The Duke Blue Devils are all set to take on Albany this Friday (12:15 ET) in the 2013 NCAA Tournament’s Round of 64. Don’t know much about Albany? No need to worry: we have you covered.
School Name: University of Albany
Mascot: Great Danes (yes, really)
School colors: purple and gold
Conference: American East Conference
Overall record: 24-10
Conference record: 9-7 (tourney champs, 5th place in regular season)
Impressive win(s): 63-62 win at Washington, 61-59 win vs Stony Brook
The Resume Part 2: Breakdown
Albany is one of those teams that HAD to win their conference tournament in order to get into the tournament. The Great Danes enter the tournament with an RPI of 128 and a thoroughly impressive resume. This isn’t entirely the team’s fault, as they weren’t exactly given a strong schedule that allowed them to pick up key victories, but there isn’t a game that you can point to and say, “this is proof of why this team is scary.”
The one opponent they shared with Duke, Ohio State, crushed the Great Danes by a score of 82-60 back in early November. They appear to be the kind of team that beats the teams they are supposed to beat and lose to the teams they are supposed to lose to, and those teams never seem to fare well in the tournament.
The one thing they do have going for them is that they are heading into the tournament playing their best basketball of the season, as evident by their impressive tourney run in which they picked up victories over strong Stony Brook and Vermont squads.
They are led by Mike Black and Jacob Iati, two senior guards who form a dynamic duo in the backcourt. Black puts up averages of 14.9 points and 2.5 assists per game, while Iati scores at a pace of 12.1 points per game while shooting 41% from beyond the arc.
As a team, they don’t do anything particularly well, ranking 250th nationally in points per game, 217th in rebounding, and 146th in field goal percentage. Their defense has been steady, but that may have been a result of the level of competition they faced throughout the season.