Assuming all goes well with the health crisis that we all are dealing with at the moment and that college sports can and will start on time, teams with the America East basketball conference should have a busy early part of there schedule. That’s because several will be playing in early in-season tournaments to get things going. With that said, here is a look at who is playing and where they are headed.
The Albany Great Danes will be a part of the Air Force Reserve Hall Of Fame Tip-Off presented by Citi. This is an eight-team event that is split up into two divisions. There is the Naismith bracket, which is considered the host of the tournament, and the Springfield bracket which is the visitor. The Great Danes are in the Springfield group along with the Lehigh Mountain Hawks of the Patriot League, the LIU Sharks of the Northeast Conference, and the Quinnipiac Bobcats from the MAC Conference. This event is a two-part tournament in that these four teams will get to play the four teams in the Naismith division. Those four are the Minnesota Golden Gophers of the Big-10, the Rhode Island Rams of the A-10, the Marquette Warriors from the Big East, and the UCF Knights of the America Conference. For Albany, their on-campus games will have them playing both Marquette and Minnesota on dates to be announced. All eight teams from there will go on to Uncasville, Ct. on November 21 and 22 to play in your own bracket.
The kings of the league, the Vermont Catamounts, will be heading to Florida for a tournament on November 23-25. The event is called the Gulf Coast Showcase and will feature eight teams. All eight are mid-major programs. Besides Vermont, the other seven programs heading to Estero, Florida are the Akron Zips out of the MAC, the Delaware Blue Hens from the CAA, the East Carolina Pirates from the America Conference, the Fordham Rams of the A-10, Indiana State Sycamores from the MVC, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders of Conference USA, and the Omaha Mavericks from the Summit. This looks to be a wide-open field with no real team sticking out which is just the way Vermont likes it.
The Hartford Hawks will be in on the early season fun as they will take part in the Bluegrass Showcase on November 13-23. The reason for the added length for this tournament is because all games will be played on-campus. The three other teams in this event are the Kentucky Wildcats of the Southeastern Conference, Detroit Mercy Titans of the Horizon League, and the Richmond Spiders of the A-10. Each team will get three games to play. For Hartford, the schedule looks like this. November 13 vs Richmond, November 17 vs Kentucky and both of these games will be road games for the Hawks. They will get a home game on November 21 when they play host to Detroit Mercy.
For all three teams from America East, these events will be good early season tests to get them ready for when league play begins. There will be more announcements as the summer rolls along. When we know, so will you.
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