Vermont’s historic 16-0 conference run means there was little drama in the race for the 1 seed in the America East Playoffs. This year, Stony Brook, Albany, and New Hampshire snagged the 2, 3 and 4 seed respectively, meaning they have guaranteed home games for at least the quarterfinals.
The question now is whether Vermont can hold on long enough to not only win the conference championship but head into the NCAA Tournament on a 21-game winning streak.
Stony Brook and Albany seem to be decent contenders for the title if the mighty Catamounts are to fall from their pedestal. Both teams recently played Vermont and had them on the ropes until the Cats were able to turn the game around.
Albany will be out for vengeance after being knocked out of the tournament in the first round against Hartford last year. Luck would have it that the 3-6 game will be a rematch.
Stony Brook will be out to defend its 2016 conference title. Finally making it to the NCAA Tournament was huge for them last season, and making it two years in a row despite a coaching change would be truly remarkable.
The rest of the conference could fight its way to the semifinals, but will struggle to get farther than that, aside from maybe New Hampshire with a little bit of luck.
The semifinals will have each remaining teams reseeded and played at the higher seed’s home court on March 6. Each set of games will air on ESPN3 at 7 p.m. ET until the championship game, which will broadcast on ESPN2 at 11 a.m. on March 11.
The tournament starts on March 1.