The America East basketball tournament will be the second conference tourney to commence. Nine teams will battle for the chance to play in the NCAA Tournament over the course of the next three weekends. Can Vermont represent the league again? Or will top seed UMBC return to March Madness for the first time since pulling off the first-ever 16-over-1 upset? Let’s take a look at the America East Tournament bracket and schedule, then preview what we can expect to see.
America East Conference Standings
|Team||Conference Record||Overall Record||Tournament Outlook|
|New Hampshire||9-6||10-8||3 seed|
|Stony Brook||7-9||9-13||7 seed|
America East Tournament Schedule
Dates: February 27-28, March 6, 13
TV: ESPN2, ESPN+
Site: Campus Sites (New Hampshire and Hartford host all first and second-round games; higher seeds host semifinals and championship)
Byes: Top three get single bye; top two get double bye
Most Recent Champion: Vermont
America East Tournament Bracket
- (4) Hartford 77, (9) Binghamton 60
- (5) Albany 76, (8) NJIT 66
- (6) UMass Lowell 64, (7) Stony Brook 62
- (6) UMass Lowell 72, (3) New Hampshire 64
- (4) Hartford 83, (5) Albany 77
- (6) UMass Lowell 79, (1) UMBC 77
- (4) Hartford 71, (2) Vermont 65
- (4) Hartford 64, (6) UMass Lowell 58
Hartford advances to NCAA Tournament
America East Conference Breakdown
UMBC and Vermont have combined to win each of the last three America East Tournament championships. The Catamounts won in both 2017 and 2019 while the Retrievers got over the hump in 2018. There was no 2020 winner as the college basketball world was shut down prior to America East basketball crowing a tournament champion. Vermont and UMBC both finished 10-4 in regular-season league play and split their two head-to-head matchups. Both teams will receive a double-bye into the semifinals putting them in position to make another title run.
While they won’t have a double-bye all the way to the semis, New Hampshire does receive a single bye as the 3-seed. The Wildcats finished third in conference play despite ranking just fifth in scoring (67.4 points per game). The preseason America East basketball poll correctly predicted the top three finishers, albeit flipping UMBC and Vermont in the top two spots. The poll was fairly accurate overall. The top overachiever was four-seed Hartford who was projected to finish sixth. The greatest underachiever was Stony Brook, who finished seventh after being picked to finish fifth.
Where the America East basketball tournament gets interesting stems from the decisions of a team who won’t even participate. The conference added a new member this season in the NJIT, bringing the total number of America East teams to ten. But with the decision of Maine to cancel their season, only nine teams will play in the tournament. The result is the obscure format that we will see play out over the coming weeks.