Albany vs. Vermont Pick
One of the biggest days of college basketball betting action of the year takes place on Saturday, and it all gets started in the America East Tournament Final. The Vermont Catamounts are going to host the Albany Great Danes with the first bid of the day to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
The Great Danes have quietly won 23 games this year, and in spite of the fact that they finished in fifth place in the America East, they have always been one of the teams to reckon with. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that they are here in the final, though beating the Stony Brook Seawolves in the semifinals last week was a remarkable result. The backcourt is what really makes Albany go this year. G Mike Black and G Jacob Iati are the two men to really watch out for. Black is the team’s leading scorer at 15.0 points per game, while Iati is second on the club at 12.2 points per game. Albany’s bread and butter is its defense, though. The team allowed 60.6 points per game this year, one of the top marks in the conference. The team has held four of its last five foes in the 40s or 50s, and if that’s the end result again in this one, the Great Danes could be dancing.
Vermont has been blessed with a very easy road to get here to the America East Final, and it is now getting to host this game as well. There aren’t many teams that get things handed to them on a silver platter, but the opening is here for the Catamounts for sure. They beat New Hampshire and Maryland Baltimore County to reach this point, and in spite of the fact that they were the No. 2 seed in the tournament, they were eight and 13-point favorites in the two games thus far in the America East Tournament. Not surprisingly, the Catamounts are all about their defense as well. They are allowing just 58.8 points per game, and teams often have a tough time shooting around this lanky defense. Vermont is a relatively deep team, rotating seven players who all play at least 20 minutes per game. Each of the seven are averaging at least 6.1 points per game, though none are averaging more than the 11.4 points per game of F Clancy Rugg.
The Catamounts are rolling at the moment, and they aren’t going to relent in this one. Albany was smashed the first time it paid a visit to Patrick Gymnasium 70-45. This one will be a heck of a lot closer, but we don’t think that the end result is going to change. Vermont is clearly the better of the two teams, and it is going to show on Saturday for sure. Vermont 56 – Albany 48
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