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Our favorites, sleepers, and dark horses in the 2021 America East Conference basketball tournament

We take a look at one favorite, one sleeper and one dark horse candidate to win it all in the 2021 America East Conference mens’s basketball tournament.

Retrievers head coach Ryan Odom during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament at Spectrum Center. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll be taking a look at some of the best teams in each conference, and providing picks and predictions for 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.

Favorite: Vermont

The Catamounts are tied with UMBC for the best record in the league, but a 66-55 win for the Retrievers on the last day of the regular season earned them the No. 1 seed and the tiebreak. But Vermont by the metrics is ahead of the other team that’s getting a double-bye in the tournament.

They’ll need Ryan Davis (18.8 PPG, 6.5 RPG) to perform, as the 6’8 junior has a true shooting rate of 65.4%, including a deadly 17-41 from three-point range this season.

Sleeper: UMBC

Tough to call the No. 1 seed a sleeper, but this is really a two-team league as it’s very unlikely the final isn’t pre-determined. UMBC lost to Georgetown to open the season by eight, which might be the highlight of a down league this year. RJ Eytle-Rock will need to knock down some shots, and keep an eye out for one of the smallest players in all of D-1 in 5’2 Darnell Rodgers, a transfer from Florida Gulf Coast.

Dark Horse: Hartford

It’s a longshot any team outside the top two in the double-bye format makes the Final, but the Hawks can at least get some stops. They turn teams over on 21% of possessions, and Miroslav Stafl anchors a defense that fouls at a very low rate. But yeah, we’re reaching here: The Hawks are 224th in the KenPom rankings overall.