UMass Lowell gets first America East win, edges Binghamton

Matt Harris scored 24 points, Josh Gantz added 19 and UMass Lowell beat Binghamton 79-71 on Sunday for the River Hawks’ first America East Conference win this season.

At the beginning of the season, very few brave souls would have had the Jaguars one game away from the Super Bowl. Of course, there’s a major roadblock in facing the Patriots in Foxborough. Based on simulations, New England is the clear favorite with a 79-percent probability to win this game and return to the Super Bowl. When looking at the postseason history of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots have been very difficult to beat at home. Out of 21 home playoff games under this duo, they have lost only three. The last rare defeat came in 2012 against the Baltimore Ravens.

The Philadelphia Eagles defense stepped up and stopped the Atlanta Falcons’ high-flying offense in the divisional round. This time, they face a premium defense when the Minnesota Vikings come to play the NFC championship game outdoors in Philadelphia. The visitors are again favorites against the Eagles because QB Nick Foles has not exactly inspired confidence in bettors.

Isaiah Moss scored 15 points for the Hawkeyes (11-11, 2-7 Big Ten), who won for just the second time in seven games and for the first time at home in league play.

Wisconsin: The Badgers missed an opportunity for a rare road win in the league, and they’re now two games below .500 in conference play. Wisconsin plays six of its last nine Big Ten games at home — but that won’t matter if the Badgers perform as poorly as they did in Iowa City. Their bigs outworked our bigs, Gard said.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes played one of their worst games in recent memory their last time out, an 87-64 loss to No. 3 Purdue in which they trailed 51-20 at halftime. So to jump out to a big lead and keep it was an extraordinarily encouraging sign for an Iowa team that had gone largely backward since Big Ten play resumed. You can’t play like you did against (Purdue) and win in this league…if you play this way, you have a chance to win, McCaffery said.

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