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Tuesday March 18, 2014 UPDATED Play-In Primer: Get to know Albany

Updated: 8:07pm, March 18

Billy D

UPDATED: Albany survived a furious rally by a mad-bombing Mount St. Mary's that took 37 shots from the 3-point line before succumbing to the Great Danes 71-64 Tuesday night in opening game of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Dayton, Ohio.

For 16th-seeded Albany (19-14), the first NCAA win school history earned the program a date with the top-ranked and top-seeded Florida Gators (32-2) in Thursday's second-round play from the Amway Center in Orlando.

Guard DJ Evans scored 22 points and guard Peter Hooley had 20, as Danes backcourt combined to go 15-for-27 from the floor, but just 2-for-11 from the 3-point line.

The below post was filed earlier this afternoon as a warm-up for the Who-Gets-the-Gators game.

Since the NCAA went to a 64-team field in 1985, no No. 16 seed has ever defeated a No. 1 seed. The record is 0-116.


ORLANDO -- The No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Florida Gators won’t know for certain who they’ll play at the NCAA Tournament at Amway Center until maybe close to 9 p.m. Tuesday. That’s because the South Region’s twin 16 seeds, Mount St. Mary’s and Albany, will butt heads in a so-called play-in game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. Tipoff is set for 6:40.

Since the NCAA field was announced Sunday, members of UF coach Billy Donovan and his staff have watched tape of both teams, courtesy of coordinator Oliver Winterbone and his crack video department, but they'll certainly will take time to watch MSMC and SUNY live on ESPN.

Maybe you will, too.

If so, it makes sense that a getting-to-know you look at both schools and programs was in order. Here’s your introduction to Mount St. Mary's, a tiny liberal arts school nestled in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, and Albany, the Empire State capital’s branch of the massive SUNY system of colleges (and its really cool mascot). 


Where: Emmitsburg, Md.
Founded: 1808
Enrollment: 2,100
Noteworthy: Second-oldest Catholic college in the nation, behind only Georgetown (1789)
Nickname: Mountaineers
Conference: Northeast 

NCAA History
Berths: 3
Record: 1-3
Results: 1995 -- Lost to 1-seed Kentucky 113-67 in first round; 1999 -- Lost to 1-seed Michigan State 76-53 in first round; 2008 -- Defeated Coppin State 69-60 in play-in game, then lost to 1-seed North Carolina 113-74 in second round.

2014 Tournament Resume
Overall record: 16-16
Conference record: 9-7
MSM coach NCAA qualifier: Defeated Robert Morris 88-71 in Northeast Conference Tournament title game. 
RPI: 192
Strength of schedule: 243
Vs RPI Top 50 (0-3): Lost at Villanova 90-59; lost at Brigham Young 108-76; lost at Michigan State 98-65.
Vs RPI Top 100 (0-1): Lost at West Virginia 77-62
Best RPI wins: American (122) and Robert Morris (135).
Worst RPI losses: Maryland-Eastern Shore (348); Sacred Heart (339); Maryland-Baltimore County (329); Binghamton (323).

About the Mountaineers: They started the season with five straight losses and were 4-10 at one time, but the Mounts won their final four games, including an upset of Robert Morris in the tournament final -- yes, the Robert Morris that defeated Kentucky in the first round of the NIT last season. ... MSU works from a three-guard set of all seniors, led by 6-3 senior Rashad Whack (17.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 37.3 percent from 3) and 6-2 senior point man Julian Norfleet (17.5 ppg, 5.4 apg, 46 percent from floor, 35.9 from 3). The third guard is 6-3 Sam Prescott (11 ppg, 5 rpg). ... The Mounts also have a 7-foot, 215-pound center in sophomore Taylor Danaher (7.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg). ... They are coached by Jamion Christian (pictured above right), who played guard at Mount St. Mary's from 2000-03 under Coach Jim Phelan, a NCAA College Hall-of-Famer after winning 830 games (14th in NCAA history) over 49 seasons at the school, a run that included the 1962 Division II national title.

O'MalleyNotable Mountaineer Alumni

* Agnus Berenato (Class of ‘80): Women’s basketball coach at Pittsburgh.

* Rory Michael Bourke (‘64): Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, having written Charlie Rich’s hit of the 1970s, “Most Beautiful Girl.”

