The NCAA Tournament is a few weeks away, which means it’s conference tournament time, setting the table for March Madness. We’ll take a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions each conference tournament. Plenty of favorites will win, but we’ve got some sleepers to consider that might be able to pull off a big upset on the way to the NCAA Tournament.
Here’s the bracket for the America East Conference Tournament with TV listings, dates and times.
One team out of the American East will be headed to the NCAA Tournament, and the top teams in the conference have an advantage with the entire event being held at campus sites from the quarterfinals through the championship game. It’s a reward for a better regular season, but makes upsets more challenging.
The Vermont Catamounts are the regular season champions. Their 12-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday with a home loss to UMBC, but if you want to see the American East succeed in the NCAA Tournament and potentially pull off an upset, Vermont would be the best bet. The Catamounts are slotted in as a No. 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament by some of the major Bracketology sites.
The Hartford Hawks will be the No. 3 seed, and do it with stifling defense: they defend the three-pointer as well as anyone in America (27.1% for opponents is No. 2 in the NCAA). Wherever they go, the Hawks proved they can hang with the best of the American East. Vermont took care of Hartford easily the first time around, but the Hawks lost by one point to the Catamounts in Connecticut. Beating a team three times in a season can be difficult, and the Hawks have improved throughout the regular season.
Dark Horse: UMBC
The UMBC Retrievers took down the best team in the American East on Saturday 10 days ago, but dropped two in a row since. After starting the conference season at 2-6, UMBC rallied for five wins in a row and was playing as well as any team in the America East. They’ve fallen behind that pace, but the team you grew to love on Twitter two years ago still has the ability to pull a big upset.
Update: Draftkings currently has the 2021 March Madness odds live on the site.