Men's Basketball And Vermont Battle For The Third Time In the Conference Finals

THE STARTING FIVE + 6th MAN

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1. Going To The ‘Ship
The University at Albany prepares to travel to Burlington, Vt. for the America East Tournament Finals against the University of Vermont in Patrick Gym on ESPN 2. ESPN 2 talent will be Bob Picozzi on the play-by-play and LaPhonso Ellis as the color analyst. This is the 34th meeting all-time between the two programs, with the Catamounts leading the Division I series 20-8.

2. Breaking The Curse
As the UAlbany students stormed SEFCU Arena last Sunday - it became official. The Great Dane curse was lifted. A thrilling 61-59 semifinal win over Stony Brook broke three straight seasons the Seawolves had eliminated UAlbany from the America East postseason. It was the first time in four meetings between the two that the Great Danes finished on top.

3. Deja Vu?
This is the third time in past eight seasons that UAlbany and Vermont will play for the America East Tournament Championship. The Great Danes are 2-0 all-time in the America East Finals, having won both times against the Catamounts, the first came in 2006 at Albany, N.Y. with a 80-67 finish then in 2007 at Burlington, Vt. with a 60-59 final.

4. Batman And Robin Return
The superhero tandem of Mike Black and Jacob Iati have been crucial in the offensive production and their team's success as well. The duo combined for 30 points in the America East Semfinal win over Stony Brook on Sunday, March 10. Their 30 combined point performance was the 16th time that they accomplished that feat and UAlbany is 13-3 when the duo combines for 30 points or more in a game. When either player leads their team in scoring, the Great Danes are 18-6 this season.

5. Road Warriors
The Great Danes have been tested on the road 15 times this season, tallying a 10-5 record. The 10 true road wins ties a program record with the 2006-07 season. On the road, UAlbany has a +2.7 scoring margin (65.4-62.7) and out rebound its opponent by a +4.0 margin (34.4-30.4). Three Great Danes are averaging double-figures away from SEFCU Arena, senior guards Mike Black with 14.5 points, Jacob Iati at 11.7 points and sophomore forward Sam Rowley with 10.8 points per game. Rowley has a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game on the road.

6. Close Calls
The Great Danes had two down-to-the-wire games, in both the quarterfinals and semifinals, and came out victorious. UAlbany is the only America East team to have won both games by two points or less since 1980.