The University at Albany men's basketball team is 16-4 and tied atop the America East conference standings with a 5-1 mark in league play. However, that could all be rendered meaningless if they fail to deliver with wins over the next week, with games against conference nemeses Boston University, Vermont, and Stony Brook all at home and all within the next seven days.

UAlbany has been the class of the conference through this point in the season, even managing to hang onto a spot in the CollegeInsider.com Mid Major Top 25 into this week, where they currently stand as the 25th ranked mid major team in the nation. However, the three teams they are about to play have terrorized them in the team's recent history.

In the last nine games against the Terriers, Catamounts, and Seawolves, the Great Danes have gone 0-9, a streak that started in the 2011 America East Tournament quarterfinals against Stony Brook.

Since then, UAlbany has suffered memorable losses to all three teams, including losses to Stony Brook during the annual Big Purple Growl game at SEFCU Arena and on a Dallis Joyner tip in at the buzzer in last year's America East conference semifinals. They blew an 18 point lead in the second half at home last season against Boston, and were recently humiliated in a 25 point loss at Patrick Gym against Vermont.

Many die hard Great Danes basketball fans have been saying it for a long time, and it bears repeating: if the Great Danes ever want to be a legitimate contender for America East championships year after year, they have to prove that they can outclass Stony Brook and Vermont (Note: they will not have to worry about Boston University, who are banned from America East tournament play and are leaving the conference after this season).

If they cannot do so in three straight home games this week, winning at least two of those three games, we will know that they should not be taken seriously this season either.