Teams: American (19-12, 13-5 PL) at Boston U. (24-9, 15-3 PL)
Date and Location: Wed., March 12, 2014, 7:30 p.m. – Agganis Arena – Boston, Mass.
Series: 6th meeting; AU trails 3-2
Last Meeting: L, 71-62 – Boston, Mass. (Feb. 19, 2014)
TV: CBS Sports Network –Jason Knapp (play-by-play), Chris Spataola (analyst)
Radio: WestwoodOne - Sirius/XM91, WSPZ 570AM - Scott Graham, Kyle Macy
Tickets – limited number of seats still available
American University men's basketball, the No. 2 seed in the 2014 Patriot League Tournament, will square off the No. 1 Boston University Terriers on Wednesday night in Boston, with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line. The conference title game tips at 7:30 p.m., in Agganis Arena, live on CBS Sports and WestwoodOne Radio.
The Eagles advanced to the Patriot League Championship for the fifth time in program history and first since winning back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. It is BU's innagural season in the conference. The Terriers were picked No. 1 in the preseason poll, while AU was slated second-to-last.
It will be the sixth meeting (AU trails, 3-2) and third this season between the two schools in a rivalry dating back to 1967. Boston won the last meeting by nine points three weeks ago in Agganis, but it was a much different game in their first meeting in 16 years inside Bender Arena. It was a battle of Patriot League men's basketball unbeatens with each team boasting perfect 6-0 records. AU was locked in offensively however, setting a program record in field goal percentage, shooting 71.4 percent from the floor on their way to an 86-56 victory.
American had its most prolific shooting night in school history, knocking down 30-of-42 attempts against Boston U., topping the previous program record of 69.7 (23-of-33) set against South Alabama in 1981.
American University boasts a 20-10 overall record in Patriot League Tournament games, advancing to the semifinals in 12 of AU's 13 years in the conference. The Eagles have only played eight league playoff games away from Bender Arena and are in search of their first road victory.
Head Coach Mike Brennan has registered one of the best seasons by a first-year coach in AU history, winning 19 games overall and 13 in conference play – an American University record. His overall win total is only topped by Eagle Hall of Famer, Ed Tapscott (20 wins in 1983). For his efforts, Brennan was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year.
Senior center Tony Wroblicky was honored as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-League selection as announced by the conference office on Monday. Junior point guard Darius "Pee Wee" Gardner and sophomore guard Jesse Reed were named to the All-Patriot Second Team, while junior guard John Schoof earned Third Team honors, giving the Eagles a conference-best, four selections.
American's offense continues to be one of the most efficient units in the country as AU ranks ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (.493), upping that number to .505 in conference games. The Eagles are also 35th in assists per game (15.3), dishing out 15.9 against league foes – also a conference best mark.
Defense has become a featured element for the Eagles over the past two weeks holding their last five opponents since meeting BU under 56 points. AU ranks 10th nationally, holding foes to under 60 points per game, allowing only 59.4.
AU also boasts a +6.7 scoring margin in conference games, best in the league, while knocking down 120-of-296 (.405) attempts from 3-point range, the highest mark in the Patriot League.
American opened the Patriot League slate with at 10-0 record, its best start in program history. The Eagles were one win shy of tying the all-time best start in the Patriot League record book and the best conference start in AU history when in the1980-81 season, then head coach Gary Williams led American to a perfect 11-0 mark in ECC play and a 24-6 overall record. During this year's streak, AU twice received a vote in the AP Top 25 poll, its first votes since the 2008-09 season.
Scouting Boston U.
The Terriers enter the Championship game on a four-game win streak, scoring 91 points in both Patriot League Tournament victories over Lafayette in the Semifinals and Army in the Quarters. BU is also 9-1 in their last 10 games.
First Team All-Patriot League guard Maruice Watson leads the Terriers, averaging 13.5 ppg, while leading the league with 7.0 apg. The sophomore point guard had a career high 17 assists in BU's victory over Army last time out. Holy Cross boasts one the best back courts in the league, pairing senior guard D.J. Irving along with Watson. The Second Team All-Patriot League selection is second on the Terriers with 12.5 ppg and 2.3 apg. Senior big man Dom Morris anchors the middle for BU with a team high 6.2 rpg and is third on the team with 11.2 ppg.
