The Binghamton Bearcats have a bit of a conundrum on their hands. The Bearcats have won nine non-conference games for the second straight season, which is a program-high in their 17 years in Division I basketball.
Yet somehow, the Bearcats are 0-2 in the America East and are in the middle of an 11-game conference losing streak dating back to last year.
The America East has not been kind to Binghamton. The Bearcats have a 104-157 all-time conference record and are a disaster on the road (41-89).
The last time the Bearcats won the America East championship is 2009, but since then they haven’t finished higher than fifth in the conference standings. Binghamton was picked to finish sixth in the conference in the preseason coaches poll.
Something was telling about Binghamton’s seven-game winning streak early in the season. It was the longest for the program since 2008-09, the Bearcats’ last trip to the NCAA Tournament, when they rode an 11-game streak into the big dance. The last time they won that many in a row in the non-conference, it was 1992-93 and Binghamton was in Division III.
So can the Bearcats rekindle that magic and break their current losing streak? It all comes down to its defense. The Bearcats are 9-2 when they hold their opponents to fewer than 70 points. But when opponents score 70 points, they have beaten Binghamton seven out of seven times.
The Bearcats are also a perfect 8-0 when they out-rebound the other team, but when they come up short, they’re 1-8. That would be concerning for the Bearcats when they average 33.1 rebounds per game. They have no chance when they rebound below their average like most recently against New Hampshire, who won the rebound battle 46-26.
At some point the real Binghamton will stand up, but it will likely depend on rebounding and the number 70.