CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Coming off a season that saw a record number of its men’s and women’s basketball teams reach the postseason, the America East Conference announced its 2012-13 men’s and women’s basketball conference schedules on Tuesday. The slate that will feature 144 games, including several marquis matchups.
“We cannot wait for the 2012-13 basketball season to begin,” said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “Last season provided many highlights for the conference, including Vermont’s win in the NCAA men’s tournament and a record-seven teams reaching the postseason. This year promises to be as exciting with talented veterans returning and promising newcomers joining rosters. These schedules will provide our fans with several intriguing matchups, as well as prepare our teams for an exciting championship in Albany and put them in position to continue the postseason success they have enjoyed in recent years.”
For the eighth straight season, each team will play a 16-game, double round-robin schedule which will decide the seeding and matchups for the 2013 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship in Albany in March. The men’s and women’s seasons, which will consist of 72 regular-season contests each, begin on Wednesday, Jan. 2 with 16 of the 18 teams in action.
On the men’s side, intriguing matchups begin right off the bat. Last year’s conference champion, Vermont, hosts Albany on Jan. 5 to kick off the home portion of its conference campaign. Together those two programs have combined to win seven league crowns since 2003. The Catamounts, who will visit Albany on Jan. 26, travel to Boston University on Jan. 8 in a matchup of the last two league champions. The Terriers will welcome Stony Brook, which captured its second America East regular-season title in three years and also made its second NIT appearance in that span last year, on Jan. 15 in a rematch of the 2011 championship tilt. Just three days later, Stony Brook will head to Burlington to face Vermont in a pairing of last year’s title game participants. The Catamounts will visit Long Island on Feb. 16. On Jan. 29, Stony Brook will visit Albany while Hartford will host Vermont one day later (Jan. 30) in rematches of last season’s epic America East semifinal contests.
On the women’s side, a rematch of last year’s championship game kicks things off as Albany, which won its first-ever conference title in 2012, visits UMBC on Jan. 2. The return matchup will take place Feb. 6 in Albany. Boston U. and Hartford will face off on Jan. 5 in a contest featuring a pair of teams that each reached the postseason NIT a year ago and squared off for the conference title in 2011. New Hampshire, which made its first postseason appearance since 1999 last year, will visit Albany on Jan. 16. The Great Danes will host the Hawks just three days later (Jan. 19) in a matchup of the last two league champions. The Terriers will welcome Albany to Boston on Jan. 23 in a pairing of last year’s champion and regular-season champion. The Terriers will head to UMBC just three days later (Jan. 26). The Retrievers upset the Terriers in last year’s America East semifinals to reach the conference title game for just the second time.
Both regular seasons will wrap up the first weekend in March, the women on March 2 and the men on March 3. For the first time, the conference will pair up rivals for the regular-season finale. Albany faces Stony Brook, Binghamton plays UMBC, Hartford faces Vermont and Maine plays New Hampshire.
Following the conclusion of the regular seasons, the 2013 America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship quarterfinal and semifinal round action will take place March 8-10. For the first time, the combined tournament will head to University at Albany’s SEFCU Arena, site of the 2009 Men’s Championship as well as the 2006 men’s title game and the 2012 women’s title game. The 2013 championship tilts will then be held the following week at the site of the highest remaining seeds. The men’s championship game will be on Saturday, March 16, with the women’s title tilt tentatively scheduled for that date, but subject to change due to television. The league’s full television schedule will be announced at a later date.
America East is coming off a season in which seven teams, a conference record, reached the postseason, including Vermont’s men’s team, which beat Lamar in the first round of the NCAA Championship, giving the conference its seventh NCAA win in men’s basketball and first since 2005. Stony Brook (NIT) and Albany (CIT) joined UVM in the postseason, which tied America East’s all-time high. It was also the fourth straight year and eighth in the last 10 that the conference sent multiple teams to the postseason. A conference-best four women’s programs reached the postseason a year ago, including Albany’s first-ever NCAA appearance. Boston U. (NIT), Hartford (NIT) and New Hampshire (WBI) also extended their seasons last year, extending America East’s streak of years with multiple teams in the postseason to eight, which is tied for the longest in the nation among non-FBS conferences.
ABOUT THE AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE: Into its fourth decade of operation, America East has evolved into one of the most comprehensive NCAA Division I conferences with a commitment to broad-based, competitive athletics programs, complementing the academic integrity and missions of the member institutions. Progressive in its approach to its more than 3,400 student-athletes, America East recognizes champions in each of its 20 sports and also conducts the nation’s most comprehensive academic recognition program for student-athletes. With a geographic footprint covering the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast regions of the United States, America East strives to develop champions in academics, athletics and leadership at its nine member institutions: University at Albany, Binghamton University, Boston University, University of Hartford, University of Maine, UMBC, University of New Hampshire, Stony Brook University and University of Vermont.