La Roche College (19-6, 16-2 AMCC) has clinched the men's basketball regular season championship and hosting rights to the 2018 AMCC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament. The Redhawks are looking for their third conference title, and their first one since 2011. The conference tournament begins with first round games on Wednesday, February 21 when #3 Medaille College hosts #6 Mount Aloysius College and #4 Penn State Altoona hosts #5 Hilbert College. #1 La Roche and #2 Penn State Behrend will each receive first round byes.
MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT BRACKET
Championship Round at #1 La Roche College
Semifinals: Saturday, February 24, 2018
1pm: #1 La Roche v. #5 Hilbert RECAP
3:30pm: #2 Penn St. Behrend v. #3 Medaille RECAP
Finals: Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 1pm VIDEO 1 VIDEO 2 LIVESTATS
The top-seeded Redhawks have the third-best scoring offense in the conference, averaging 78.3 points per game while giving up 68.1. They also grab an AMCC-best 42.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Trell Thomas leads the Redhawk attack as he ranks third in the conference with 15.7 points per game. Junior guard Ray Quan Phifer averages 13.6 points, while senior forward Arnes Bajgora adds 13.5 points shooting over 55% from the floor and grabbing a team-leading 6.8 rebounds per game.
#2 Penn State Behrend (19-6, 14-4 AMCC) boasts the conference's top defensive squad, as they give up a conference-low 59.0 points per game. The Lions are led offensively by junior forwards Dan Wanker and Justin Gorny who average 13.0 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. Junior guard Andy Niland ranks fourth in the conference with a 39.7 three-point field goal percentage and averages 10.9 points, 2.1 steals, and dishes out 6.3 assists per game.
Defending AMCC champion, #3 Medaille College (16-9, 13-5 AMCC) enters the postseason with the second-best offense in the league with 81.4 points per game. Senior guard Jalen Smith leads the Mavs, and is fourth in the conference with 15.4 points per game, while shooting a conference-best 45.5 percent from three-point range. Senior forward Mike Hollenbeck is fifth in the AMCC with 6.9 rebounds per game and adds 14.5 points per game. Junior guard Meghale Ford also adds 11.5 points and 3.7 assists per contest.
#4 Penn State Altoona (17-8, 13-5 AMCC) boasts the league's top scorer in senior guard/forward Ishmeal Nance. Nance averages 19.0 points per game and ranks second in the conference with 7.8 rebounds per game. Senior forward Dequan Jackson adds 16.6 points and almost three steals per game, while sophomore center Cameron Gardner-Nicholson owns a conference-best 61.5 field goal percentage, averaging 7.5 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game.
Hilbert (17-8, 13-5 AMCC) enters the tournament as the #5 seed and is led by sophomore guard Masia Phillips who averages 14.0 points per game and freshman guard Antonio Alvarez's 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Defending AMCC Newcomer of the Year, Hunter Martineau, is the floor general for the Hawks and averages a staggering 6.7 assists per game, along with 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Rounding out the field of teams is #6 Mount Aloysius College (6-19, 6-12 AMCC). With new head coach Will Cabrera, the Mounties doubled their wins and went from a ninth-place finish just one year ago to a sixth-place finish and a spot in the playoffs this season. Sophomore guard Julian Stover ranks fifth in the AMCC with 14.9 points per game while also dishing out 2.4 assists and adding 1.3 steals per game. Freshman forward Tommy Pisula's 7.4 rebounds per game rank him third in the league while he also adds 8.9 points per game.