The America East might have the dumbest conference tournament format for a one bid league, and that is saying something. The games before the title game are played at Albany, before the conference title game is played at the home court of the higher seed. The consequence this year was that top seeded Vermont, who only lost one conference game, lost to Albany in the second game of the conference tournament.
Albany made the NCAA tournament before promptly losing to Cal Poly in the play-in game.
With a Senior laden line-up last year, Vermont probably won’t be returning to the top of the America East heap. A sleeper I like is Hartford, who took the 10th most threes in the country last year and will return everyone from last year’s team.
An obvious sleeper, due to the aforementioned conference tournament set-up, is Albany, who returns arguably their two best players, and also perhaps the best/worst uniform combo in sports.
Lastly, I slotted UMBC 7th here, but I think they could just as easily sneak up to 4th or so. They were ravaged by injuries last season, with six players missing multiple games.
Predicted Order of finish:
2. Stony Brook
5. New Hampshire
1. Jameel Warney, Stony Brook
2. Mark Nwakamma, Hartford
3. Wes Cole, Hartford
4. Peter Hooley, Albany
5. Jordan Reed, Binghamton