Friday, March 6, 2009

AE Quarterfinals - UAlbany vs. Vermont

I'm still in downtown Albany, watching game five of six at the MAAC Tournament

Siena coach Fran McCaffery and his staff are sitting just off to my right, waiting to see who they will play, Loyola (Md.) or Canisius

The Great Danes kick things off tomorrow at SEFCU Arena, in about 15 hours. 

Here's a little bit more about the Great Danes' matchup with the Catamounts. 

UAlbany is 6-5 in their seven seasons in the America East Tournament. 

The Great Danes are 2-1 against the Catamounts, winning the titles in 2006 and 2007 and losing in the 2003 quarterfinals as a seven-seed (the same seeds the teams are for this matchup). 

No. 7 seeds are 0-23 all-time in the tournament against the No. 2. 

"We're not projected to win, but it could go either way," sophomore guard Tim Ambrose said. "It's going to be a great game between us."

UAlbany is clearly the underdog, something that hasn't been the case recently in this tournament. 

"We've beaten the three best teams in our league," senior co-captain Brian Connelly said. "There's no reason why we can't do it again."

As far as Mike Trimboli, Vermont's senior all-conference guard who is questionable with a viral infection, UAlbany is preparing for him to play. 

"I'd be shocked if he's not in uniform and does not start," said UAlbany coach Will Brown

While the Great Danes may be the heavy underdog on paper, things like the homecourt even the playing field considerably. 

"We know that we're good enough to compete with them," junior Will Harris said. "If we come out, play tough and do the right things, then we should be able to win the game, especially since it's at home."

Prediction: Vermont 74, UAlbany 65 (This game will be exciting, but I think the Catamounts will be too much) 

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