Sunday, March 17, 2013

New York's Day of Champions

Saturday brought a bounty of basketball championships in upstate New York, both at the high school & college levels. Oh, what a glorious day and night it was, right before St. Patrick's Day, no less.

The University at Albany is sending both their men's & women's basketball teams to the NCAA tournaments next week. The men won their 3rd America East title, snapping a 8-game losing streak to league rival Vermont on the Catamounts' home court. The game aired nationally on ESPN2, starting just before lunch (most likely at the behest of the network). The Great Danes had plenty of time after the game for a happy bus ride back to Albany, especially to cheer on the women's team, who completed an undefeated season in league play by beating Hartford to win their 2nd straight AE title.

Over the next 48 hours, UAlbany will learn where their teams are going in the Big Dance, and, as per usual, since the America East is a "mid-major" conference, it'll likely be one-and-done, as the Danes will be fed to a bigger, higher profile team yet again.

Meanwhile, Section 2 copped 4 state titles on Saturday:

Class A women: Troy High won its first state title since 1989 by beating Maine-Endwell. Next up for the Lady Flying Horses likely is the Federation Tournament of Champions next week in Albany.

Class B men: Watervliet.
Class C men: Lake George.
Class D men: Argyle.

The last two teams are league rivals in the Adirondack League. Watervliet represents the Colonial Council. Theirs, of course, is a big story, since they had to overcome forfeiting a number of games early in the season due to an ineligible player who lied about his residency. Curiously, that case has since been swept under the rug, as there has been no followup in the press.

Back in Troy, however, the season is over for the boys' basketball team, losing to Bishop Kearney out of Rochester in overtime at Glens Falls. Still, I'd expect that the city will honor both hoops teams at the Flag Day parade in June.

In college hockey, Union College advanced to the next round of the ECAC tournament, sweeping Dartmouth in 2 straight. RPI could join them, provided they beat Brown in the rubber match on Sunday night. Both teams had earned byes after finishing in the top four in the ECAC standings.

This much I do know. I'll pick up the papers in the morning, and find the Troy High women's basketball team on the front page again, and deservedly so. Considering it's part of the color schematics of both Troy High & UAlbany, I'd say that Saturday was a great day to wear purple as much as green.

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