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ECAC Championship Preview: No. 3 Anna Maria vs. No. 1 Nichols

ECAC Championship Preview: No. 3 Anna Maria vs. No. 1 Nichols

NEW LONDON, N.H. – The second-seeded Anna Maria College men's basketball team has advanced to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championship game scheduled for Sunday afternoon following Saturday's 99-90 win over No. 2 Colby-Sawyer. The AMCATS (15-12) will face top-seeded Nichols College (24-4), who defeated Pine Manor 102-80.

LIVE COVERAGE

Both live stats and live video will be available, courtesy of the Colby-Sawyer College Athletic Department.

BRACKETOLOGY

First Round – Wednesday, March 2

#5 Pine Manor def. #4 Elms - 127-124 - 2OT

Semifinals – Saturday, March 5

Semifinal #1: No. 1 Nichols def. No. 5 Pine Manor, 102-80
Semifinal #2: No. 3 Anna Maria def. No. 2 Colby-Sawyer, 99-90

Championship – Sunday, March 6 – at Colby-Sawyer

#1 Nichols College vs. #3 Anna Maria – 2 p.m.

NO. 3 ANNA MARIA AT NO. 1 NICHOLS

The AMCATS are 9-14 against Nichols dating back to the 1998-99 season. The two teams have not met since January 5, 2012, which resulted in an 85-71 victory for Anna Maria. The AMCATS currently hold a three-game winning streak in the series. Prior to that, the Bison had won 10-in-a-row from February 17, 2004 to February 3, 2010.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

The AMCATS suffered an early exit from the GNAC Tournament as they were upset by Emmanuel in the quarterfinals. Nichols also faced an upset in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament, as they were the top seed but were ousted in the semifinals by Endicott. The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for the Bison.

Both teams were offered bids to the ECAC Tournament and were awarded first-round byes. The Bison faced No. 5 Pine Manor, who won the play-in game over No. 4 Elms. Nichols was dominant in the 22-point victory.

The AMCATS faced No. 2 Colby-Sawyer in their ECAC Semifinal matchup, and used a 16-4 stretch mid-game to claim the upset.

SCOUTING THE AMCATS

As a team, Anna Maria averages 79.6 points per game and shoots at a 44.7 percent efficiency. The AMCATS hit an average of eight three-pointers per contest. Defensively, the AMCATS allow an average of 82.2 points per game, while opponents shoot at 45.5 percent.

Probable Starters:

Patrick Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) – a senior guard and team co-captain, Bradanese averages a team-leading 19.9 points per game, shoots 41.9 percent from the floor, and dishes out a GNAC-best 5.7 assists per game. Defensively, Bradanese averages 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game and was named a GNAC All-Conference First Team selection.

Tyler Delorey (Worcester, Mass.) – a senior guard a team co-captain, Delorey is second on the team in scoring with 14.1 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting. He adds 2.2 assists per game along with 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.

Corey Pryor (Whinisville, Mass.) – a senior guard, Pryor spent most of the season as the sixth-man, but worked his way into the starting lineup for the final two games of the season, including the GNAC Quarterfinal game. Pryor averages 11.3 points per game and shoots at 43.5 percent from the floor.

Kyle McKissick (Charlton, Mass.) – a senior forward, McKissick has been crucial in the paint for Anna Maria. He averages a team-leading 7.7 rebounds in addition to 8.8 points per game.

Pedro Trindade (Billerica, Mass.) – a senior forward, Trindade averages 6.1 points per game on a team-leading 53.3 percent shooting effort. He adds 4.8 rebounds per game.

SCOUTING THE BISON

Nichols averages 91.5 points per game and holds a 16.2 scoring margin on the season. As a team, they shoot at 43.7 percent from the floor while also hitting 10.2 three-pointers per outing. The Bison average 39.9 rebounds per game.

Probable Starters:

Marcos Echevarria – a freshman CCC All-Conference second team selection, Echevarria averages a team-leading 19.0 points per game while shooting 42.2 percent from the floor. He scored a game-high 25 points in the team's semifinal win against Pine Manor.

Irving Eggleston – the CCC Player of the Year for the second-straight season, Eggleston averages 18.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and shoots at 45.0 percent from the floor.

Devin Stallings – Stallings averages 11.6 points per game along with a team-high 6.4 rebounds on the season. Stallings scored 24 points in the team's semifinal win against Pine Manor.

Gustave Koumare – Holding a team third-best 14.5 points per game, Koumare is the only member of the Bison squad to shoot above .500, checking in at 50.4 percent.

Christian Horton – A CCC Third Team selection, Horton has started all 28 games for Nichols this season. He adds 9.3 points per game and dishes out 4.0 assists per outing.

WINNER GETS THE TITLE

The game will mark the season finale for both teams, but the winner will be named the ECAC New England Champions. Anna Maria has never won an ECAC title.