After last night’s triple overtime thriller won by New Orleans, tonight’s small conference game heads just about as far north and east as we can go — up to Orono, Maine for an America East tilt between conference co-leader Vermont and the Black Bears of Maine.
Vermont is coming off of a big win over Stony Brook to move into first place in the conference. The Catamounts sit at 12-6 overall including a solid win over Ivy League favorite Harvard on the road. Their opponent tonight, Maine, is only 7-11 on the season and is coming off of a particularly poor home loss to a Binghamton team that only had one other Division I win on the season coming into the game. As a result, unless Maine seriously turns things around soon, they look to be heading towards a finish near the bottom of their league and a low seed in the America East tournament. The particular significance here is that Maine is the only state with a Division I basketball team never to have placed a team into the Division I Men’s Basketball tournament (Alaska has never had an entry either but does not have any D1 teams).
One other piece of trivia about tonight’s game — tonight’s two opponents are the sole representatives in Division I for their respective states. Other than Maine and Vermont, only two other states have a single D1 university — Hawai’i and Wyoming.