NCAA – America East Tournament Preview

Weighted Total Shot Ratio (MAX 2.00)

1.26 – (3) New Hampshire
1.25 – (6) Binghamton
1.16 – (1) Hartford
0.96 – (5) Maine
0.94 – (2) UMBC
0.90 – (DNQ) Stony Brook
0.87 – (4) Albany
0.85 – (DNQ) Vermont
0.78 – (INE) UMass-Lowell

Schedule (WTSR difference in parentheses by home side/higher seed)

America East Tournament Quarterfinals – 10/30 (Higher Seed)

(3) New Hampshire (+0.01) vs (6) Binghamton – 7:00 PM
(4) Albany (-0.09) vs (5) Maine – 7:00 PM

America East Tournament Semi-Finals – 11/02 (Higher Seed)

(1) Hartford vs TBA
(2) UMBC vs TBA

America East Tournament Final – 11/09 (Higher Seed)

TBA vs TBA

Quick Hits:

Hartford’s made a habit of crumbling under pressure in conference tournaments before despite being odds on for a title and the league’s auto bid, and they may be only marginally favored to finally make that breakthrough by virtue of their home advantage throughout the America East Tournament. The Hawks are still rated as one of the three likely champions of the competition, but at the same time, without their home advantage gained by winning the league title, they probably wouldn’t be favored. The good news is the semi-final against the Albany/Maine winner looks to be the easier path, so Hartford probably should be able to step into the final with relative ease.

The WTSR ratings indicate that the key game for the tournament may be the New Hampshire-Binghamton opening round match, with the two sides being ranked highest in WTSR coming into the postseason. The Wildcats have given up just one goal in their past six, a stretch in which they went 3-1-2. That sole defeat came against Hartford in extra time, a match in which they had two more shots on goal than the Hawks. The computers really like Binghamton, and each of their three losses were by a single goal. At the same time though, this is a Bearcat squad that played in five extra time matches in the league, so there’s a ton of variability in their performance heading into their first round match.

The other first round match favors the lower seeded Maine Black Bears over Albany. These two sides played a 1-1 draw four days ago, with Maine leading in every offensive category. Maine’s won just one of their last six though, so it’s hardly a huge vote of confidence. Albany though are the weakest side in the competition according to WTSR, ranking seventh overall, even below non-qualifiers Stony Brook, though home advantage may help their cause.

UMBC may have won out by getting the first-round bye by finishing second, but WTSR is hardly bullish on their odds of winning this tournament. Even with home advantage, the computer rates them as underdogs going into their semi-final, regardless of opponent.

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