Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tournament picks

PLAY-IN GAME

UMaine vs. Hartford
Hawks' last win was against Black Bears in January. Black Bears' last win was against Hawks in February. This game's in March. Nobody on UMaine's active roster has ever won a game in March (unless you count assistant coach Chris Markwood, who hit the last-second shot to beat BU four years ago). Hartford made it to the league championship game last year. Good news: Hartford's not a great rebounding team. Bad news: Hawks find the holes in a porous defense and knock down threes.
Pick: Hartford

QUARTERFINALS

Vermont vs. Albany
With or without Mike Trimboli, Vermont should win this game. Now, if Marqus Blakely missed the game, that would be different story. Albany's just not that good, making its near .500 record very impressive.
Pick: Vermont

Boston U. vs. Maryland-Baltimore County
This ought to be interesting. Two proud veterans (UMBC's Jay Greene and Darryl Proctor) against BU's "Iron Five" lineup. Hopefully the refs will let the best players stay in this game, because it's going to feature some terrific vets and two solid rookies (BU's Jake O'Brien, UMBC's Chauncey Gilliam).
Pick: UMBC

Binghamton vs. Hartford
Bearcats just too quick, too fast, too tough, too agile, too ... well, you get the picture.
Pick: Binghamton

New Hampshire vs. Stony Brook
Just might go double-overtime. Two young, aggressive, on-the-rise programs, either of which should give Binghamton a run for its money in the next round. I like Tyrece Gibbs, Alvin Abreu and Dane Diliegro just a tad more than Muhammad El-Amin, Tommy Brenton and Demetrius Young.
Pick: New Hampshire

SEMIFINALS

Vermont vs. UMBC
This will come down to how well Retrievers defend Marqus Blakely. Keep him from going off, and they'll stay in the game. Greene and Proctor will have the edge if it's close after the final TV timeout.
Pick: UMBC

Binghamton vs. New Hampshire
Wildcats are not impressed with Binghamton's No. 1 seed and Herrion's got them believing. Gibbs cancels Rivera, Diliegro cancels Fuller and Abreu cancels Mayben. And UNH has enough firepower on the rest of the roster to make a run at the upset.
Pick: UNH

CHAMPIONSHIP

Maryland-Baltimore County at New Hampshire
Call it the Acronym Bowl: UMBC vs. UNH for AE championship on ESPN. Home team wins something like 95.347813 percent of all America East championship games. Go crazy granite heads, go crazy.
Pick: UNH

2 comments:

JD said...

dan king i took you for a smarter man than that. i can honestly say i've never seen an odder assembly of picks. kudos to you if you got this right but it looks like you closed your eyes and went nuts.

maine should beat hartford, but really who cares about the play in game. winner draws binghamton who will beat them.

if i made picks i'd go chalk in the quarters, and take vermont if trimboli is healthy to go all the way over whoever makes the final against them.

as for your finals analysis, gibbs does not cancel rivera by any means, same with abreu cancelling mayben. both have better stats than their unh counterparts. i just wasn't that impressed with unh, and don't think they'll win.

again its your blog so props if you picked right but i don't think thats how it'll go, don't ask why.

thepit said...

Yeah, you're probably right. Most likely way too many upsets. Vermont, Binghamton and BU have proven themselves over the long haul so expecting none of the three to make it to the title game is a stretch. Despite their records, however, I just don't see them as juggernauts and it's been a number of years since the AE tourney bracket was a mess. It's time.

Binghamton beat UNH 60-49 (five-point lead at half) and 70-69 in overtime late in the season. In both games, Diliegro was in foul trouble.

Averages: Rivera 13.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg; Mayben 12 ppg, 4 apg; Fuller 15 ppg, 6 rpg; Gibbs 18.5 ppg; Abreu 13 ppg, 3 rpg; Diliegro 1 ppg, 6.5 rpg.

Diliegro is a key for UNH. Fuller is underrated I think. I'd really like to see this game, but Stony may have something to say about that.

I'd like to pick the Black Bears, but after Hartford rallied from 20 down to push BU to overtime in a game that meant zip, they would seem to have something left in the tank. That said, I think Hawks have zero chance of beating Binghamton and I'd give the Black Bears a chance, maybe 1 in 150. But if the game with Hartford is tied with 5:00 to go, I've got no reason to think the Black Bears will finish. Still, we'll be there pulling hard for UMaine to at least make it to Saturday. The tourney is more fun when your team is in the mix and not heading home just as the real action starts.