The UMBC Retrievers and the Vermont Catamounts meet Saturday in America East Tournament college basketball action from Patrick Gym. UMBC is 18-13 on the year so far. The Retrievers beat Hartford on Wednesday. As for Vermont, they’re sitting at 27-5 and coming off a win over Binghamton. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
UMBC had a rough 1-8 run back in December/January. The team has cleaned up their act well since then though; they’ve only got three losses since January 19. The Retrievers are currently on a five-game win streak over Hartford, Maine, Binghamton, UMass Lowell and Hartford.
On Wednesday versus Hartford, the Retrievers took a 33-33 tie into the break. UMBC hit a 47-27 run in the second on the way to an 80-60 win.
Over on the Vermont side, they’ve stayed very consistent this year; the Catamounts haven’t lost consecutive games all season. Vermont is on a seven-game win streak right now over New Hampshire, UMBC, Binghamton, UMass Lowell, Maine, NJIT and Binghamton again.
In the Wednesday rematch versus Binghamton, the Catamounts scored 39 points in the first half and hit a 35-15 edge in the second for a 74-42 blowout victory. Ben Shungu led the team on his 23 points, four rebounds and two steals in the win.
The Catamounts are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall. The over is 6-1 in Vermont’s last seven Saturday games.
Meanwhile, the Retrievers are 4-0 ATS in the last four after an ATS win and 5-0 ATS in the last five overall. The over is 4-0 in UMBC’s last four Saturday games.
PICK: I’m going to take a stab on UMBC. The bad news for the Retrievers is that they’ve lost both games to Vermont by decisive margins this year: 86-69 on January 15 and 86-59 on February 19. That said, UMBC has been scoring very well lately. They’ve hit 78 or more points in five straight games.
As for Vermont, they’re on a nice roll themselves over their own seven-game win streak. The Catamounts have scored 71 or more points in five of those as well, so UMBC is going to need to step on the gas to keep up here. All things considered, I think the Retrievers can stay in range to power out a cover this time.