BURLINGTON, VT (WIVT/WBGH) – It is down to 4 teams in America East Men’s Basketball and the BU Bearcats are 1 of them, having beaten UMBC on the road in the quarterfinals.
Their reward, facing the defending champs on the road in the semifinals.
It will be the Bearcats and the Vermont Catamounts on Tuesday night with a spot in the America East title game on the line.
These 2 sides have already met twice this year and despite strong efforts from Binghamton, it has been Vermont coming away with the victory in both meetings.
While the saying goes, “It’s hard to beat a team 3 times in 1 season”, the Bearcats know they will need to be at the top of their game to take down the number 1 seed in the tournament.
“You gotta beat Vermont, they’re not gonna beat themselves,” Head Coach Levell Sanders said. “They’re not gonna give you the opportunity to come in there, you’re gonna have to beat them. So, we understand that, but I think we’re up for the challenge.”
It will be a big challenge it will be for the Bearcats, Vermont has won each of the last 18 matchups between the 2 programs, a streak that dates back to February of 2015 and includes last year’s semifinal, where the Catamounts ended the Bearcats season.
But Binghamton is looking to go into this one loose and relaxed, knowing that the expectations and the pressure headed into the matchup will be on Vermont.
“You come into a game, especially us being a 5 seed, and nobody expecting that we’re gonna win there,” Sanders said. “So, what do you have to lose right? You have everything to gain. So, definetely, there’s going to be a lot more pressure on them, but they’ve also been in this situation many times. Watching them against NJIT, they came out and they did what Vermont always does.”
In order for the Bearcats to keep the season alive, it will take a total team effort.
BU and Vermont, for a spot in the conference championship once again, action begins in Burlington at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.