The America East Conference released its Preseason Men's Basketball Poll today.  The poll was voted on by the league's nine head coaches who could not vote for their own team or team members.  The Vermont Catamounts edged out the Hartford Hawks for first place honors.  Vermont received six first place votes and 62 total points while Hartford got three first place votes and 59 total points.

Following the top two vote-getters were the defending champion UMBC Retrievers who garnered 44 votes, followed by Albany and Stony Brook who tied for fourth place with 40 votes each.

Binghamton received 29 votes good for a sixth place pick.  The Bearcats were followed by Maine and New Hampshire who tied for seventh place with 19 votes each.  Picked to finish last is UMass Lowell with 12 votes.

UMBC is the defending champion.  They defeated Vermont in Burlington to earn the NCAA bid representing America East.  The Retrievers then shocked the basketball world by defeating number-one seed Virginia.  They became the first #16 seed to defeat a #1 seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament.

The America East regular season begins on January 5th. Binghamton opens conference play by hosting New Hampshire at the Events Center.

WNBF News/Roger Neel Photo