The fifth-seeded UMBC men's basketball team opens competition in its 11th America East Men's Basketball Championship when the Retrievers face No. 4 seed and host Albany on Saturday, March 8 at UA's SEFCU Arena. The contest is the second quarterfinal game of four on the day, as top-seeded Vermont kicks off the afternoon by taking on No. 8 New Hampshire at noon. The No. 5 seed is UMBC's highest since the 2007-08 team earned the No. 1 seed and went on to take the title. The two squads split a pair of thrilling contests this season, with Albany winning, 73-72, in double overtime at SEFCU on Jan. 8 and the Retrievers getting a last-second tip-in from Quentin Jones and triumphing, 71-69 at the RAC Arena on Feb. 12. Paul Mittermeier and Dan Levin have all the play-by-play action on (Q1370 AM (www.q1370.com, joined in progress after UMBC vs. Johns Hopkins lacrosse) and video streaming is available via ESPN3.
RETRIEVER UPDATE: UMBC achieved its most victories (9) since the 2008-09 season, but its last victory came versus Albany on Feb. 12 and the Retrievers enter the tournament tying a season-high with four consecutive setbacks. Three of those losses occurred on the road, including a 67-56 loss at Hartford on March 2. FR G Rodney Elliott (14.9 ppg), selected as the AE Fans' Choice Player of the Year, scored 21 points versus the Hawks, posting 20 or more for the seventh time in his initial campaign. The Retrievers have enjoyed great tournament success at SEFCU Arena, posting a 3-1 record in the 2009 and 2013 championships.