Many figured that Stony Brook was going to be ripe for the taking in this tournament, knowing that it was going to be a candidate for the play in games this year for the No. 16 seeds if it made it to the dance. That still might be the case, but in the end, the Seawolves really haven’t had that hard of a time reaching this point. Their win over the Albany Great Danes was crucial on Sunday in Hartford, and the end result is that they get to play on their home court for the right to go dancing for the first time in school history. All of the pressure is going to be on the starting five in this one. The bench came up with just a total of six points in the win over Albany over the weekend. If the defense isn’t getting the job done, the Seawolves are in trouble. They are allowing just 59.3 points per game, and they just cannot afford to give up into the mid- and high-60s if they want to finally put on their dancing shoes. They did come close last year, only to be bested by a bucket by the Boston Terriers, but this is a golden opportunity in what amounts to be the best year that this team has ever had.
Vermont was pressured from start to finish by the Hartford Hawks over the weekend, though it finally did dispatch the lowly 9-21 school in two overtimes. It was a de facto road game though, so we do give the Catamounts some credit, especially knowing just how hard it has been to win games in this league this year. It has been all about the defense for Vermont as well this year, knowing that the team is averaging allowing just 60.7 points per game. The team’s defense has been outstanding for the most part all season long, though there have been some suspect games like a 70-point outing allowed to the Niagara Purple Eagles in BracketBusters. There are some big time wins that this team has in the America East season, including winning road games against Albany, Maine, and Boston U. Going on the road in this one won’t be bothersome for sure. Vermont is led by Matt Glass, who is averaging 12.0 points per game. Four McGlynn isn’t far behind at 11.8 points per game. Keep a close eye on Brian Voelkel as well. He is only averaging 4.8 points per game, but he also is pulling down 8.3 rebounds per game and leads the team in assists by a country mile.
The Final Word: There is a point that Stony Brook is going to have to get into the dance, and this might be the year that it happens. The Seawolves and Catamounts are relatively evenly matched, and we tend to think that the home court edge here is going to help cause a party for Stony Brook over the weekend.
Stony Brook Seawolves @ Vermont Catamounts Pick: Stony Brook Seawolves
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.