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America East bracket, preview and schedule: Another year, another regular season title for Vermont

Vermont won the America East regular season crown for a seventh straight season

Vermont v UMBC
Dylan Penn led Vermont in scoring this season at 12.5 points per game and was named to the All-America East Second Team.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

I’m not going to sugarcoat it... With the exception of the UMBC win in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, Vermont has been the only talking point of the America East over the last decade.

They’re a dynasty that we haven’t seen in this sport in a while, winning at least a share of the regular season title in the America East for seven straight seasons.

Can a team like UMass Lowell or Bryant poke them off this season? Or will Vermont make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time since 2017?



Note: All games are at higher seed and all times are Eastern.

Quarterfinals (Saturday, March 4), ESPN+

Game 1: No. 6 Bryant vs. No. 3 New Hampshire, 1 p.m.

Game 2: No. 5 Binghamton vs. No. 4 UMBC, 1 p.m.

Game 3: No. 7 Maine vs. No. 2 UMass Lowell, 4 p.m.

Game 4: No. 8 NJIT vs. No. 1 Vermont, 7 p.m.

Semifinals (Tuesday, March 7), ESPN+

Game 5: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, TBA

Game 6: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner, TBA

Finals (Saturday, March 11), ESPN2

Game 7: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner, 11 a.m.

The Favorite

Vermont (20-10, 14-2): After a rough start to the season that included five games against top-100 opponents and a trip to California, many questioned if Vermont would still be as dominant as it’s always been.

It looked shaky after a 2-2 start to league play, but the Catamounts have won 12 straight and quickly put those conversations to rest.

Their offense has been elite this season, ranking 27th in effective field goal percentage. The back court is pretty good too, reeling in another Player of the Year in Finn Sullivan to complement last season’s ASUN Player of the Year Dylan Penn.

The Darkhorse

UMass Lowell (24-7, 11-5): Elvis Presley would be proud of his “alma mater” after the season its had.

The River Hawks set a DI-program record with 24 wins and went unbeaten at home, a place they’ll play at least their first two tournament games.

Its balanced attack and ability to smoke teams in the mill city was one of the most impressive feats I laid my eyes on this season.

The Long Shot

Bryant (17-12, 8-8): It wasn’t exactly what Jared Grasso envisioned in the program’s first season in the America East, but the Bulldogs return a lot of talent from a NCAA Tournament team from last season. That March experience could come in handy in some tough atmospheres.

Players to Watch

Dylan Penn, Vermont (12.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 51.8% FG%)

Finn Sullivan, Vermont (12.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 44.4% FG%)

Everette Hammond, UMass Lowell (13.7 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 45.1% FG%)

Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, UMass Lowell (11.8 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 57.3% FG%)

Clarence Daniels, New Hampshire (15.2 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 44.4% FG%)

Sherif Gross-Bullock, Bryant (17.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 47.0% FG%)

Charles Pride, Bryant (14.6 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 45.1% FG%)

Earl Timberlake, Bryant (13.6 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 52.6% FG%)

Antwan Walker, Bryant (12.9 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 54.2% FG%)

Jacob Boonyasith, UMBC (10.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 42.7% FG%)

Jacob Falko, Binghamton (13.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 44.6% FG%)

Gedi Juozapaitis, Maine (15.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 45.9% FG%)

Kellen Tynes, Maine (14.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 50.6% FG%)

Kevin Osawe, NJIT (11.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 47% FG%)


Patrick Gymnasium will host another league final when Vermont welcomes UMass Lowell to Burlington.

The game will be closer than usual, but the Catamounts pull out a four-point victory.