Championship Week: Vermont, Binghamton Headline America East Tournament

Chris BrooksCorrespondent IMarch 6, 2009

The Vermont Catamounts and Binghamton Bearcats headline the America East tournament, which begins tonight. Every game will be held in Albany at SEFCU Arena, except for the America East championship game, which will be held at the higher seed of the two remaining teams.

Tonight, the No. 8 Maine Black Bears (9-20, 4-12 A-East) host the No. 9 Hartford Hawks (6-25, 2-14 A-East) at 7 p.m. The Black Bears and Hawks split the season series, with each team winning by five on their home court.

Tomorrow, the No. 2 Vermont Catamounts (23-7, 13-3 A-East) play the No. 7 Albany Great Danes (14-15, 6-10 A-East) at noon. The teams split the series, with both winning on the road. Vermont won by nine at SEFCU Arena, while the Great Danes won 82-77 in Burlington.

The No. 3 Boston Terriers (17-12, 11-5 A-East) play the No. 6 Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers (13-16, 7-9 A-East) at 2:30 p.m. UMBC, the defending A-East Champions, would love a repeat, but that would probably involve upsetting the top three teams in the process. Boston swept the Retrievers in the regular season, including an 82-65 win in Baltimore.

The No. 1 Binghamton Bearcats (20-8, 13-3 A-East) will play the winner of the opening round game between Maine and Hartford at 6 p.m. The Bearcats went 4-0 against the two possible opponents in the regular season. Despite the sweeps, Binghamton won two games by eight, one by seven, and the other by six against the two.

Finally, the No. 4 New Hampshire Wildcats (13-15, 8-8 A-East) will play the No. 5 Stony Brook Seawolves (16-13, 8-8 A-East) at 8:30 p.m. The Wildcats swept the Seawolves in the regular season, including a 58-57 overtime thriller in Durham, NH, to clinch the No. 4 seed.

The semifinals will begin 2 p.m. on Mar. 8. The winners of the two semifinal matchups will have a six-day hiatus to prepare for the title game. The game will be broadcast at 11 a.m. on ESPN2, and the highest seed will host the game.