With all this hype throughout the month of March, who has time to look at one tiny little team from one tiny little conference? The Albany Great Danes aren't newcomers to the NCAA March Madness, but they sure weren't expecting it this year.
With a conference record of 9-7 and overall 24-10, it was doubtful that the Great Danes would get very far in the America East Conference. Even I shrugged them off. (As a Hartford Alumni and still a member of the University Pep Band, I had high hopes for our men... But I digress) Albany was 5th in the conference, but with Boston University leaving and thus ineligible for conference play, were bumped up to a 4 seed. There wasn't much about them that made them stand out. They had a few key players, but doesn't every team?
If you would have told me a few weeks ago that Albany would go on to knock out Stony Brook, the number 1 seed in America East, the overall prospects for the NCAA championship in the semifinals, I wouldn't have believed you. But if you then went on to tell me that they would then push past 2 seeded Vermont at their home court for the America East Championship, I would have laughed in your face.
But it happened.
They are now officially lowest seed to ever win the America East Championship. They skyrocketed into the Mid-Major Top 25 poll via collegeinsider.com and even managed a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament for their ridiculous, out of nowhere, victories.
They're out to play Duke in the first round, so there's no real hope for winning the game, but they can still try and cling to a close loss and a good battle. But is this the start of some recognition for a tiny team from a tiny conference? I hope so.