Great Danes and Cavaliers meet in South Regional action
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) – The fourth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers are set to
make their first NCAA Tournament appearance in six years today, as they take on
the 13th-seeded Albany Great Danes in the first round of the South Regional.
The winner of this contest moves on to play either fifth-seeded Tennessee or
12th-seeded Long Beach State on Sunday.
The Cavs tied for first place in a tough ACC this season at 11-5, but they were
unable to get anything going in the league tournament, losing out in the
quarterfinals to NC State. Despite the loss, Virginia’s 20-10 record, that
includes several impressive wins, was plenty for it to earn an at-large bid to
its 16th NCAA Tournament and its first since 2001. The Cavs are 21-15 all-time
in the Big Dance and that includes a pair of Final Four appearances in 1981 and
As for Albany, it finished second to Vermont in the America East Conference
regular season standings, but it was able to upset the top-seeded Catamounts,
60-59, in the league tournament championship game to earn an automatic bid to
this event. Last season, the Danes swept the AEC regular season and tournament
championships en route to their first ever appearance in the Big Dance. That
appearance resulted in a 72-59 loss at the hands of second-seeded Connecticut
in the first round.
Today’s game marks the first-ever meeting between Albany and Virginia on the
Albany enters this event averaging a respectable 68.2 ppg on 45.5 percent
shooting from the field and 37.7 percent from long range. The team has also
fared well on defense, holding its opponents to 64.5 ppg. Jamar Wilson, the AEC
Player of the Year, has just about done it all for the Danes this season, as he
leads the team in scoring (18.6 ppg), rebounding (6.3 rpg) and assists (4.9
apg). Jason Siggers is a distant second with 13.9 ppg, while Brent Wilson adds
10.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg. Bent Wilson is also the team’s top three-point threat
with 44.2 percent accuracy from beyond the arc.
The Cavs are paced by the backcourt duo of Sean Singletary and J.R. Reynolds
and they account for a big part of the team’s scoring average of 76.8 ppg.
Singletary has had a simply remarkable season playing in a tough conference and
he leads Virginia in scoring (18.9 ppg), assists (4.6 apg) and steals (37). He
is also grabbing 4.5 rpg and shooting 39.6 percent from downtown. Reynolds
ranks second to Singletary with 17.8 ppg and 3.9 apg and he is also collecting
4.0 rpg. Mamadi Diane chips in with 9.9 pg for the Cavs, who are outrebounding
their opponents by 4.6 rpg on the season.