Conference Tournaments

March 06, 2009|By KENT BAKER

AMERICA EAST

Site: SEFCU Arena, Albany, N.Y., today through Sunday; championship at home of highest seed, March 14

When: Today through March 14

TV: Championship game, ESPN2, 11 a.m.

Favorites: No. 1 Binghamton (20-8, 13-3) and No. 2 Vermont (23-7, 13-3)

State entry: Sixth seed UMBC (13-16, 7-9)

Outlook: The Retrievers are the defending champions, but face an uphill battle to repeat beginning today against No. 3 Boston University, which beat them twice. Binghamton and Vermont shared the regular-season title, with the former receiving the top seed by virtue of a sweep in their series, and No. 7 Albany is playing on its campus court this weekend. UMBC is healthier than it has been in two months with the return of 6-foot-9 Justin Fry and has four veterans from last season's run, including top scorer Darryl Proctor (20.0 ppg) and court general Jay Greene (12.7 ppg, 6.0 apg).

COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

Site: Richmond Coliseum, Richmond, Va.

When: Today through Monday

TV: Quarterfinals tomorrow and semifinals Sunday on Comcast; championship game, ESPN2, 7 p.m. Monday

Favorite: No. 1 Virginia Commonwealth (21-9, 14-4)

State entry: Eleventh seed Towson (10-21, 5-13)

Outlook: Towson is 3-7 all time in the CAA tournament, 2-5 under coach Pat Kennedy, and has never advanced past the quarterfinals in eight appearances. First-round opponent Drexel has beaten the Tigers twice, and they dropped their only meeting with third seed Northeastern, the potential foe in the quarters. They are not going in hot, having lost four of their past five, and are only 4-12 away from Towson Center. Kennedy has started 16 different lineups this season. Virginia Commonwealth will be a major obstacle for anyone in its hometown.

METRO ATLANTIC ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Site: Times-Union Center, Albany, N.Y.

When: Today through Monday

TV: MASN if Loyola plays in quarterfinals and semifinals; championship game, ESPN2, 9 p.m. Monday

Favorite: No. 1 Siena (23-7, 16-2)

State entry: Eighth seed Loyola (12-19, 7-11)

Outlook: Jamal Barney (Southwestern) scored 71 points in two games against the Greyhounds' first-round opponent, No. 9 Canisius, and is expected to play despite a recent injury. Loyola split with the Golden Griffins but might take on top-seeded and host Siena if it advances. Loyola had a seven-game losing streak late in the season, dropping a number of tough games, and is 2-4 in the conference tournament under Jimmy Patsos. The sleeper in the field might be No. 6 Saint Peter's, which has been playing well down the stretch.

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