The America East Conference has been run by Stony Brook in the regular season for most of the decade: The Seawolves' regular season title in 2015-16 is their fourth since 2010. But they have zero NCAA Tournament appearances to show for it, meaning that the pressure will be on Stony Brook to come through in the America East Tournament and secure the school's first March Madness dance ticket.
They'll have by far the league's best player in forward Jameel Warney, as they have for the last two years. Warney is one of the nation's most efficient offensive players despite not taking a single three this year and has averaged a double-double in each of the last two years. He's also made himself a formidable shot-blocker, earning commendation as the America East player and defensive player of the year.
By surrounding Warney with fine shooters and capable defenders, though, coach Steve Pikiell has built a potential trendy upset pick, if not a juggernaut. The Seawolves won 18 straight games before stumbling in two of their final three regular-season contests, falling by double figures at Albany and at home against Vermont.
If the Seawolves don't end up breaking through to make the NCAA Tournament, it will probably be because either the Great Danes or Catamounts upset them. Stony Brook is the only America East team in the KenPom top 100, but top-150 squads Albany and Vermont round out the conference's small tier of teams within the top 230 places in Pomeroy's ratings.
Every team in the field except No. 8 seed UMBC could conceivably host a game in the America East tourney, thanks to higher seeds hosting every game and reseeding happening after the quarterfinals. The tournament also takes a leisurely trek toward its conclusion, opening on Wednesday and ending 10 days later on March 12, with four off days between each round.
That format changed prior to the 2014-15 season, and helped Albany (15-1 in conference play) make the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, one year after playing on its home court in the first two rounds of play despite being the league's No. 4 seed.
- Stony Brook
- New Hampshire
You can see the full bracket here.
Schedule and Results (all times Eastern)
Wednesday, March 2 (Quarterfinals)
Game 1: No. 1 Stony Brook 86, No. 8 UMBC 76
Game 2: No. 7 Hartford 68, No. 2 Albany 59
Game 3: No. 3 Vermont 99, No. 6 Maine 82
Game 4: No. 4 New Hampshire 56, No. 5 Binghamton 51
Monday, March 7 (Semifinals)
Game 5: No. 1 Stony Brook 80, No. 7 Hartford 64
Game 6: No. 3 Vermont 63, No. 4 New Hampshire 56
Saturday, March 12 (Final)
Game 7: No. 1 Stony Brook 80, No. 3 Vermont 74
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