting Rider and Hofstra hosts VCU. Here’s what to look for in all of the big games.

Continue reading “Conference battles highlight busy Monday night”

America East Projection: Madness bubbling

There is no dominant team in America East this season. Instead there are now five teams that have shared the role of favorite at different parts of the year. Depending on the moment Vermont, Albany, Stony Brook, Maine or Boston University is considered to have the best shot at winning America East. After running 10,000 sims here’s what I know: They all have a shot.

Continue reading “America East Projection: Madness bubbling”

Assist Tracker: Dec. 23

Going into the Christmas break a couple guys blew up with double-digit assist efforts, including one forward. Here’s a look at the Assist Tracker for Dec. 23.

Zack Rosen (G, Penn) — Rosen had 12 assists and 13 points as Penn defeated Marist 84-71 on Friday. The majority of Rosen’s assists went to either to Rob Belcore (4) or Tyler Bernardini (5). Just one of his assists was on a jumper and the majority (7) of his assists went for threes. All five of Rosen’s assists to Bernardini were for threes as he shot 8-11 from beyond the arc and scored 30 points. Thus, even though Rosen only scored 13 points, well below his season average of 20.2, he contributed to 44 of Penn’s 84 points.

Oscar Bellfield (G, UNLV) — With 11 points and 11 assists Bellfield helped the Runnin’ Rebels stomp Cal 85-68. There were four threes, three dunks, three layups and a jumper. All three of Brice Massamba’s baskets came off assists from Bellfield. Anthony Marshall led the team with 22 points, but only two of those baskets came from Bellfield assists.

Brian Voelkel (F, Vermont) — Voelkel is probably the best passing big man in college basketball. It’s a pity he’s hidden in Vermont. The Catamounts defeated Towson 65-49 on Friday and Voelkel had 11 assists, eight rebounds and four points. A lot of Voelkel’s assists got for threes to the talented shooters that surround him. Against the Tigers five went for threes and five went for layups.

Matthew Dellavedova (G, Saint Mary’s) — Delladova had eight assists on Friday night as Saint Mary’s defeated Missouri State 77-61. He also had 17 points in 39 minutes for the Gaels. Five of his eight assists went for layups.

Jordan Theodore (G, Seton Hall) — The Pirates took a chance and went to Longwood on Friday for an 87-61 win. Theodore scored 26 points, including the 1,000th of his career, in the win. He also had six assists. Four of those assists went to teammate Fuquan Edwin who scored 20 points. Theodore’s assists were evenly split between threes and layups.

Kenneth Ortiz (G, Wagner) — Playing against Pittsburgh it’s no surprise that none of Ortiz’s assists went for a close range bucket. His seven assists came from four jumpers and three threes. Latif Rivers hit three of those baskets. One of the most critical assists came on a fast break at the end of the game when Ortiz passed out to Rivers on the wing for an easy basket.