Sunday, March 7, 2010

AE Tournament 2010 - BU beats Hartford to play SBU in the Semis

3/6 - BU v. Hartford - Terriers win 87 - 46.
In the program people will forever wonder why BU played Hartford in the quarterfinal instead of Binghamton.  On Monday night, apparently after all of the AE 2010 Tournament programs were printed out, Binghamton withdrew from the tournament because of their off the court issues.  So instead of playing Binghamton like initially planned BU played Hartford.  This seemingly odd but very understandble event sparked a couple of thoughts in my mind:

  1. What happened to all of the Binghamton fans who bought tickets to the men's tournament?  Did they get a full refund? Did any of them already have the hotel booked so they decided to go anyway?
  2. BU will now have to play the University of Hartford in the quarterfinals, seemingly a worse matchup than Binghamton, who just a week and a half earlier we beat by 43 points.  The last time we played Hartford we won by only 3 points on the back of a Jake O'Brien three pointer.
My concerns about the matchup were unfounded.  The Terriers were led by not just one three pointer, but a very strong performance from Jake O'Brien who scored a career high 28 points.  The Terriers continued to hit threes galore, setting yet another three point related record in Reich Family Arena, most threes in one half of an America East Tourament game (the other was the BU program record for most threes, which they broke again later in the season when they played Albany at Agganis).  The Terriers dominated Hartford from beginning to finish and won by an astronomical differential of 41 points.

This win seems to continue the trend of how BU has performed thus far all year.  Versus the lowly teams in the conference they will dominate play from almost beginning to finish. Very rarely have they been in a close game and they always win versus the inferior opponent.  As a fan tracking BU all season, I noted many times that they are undefeated versus teams below them in the standings and 1 - 5 versus opponents above them in the standings (the only win coming against Maine on senior day).

3/7 - 5:00 PM EST - BU v. Stony Brook - Reich Family Arena 
Today they can completely negate that 1 - 5 record versus superior opponents by knocking off the best team in the conference: The Stony Brook Seawolves (which is not an actual animal).  The Terriers have been mandhandled by the Seawolves both times they have played.  The Terriers were never able to find a rhythym in both games and would go prolonged periods of the game without scoring a field goal.

The big stat in both of the previous BU v. SBU contests and what I expect to be the huge difference in this contest is how hot the Terriers can get from 3 point range.  In the first game they shot about 35%, shooting 12 of 37 from beyond the arc.  In the second game they made a paltry 4 of 22 from beyond the arc about 18%.  Both of these percentages are unusually low for the Terriers.  If they can shoot like they did yesterday in the Hartford quarterfinal, the Terriers will win this game and upset Stony Brook to advance to the AE Final for the first time since they won the tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2002.

Random Notes:
  • If BU wins hope for a New Hampshire upset of UVM, that will put the AE Title game either in Agganis Arena or Case Gym, which is guaranteed to be a huge event for the BU Basketball program.


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