* Fred Carter - Averaged 15.2 points for Baltimore, Philadelphia and Milwaukee over eight NBA seasons (player from 1969-76) and was head coach of the 76ers in 1993-94.

* Susan O’Malley (pictured above): Former president of the NBA Washington Wizards and first female president of an NBA franchise (pictured left)

Babe RuthCampus landmark: According to the school’s website, “The National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic shrine devoted to Our Blessed Mother Mary, is a place of worship, pilgrimage, evangelization and reconciliation.This beautiful mountain shrine features one of the oldest American replicas of the Lourdes shrine in France, built about two decades after the apparition of Mary at Lourdes in 1858, and attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims each year from all over the world. It offers the occasion for a deepening conversion, a step forward in the journey to God, with Mary as the model for that journey.”

That’s incredible: A fella name George Herman Ruth, also known as “Babe,” was a student at the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore when its baseball team traveled to Emmitsburg to play the Mount St. Mary’s team. It was there that a young MSU student named Joe Engel watched Ruth pitch and passed his name on to Baltimore Orioles manager Jack Dunn. Things moved fast for Ruth after that.


Great DanesWhere: Albany, NY
Founded: 1844
Enrollment: 17,500
Noteworthy: It's been called six different names over its 170 years. From State Normal School (1844-1990), to New York State Normal College (1890-1914), to New York State College (1914-59) for Teachers, to State University of New York College of Education at Albany (1959-61), to State University College at Alabany (1961-62) to University of New York at Alabany (1962-present), as in SUNY.
Nickname: Great Danes
Conference: America East

Berths: 3
Record: 0-3
Results: 2006 - Lost in first round to 1-seed Connecticut 72-59; 2007 - Lost in first round to 4-seed Virginia 84-57; 2013 - Lost in first round to 2-seed Duke 73-61.

Albany action2014 Tournament Resume
Overall record: 18-14
Conference record: 9-7
NCAA qualifier: Defeated Stony Brook 65-60 in America East Tournament title game.
RPI: 182 (Tied with Oakland) 
Strength of schedule: 287
Vs RPI Top 50 (0-1): Lost at Pittsburgh 58-46 
Vs RPI Top 100 (0-0): None
Best RPI wins: Vermont (108) and Yale (148).
Worst RPI losses: New Hampshire (340); Maryland-Baltimore County (329); Massachusetts Lowell (283).

About the Great Danes: They lost at Stony Brook during the regular season, yet won there to capture the AEC tournament crown. ... The Danes are a balanced bunch with four players who average in double figures: 6-4 guard Peter Hooley (15.7 ppg, 40 percent from 3); 6-6, 230-pound forward Sam Rowley (11.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 52 percent from floor); 5-9 guard D.J. Evans (11.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.8 apg; pictured right) and 6-6, 205-pound forward Gary Johnson (10.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg). ... The coach is Will Brown, now in his 13th season at Albany -- the longest-tenured coach in the America East -- and with a record of 190-205, but with NCAA appearances in two consecutive seasons for the second time during his tenure (’06, ’07).

BurnsNotable Alumni

* Edward Burns (attended; pictured right): Film star from such movies as “Saving Private Ryan.”

* Harold Gould (’47): Film star from “The Sting,” as well TV series “Rhoda” and “The Golden Girls.”

* Steve Guttenberg (attended): Film star of “Diner,” “Cocoon,” and “Police Academy” movies.

Whaley* Tom Junod (1980): Journalist and staff writer at Esquire.

* Tara VanDerveer (’71-72): Women’s basketball coach at Stanford.

* James Jones (’86): Men’s basketball coach at Yale

* Frank Whaley (attended; pictured bottom right): Film star from “Field of Dreams,” “Hoffa” and “Pulp Fiction.”

Fountain Campus landmark: The school’s website invites visitors to “Splash in the fountain ... Whether it be the dramatic, refurbished Main Fountain on the Academic Podium, where students and visitors gather to talk, sunbathe, take photos or picnic, or the walk-through fountain which completes the University's Entry Plaza, relaxing by the waters is a UAlbany way of life.”

That’s incredible: Twice SUNY-Albany has staged a “Guiness Day” to chase a Guiness Book of World Records mark. On April 20, 1985, students successfully played the world largest game of musical chairs -- 5,060 participants. And on April 17, 2005, Albany waged the world’s largest pillow fight -- 3,648 participants.

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