Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tourney picks

First Round

Binghamton vs. UMBC

Retrievers haven't been the same since they scored 51 points in the second half and rallied to beat the Black Bears in Orono. Bearcats have Greer Wright and Mahamoud Jabbi.
Pick: Binghamton


Albany vs. Stony Brook

Albany may be playing as well as anybody in America East down the stretch. Stony Brook won't back down. Stony Brook star guard Bryan Dougher faces a tough afternoon with Great Danes backcourt of Mike Black and Tim Ambrose.
Pick: Albany

Vermont vs. Binghamton

Catamounts should cruise past Binghamton. A couple years ago, Binghamton had speed to burn. Vermont won't be confused with those title-winning Bearcats, but they get the job done with efficiency on offense and defense.
Pick: Vermont

Boston University vs. New Hampshire

If you were asked to pick a possible blowout in the quarterfinals, this is the game most folks would look at. Boston U. has the talent to win the tournament. UNH has fought its way through injuries and whatnot to remain competitive.
Pick: Boston U.

Maine vs. Hartford

Nobody's played worse in America East down the stretch than the Black Bears, who have dropped 7 of 8 after leading the league at 8-1. UMaine has every reason in the world to enter this one with its eyes wide open. Hartford swept the season series and the game is on the Hawks' home floor. Big question is will Black Bears show up and play defense. If not, it's going to another quick exit because Hartford has some weapons. Black Bears can't possibly lose a sixth straight opening game in the tournament, can they?
Pick: Maine


Albany vs. Vermont

A victory here wouldn't be as shocking as the one the Great Danes pulled off a couple years ago in Albany. That team had no business toppling the Catamounts. Vermont's got a great record this year, but their margin for error is a lot smaller than some of the vintage Catamounts teams.
Pick: Albany

Boston U. vs. Maine

Hard to envision a Black Bears win here. UMaine's defense in the second half has been downright criminal. You see better defense in Sunday evening open gyms. Make no mistake, a win here by the Black Bears would have to be considered a huge upset ... that's how far the UMaine stock has fallen since midway through the America East season. But one thing we've learned about the Black Bears in recent years, they rarely play the way you expect.
Pick: Maine


Albany at Maine

Great Danes make a return trip to Orono two weeks after their overtime conquest of the Black Bears. But Black Bears will be ready this time. The school may even allow the team to put the basketball floor over the ice and get a work out on their home court prior to the championship game. Go crazy, folks. Go crazy. UMaine and its loyal following set an NCAA standard for the least-celebrated NCAA tournament berth in history.
Pick: Maine 77, Albany 76 (3 overtimes)

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