With 19 years of coaching experience, Joe Jones enters the 2013-14 season in his third year at the helm with the Boston University men's basketball team. Despite being banned from the America East tournament in March due to the move to the Patriot League, the Terriers (17-13, 11-5 AE) had an impressive year, highlighted by their third postseason appearance in four years. They finished second in the league standings and swept both of the conference tournament finalists en route to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.
More on the Eagles
AU reached 13 Patriot League wins for the second time its 13 years in the conference. Dating back to AU basketball's inception in 1926, the Eagles have only reached 13 league wins in two seasons, both coming in the past six years.
Brennan led a team picked ninth in the preseason poll to a second-place finish in the conference, tying a program record with 13 conference wins and starting the league slate a perfect 10-0, one win shy of the all-time AU record set by legendary coach Gary Williams in 1980-81. American led all teams in scoring defense (59.2 points per game), scoring margin (+6.7), field-goal percentage (50.5 percent), field-goal percentage defense (41.5 percent), three-point field-goal percentage (40.5 percent) and assists (15.9). American became one of only five teams to open the conference slate with 10-straight victories.
Wroblicky, who entered the AU record books as one of 19 Eagles to reach 600 rebounds while becoming American's all-time leading shot-blocker, is the first AU student-athlete to be named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. Wroblicky manned the middle for an American team that led the Patriot League in scoring defense both overall (60.1 ppg) and in league games (59.2 ppg). The Eagles also led the Patriot League in field-goal percentage defense both overall and in League play.
Wroblicky was also honored as a first-team All-Patriot League selection, leading the Eagles and finishing second in the league with 7.3 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocks per game. He led all players in league games with 8.6 rebounds per contest. The Harbor City, Calif., native had a career year with 12.2 ppg, 2.2 assists per game, a .594 field goal percentage and .708 free throw percentage.
Gardner keyed an American offense that is seventh in the nation in field goal percentage and 41st nationally with 15.2 apg. Gardner was AU's "iron man," playing 36.8 minutes per game, a league high, ranking 17th nationally, while scoring 11.3 ppg and pacing American with 4.4 apg -- all in his first season in Washington, D.C.
Reed is one of the most improved players in the Patriot League, finishing the regular season as AU's leading scoring with 14.2 ppg after scoring only 3.7 last season. The second-year swingman ranked fifth in the conference during the regular season in scoring, upping his average to 15.1 in league games; good for third overall. Reed was also locked in from 3-point range, knocking down nearly half of his long-range attempts, 56-of-114, ranking 12th nationally (.491).
Schoof was one of four AU players to average double-digit points this season, scoring 11.8 ppg, good for 18th in the league. American's co-captain with Wroblicky; Schoof dedicated work ethic on and off the court was a driving force for the Eagles this season, while the third-year guard also transformed his own game. Schoof went from a 3-point specialist last season, to all-around force in Coach Brennan's new offense in 2013-14. Schoof still finished third in the Patriot League with 64 3-pointers made and 2.2 3pg.
Wroblicky has etched his name into the American record book several times this season, recording his 500th career rebound at Holy Cross. The fourth-year center also became the fifth player ever in AU history to reach 100 blocks earlier this season and now owns the all-time career rejections record at 149. The big man is also currently second on the singe-season blocks list, swatting 59 this season – two behind the all-time leader.
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Championship Game Ticket Information in AU Fan Block Seating Section
How to Order Tickets:
Tickets in the AU fan seating block at the 2014 Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship Game are still available. Tickets are $22 for adults and $9 for youth, seniors and AU Students. To purchase your tickets within the AU fan seating block for the championship game, please follow the instructions below. All orders must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11th. If wanting tickets in the AU fan block after this deadline, please call or visit the Agganis Arena Box Office on game day and request seats in Sections 112, 111 or 105.
All fans interested in purchasing tickets should go to AUeagles.com/Tickets to submit their Championship Game ticket order and information (prior to Tuesday at 5pm).
Once received and processed, your order will be confirmed via email. All tickets will be available for pick up at WILL CALL at Agganis Arena on March 12, starting at 6:30 p.m.
DC Area Watch Party Hosted by AU Alumni Association at Old Dominion Brewhouse
Join fellow American University alumni, family, and friends in Washington, D.C. for a viewing party at Old Dominion Brewhouse to watch the Eagles take on Boston University in the Patriot League Championship Game on Wednesday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m. Show up early to get a seat!
There is no cost to attend this event. Appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be available.
Click here to RSVP!