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I Am All In On UAlbany And The America East Final- Bruce’s Thought Of The Day

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Make room on that bandwagon Great Danes fans. I want a seat!  Listen, I am all about the Big East Tournament. I love St. John’s even though we stink and have no shot. I am all about the Big East. I grew up watching it, loved it and I won’t get all pollyannish, but I am going to miss the real Big East, make no mistake.

While I thoroughly love the conference tournaments, all of them, in some ways more so than the NCAA Tournament, I am super geeked to watch and root for the UAlbany Great Danes when they take on Vermont this Saturday for the America East title.

Look, I am not going to give you an x’s and o’s breakdown of this game. My guys Jay Sanin and Brian Cady know these teams better and the match ups better but I am excited to root for what seems like some good guys and a fun team.

UAlbany just defeated top seeded Stony Brook. The Seawolves beat the Danes twice this  season and when it mattered the most those wins didn’t matter at all. Now the Danes take on Vermont. The Catamounts have beaten the Danes twice this season. So?

Here is what I like about this team. They seem to be good guys genuinely enjoying this run. Several have come on the show this season. The head coach, Will Brown came on from a restaurant on Monday after the win over the Seawolves. That’s big time cool to me. I like rooting for cool.

From a novice standpoint, but certainly not a total know nothing, this UAlbany team has size, leadership,a nice mix of guards and big fella’s, good coaching, a “bounce back ability” and a penchant for winning games not many think they can. Beating the Washington Huskies earlier this year, at Washington no less, opened some eyes.

But what this team has that I really like is toughness to make plays and experience! You can never have enough of that in big games.

They have a productive back court and leadership with Mike Black running the show and Jacob Iati who can shoot it nicely. Black comes out of Chicago. You have to be tough to play ball in Chicago. Both are seniors. I like that.

The front court has some beef, some talent and some flair. Led by two guys from down under in Sam Rowley, a sophomore and Luke Devlin, a junior. They go 6-6 and 6-8 in order. The center has a better hockey name but a name with pinach in 6-10, 235 lb John Puk, a junior, and 6-10 235 lb Blake Metcalf another senior.

I can’t give you a blow by blow of Vermont except the data and the fact they have beaten UAlbany twice this year, once in a blow out by 25 at Vermont. Clearly they have talent and this school beat Syracuse not long ago in the NCAA’s.

My excitement almost comes from not knowing every nook and cranny of this club but enjoying the excitement of the long time locals, alum, and the newbie fans like me.

So I say let’s go Will Brown and the Great Danes. bring home this victory for the city and your first trip to the  ”big dance” since 2007!

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