Tonight’s North Atlantic Conference men’s tournament semifinals involve three of the top four teams with No. 5 seed Green Mountain College of Poultney, Vt., being the lone interloper after knocking off defending league champion Husson University.
Top seed University of Maine-Farmington will tip things off by hosting Green Mountain at 6 p.m. in Dearborn Gymnasium. No. 3 Thomas College of Waterville will then take on No. 2 Castleton State College of Castleton, Vt., at 8 p.m.
The NAC title game will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Senior forward Rui Carmo, the NAC’s player of the year leads 10-16 Green Mountain — and the nation — with 25.4 points per game. He is also averaging 11.8 rebounds per game. Another key player is Gerard Johnson, who is averaging 9.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game.
The UMF Beavers, coached by co-NAC coach of the year Dick Meader, are paced by all-conference forward Eric Taylor (16.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg) and guard Eric Lelansky (13.1 ppg). The 12-11 Beavers, who went 12-2 in conference play, are also led by senior center and NAC second team selection Josh Tanguay (12.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg).
The Beavers won the first game by 23 points, but Green Mountain took the second with a 63-61 victory, so it’s unlikely that UMF — especially after the Eagles’ upset over Husson — will take Green Mountain lightly.
In the other game, Thomas will put a 19-7 overall record (10-5 in NAC) against Castleton State’s 16-9 mark (10-4).
Thomas is led by backcourt duo Andrew Duncanson, a junior, and freshman Jarrad DeVaughn, who was selected as the NAC rookie of the year after averaging 15.3 points and 6.1 rebounds per game..
Duncanson is averaging 18.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Francisco Alicea (11.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg) also provides a lot of offense.
Castleton, coached by co-NAC coach of the year Paul Culpo, has been paced by Mike Knight (10.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Mark Comstock (10.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg).
Castleton State swept the regular season series with a 69-59 victory on the road and a 67-54 win at home.
Admission for adults is $4 per person, free for UMF students, and $2 for senior citizens, non-UMF college, middle school, and high school students.