Binghamton Men's Basketball Prepares for Road Rematch in America East Playoffs
The Binghamton Bearcats Men's Basketball team fell just short in overtime against the UMBC Retrievers, with a chance at a home playoff game on the line. However, the Bearcats have a chance to get revenge this weekend.
"We have to play there, and do what we have to do -- and hopefully, hopefully we do end their season at their place, and we get back on the road and handle what we've got to do."
B-U faces a similar situation as last year's post-season when the Bearcats were swept by the University of New Hampshire in the regular season, but eliminated the wildcats in the quarterfinals of the America East tournament.
"You know we were in the situation last year and so it just goes to show you that it really doesn't matter what happened up to this point. You have to come out and be ready to play. Every team is going to be fighting for their lives and we're playing desperate." explains Head Coach Levell Sanders.
And even if the team is not happy with what happened earlier this week, the Bearcats are embracing being the road underdogs.
"I think that's just as good of a feeling is as getting getting the crowd going home. You know if you knocked down a crucial shot, and the the crowd just goes silent -- it's honestly just as good of a feeling. And that's what we're looking to do this Saturday." said Senior Guard, Dan Petcash.
And in Tuesday's matchup, the team looked to their big men, using Tariq Balogun and Ogheneyole Akuwovo in important minutes, and will likely do so again in the rematch.
"You know, we can use those guys because they switch a lot, and switching and they have these smaller guys, and I bet that we should have the advantage inside." explained Sanders. "So, you know, we'll see how they how they play it. They could also change up their defense a little bit. But if they are switching, I think we've got to take advantage of that."
With their backs against the wall and their best conference record since 2010, the team feels nothing has changed.
"[We] feel confident, I don't think there's been a point in the season when we haven't felt confident. You know, some things just don't go your way. But we know now when to go home. So leave everything out there. I know me personally, I feel confident. I as a team, I know everybody feels confident as well. says Junior Guard, Armon Harried.
Their end goal: Getting back to the big dance for the first time since 2009.
"Looking to win a championship. Plain and simple. You know, that's that's what everyone plays basketball for is to win a championship. And it's that time of the year, you know. This is, as basketball players, your favorite time of year. That's everyone's mindset. You know whatever happened in regular season happened so we're forward looking looking to get it done. It's three games, one championship."
Binghamton tips off on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at UMBC.