Perhaps the most amazing thing about a streak like Vermont’s is taking perspective when it finally ends. The Catamounts had the longest current win streak in the nation (15), hadn’t lost a regular season conference game in more than two years (33 games), and had the country’s second-longest home win streak nationally (22, and would have been tops if Vermont had won, as Cincinnati lost later in the day to Wichita State).
But it was a poised, veteran, well-coached Hartford squad that came to Patrick Gym and finally wiped all those streaks off the board with a 69-68 upset in front of a sellout crowd of 3,168. While the Hawks hope the ultimate culmination will come in the America East finals in three weeks, this win will show the national crowd just how far Hartford has come since posting a 19-46 record the last two seasons (and just 8-24 in America East).
Maine and Hartford have been in Division I basketball for a combined six decades (Maine joined in 1977, Hartford in 1984), and have a grand total of zero NCAA Tournament appearances between them, so while many coaches and programs talk about “upholding the tradition”, what do you do when there’s not much to work with?
Maine has had just one winning record in its last 12 seasons (2009-10), but there’s a little to talk about there, as Dr. John Giannini – who went to the Sweet 16 with La Salle in 2013 – went 24-7 in 1999-2000 before they lost at Mike Brey and Delaware in the America East semifinals. Giannini had one more 20-win season in Orono, losing at Vermont in the conference final in 2003-04, before heading to Philadelphia.
Hartford confirmed the worst for John Carroll on Saturday, ruling the sophomore out for the season after he suffered what appeared to be a right knee injury on Tuesday. Continue reading
The America East racked up wins over the MAAC, Ivy League and NEC over the past week. Here are some of the top plays of the week in animated form. Let us know which plays you like the most as we go through some of the most dynamic plays the conference offered this past week. Continue reading
The America East picked up a grand total of three wins over the season’s first four days. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been positive signs from some of the league’s best teams. Providence currently leads the conference standings with victories over Albany and Binghamton, if only they played in the league full time. Meanwhile, Vermont is 1-1 in the MAAC. Here is the first edition of the America East Stock Watch on who is up, down and what numbers to worry about heading into this week.
Hartford head coach John Gallagher held out Nate Sikma on the team’s trip to Australia and hoped that the senior would be ready for the season. Continue reading
John Carroll had the longest wait to play for Hartford on their five-game exhibition tour. Continue reading
This season could be a season of freshmen for the America East. The conference will add plenty of young talent and almost every team has a player capable of making an impact on the league this season. Here are the top five freshmen to watch, listed in alphabetical order. Continue reading
Hartford went to Australia this offseason for the second time under John Gallagher, this time though the results were a little different. Continue reading