Who plays?: Mt. St. Mary's (2-2) travels to DC to take on American (4-2) in the first of three road games this week.
What's at stake?: The Mount defeated Boston University on Saturday night at home to take care of one potential team that it might be compared with at the end of the season come seeding time if both teams make the NCAA tournament. American is another one of those potential teams, picked to win the Patriot League. The Eagles like the Mount were a part of the tournament last year, a 15-seed losing to Tennessee in the opening round.
When is tipoff?: Monday Night at 9:00pm.
Where is the game?: The Mount has hosted the Eagles the last two years, so a trip back to Bender Arena on the American University campus is in order. If you can't make it down to AU, and the late start might have something to do with, our fine friends at MASN will once again have the broadcast. Just don't ask them who is playing. Not sure who gets the call, but I'm guessing Craig Esherick might be in there somewhere. WTHU-AM Thurmont 1450 will have the radio call. Steve Stofberg and The Mouth of the Mount Roy Sigler bring you the action on the Mount Radio Network. And of course if you want quality (and entertaining) analysis the whole way through, you can join us here at TheFanBlog for a live blog of the festivities.
The Analysis: Another quality mid-major matchup for the Mount. But American has owned the Mounties winning all three games in this series the last three years. Last year was one of the Mount's most disappointing performances of the season. Clearly, the worst performance that I saw from this group all year. The Eagles absolutely manhandled the Mount at the Knott. Both teams have a ton back from last year, and both have been playing well at the start of the year. AU won 66-45 last year and it didn't seem that close.
Advantages for Mt. St. Mary's: There might be a bit of revenge after last year's poor showing by the Mounties. Plus, the Mount hasn't backed down from anyone this year and believes it can win against anyone. Jeremy Goode and Jean Cajou continue to impress for the Mount, but it might be the frontline where the Mount has the real advantage here. I think the Mount's depth of brothers Shawn and Sam Atupem along with Markus Mitchell - and even Tayvon Jackson, who looked good in limited action last night, could be an advantage over American.
Advantages for American: There aren't too many times this year when I'm going to call the opposing guards an advantage, but I think the duo of Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr is top notch. They had their way with the Mount last year and have been doing this for quite awhile as both are seniors. They'll have their hands full with Cajou and Goode, but they might do what nobody has done yet and contain them. Playing against Goode the last two years should help them as they know what to expect.
What to expect?: I'm looking for a grind it out defensive type of game. American had won four in a row before losing to Fairfield on Saturday. Keep in mind that Fairfield lost to Virginia Tech by about 20 a few days after the Mount nearly beat them. I have no doubts in my mind that Jeremy Goode is a better guard than he was a year ago, and no worries that Jean Cajou will add something the Mount lacked in trying to handle American's duo last year. I also think the Mount will get something from the frontline of Beidler, the Atupems and Mitchell. The numbers also show that the Mount has performed better at the start of this season against the better competition. But I can't get the haunting visions of last year out of mind, I hope this team proves me wrong, but I'm taking AU in a war 62-61.
For now on, after I've written my preview - any additional links about the game will be posted at the end of the preview, instead of within the opposing teams links post.
ACC Stats likes the Mount