The UVM men's basketball team clinched the America East regular season title Wednesday night with a 62-50 win over Albany at Patrick Gym. There was plenty of celebrating going on after the victory, but something was missing from the party.
In year's past, when a team has wrapped up the conference championship, a representative of America East has been on hand to present the regular season championship trophy. That has been the case each of the first five times Vermont won the title. The last coming in 2014.
Wednesday night, the conference representative or the trophy was nowhere to be seen.
"I don't know why it wasn't here tonight," UVM head coach, John Becker said after last night's game. "We'll get it at some point. We're able to be recognized by the crowd without it. The last time we won it on Senior Night, we had the trophy and there was a big celebration after that game. We played bad after that, almost like we won the championship that night. So, to not have it here tonight, although I think the guys deserve to have the trophy, it became less of a celebration. Which is probably what our guys prefer, because this is a good goal, but it's not the one we're aiming for."
America East officials tell WCAX Sports in a statement that,"Over the past several years, our basketball coaches have had differing philosophies on when is best to accept the regular-season trophy. As a result, we decided it was best to present the trophy to the champion’s administration, which we did to Vermont’s Jeff Schulman today (Thursday).
UVM wraps up the regular season Saturday at 2 p.m. at home against Stony Brook. It's Senior Day. The Cats will honor Kurt Steidl, Dre Wills and Darren Payen as they look to become the first team in the history of America East to go 16-0 in conference play.
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