The America East has a reputation for being soft at the bottom, and those are not alternative facts or fake news, the bottom three teams that will compete in next week’s conference tournament are 331, 313, and 334 in KenPom, respectively.
The facts also say, however, it was worse last season when the final four seeds in the America East Tournament were 325, 323, 336, and 334. No. 334 and dead last at 3-13 was UMBC, which wasn’t a shock to anyone following the league, the last time they had been above 310 was 2007-08 (a glorious season which saw them 13-3 and in the NCAA Tournament).
This year didn’t portend to be a whole lot better under first-year coach Ryan Odom (who came from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne), but here we were on Saturday afternoon with the Retrievers playing in an actual big game, at 9-6 in America East (and 18-10 overall), proving – at least temporarily – that it was possible to climb out of the depths of the league and make things much more interesting at the top.
By Corey Johns, So Much Sports Baltimore — Coming off perhaps the most physically grueling game of their season just two days prior (Towson), UMBC put together a masterful performance against the excessively fast-paced Citadel Bulldogs to earn a record-breaking 120-111 victory in double-overtime.
Who would have thought a year ago anybody would be talking about a 4-0 UMBC season in 2016? Especially considering Kennesaw State had a player score 31 points (Kendrick Ray) and another post a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double (Aubrey Williams) and as a team shot 48.4% from the floor, it seemed unlikely they would be headed there either. But the Retrievers were unstoppable offensively themselves and beat the Owls 93-85 to stay unbeaten to start the season.Continue reading →