I have been asked by several UMaine basketball fans why both UMaine teams play games against non D-1 colleges?
There are several reasons. First, in the exhibition season before the non-conference regular season games begin the NCAA does not allow D-1 teams to play games against D-1 teams in exhibition contests. So if they want exhibition games they have to play non D-1 teams.
This year the men had wins over D-3 Husson and D-3 St. Joseph’s in exhibition games.
The women played D-2 Stonehill and lost on their CIC home court 68-49. However, the women did go to D-1 Syracuse and scrimmage the Orange which they are allowed to do by NCAA rules. Scrimmages only versus other D-1 colleges in he exhibition season.
However, during the non-conference schedule the men are scheduled to play 2 home games against the University Maine at Presque Isle D-3 and USCAA and the University Maine at Machias USCAA which are at least in the 5th or 6th ranked level of the 10 basketball college divisions which places them 2 levels below D-3 schools.
The women beat the 5th or 6th college level out of 10 college divisions University of Maine at Fort Kent NAIA and USCAA) 100-40 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. They will later in the season play host to D-3 Maine Maritime Academy.
Playing teams below D-1 are not much of plus for the Maine teams unless they are very competitive D-2 or D-3 teams.
There is nothing to gain (except a game against a weaker opponent) and everything to lose like last year when the Men lost to UMFK men 85-80 in an exhibition game at the “PIT”, the practice site for both Maine teams and the women’s loss this year to Stonehill at home at the CIC.
The only real pluses in playing these non D-1 contests are they add needed games to the schedules and it gives the 20/20 players who only play when Maine is ahead or behind by 20 points some needed minutes on the court.
It also can pad and improve the stats for the teams and players. These type of games do not count in the final RPI stats or rankings.
(If you look at the Maine women’s stats on goblackbears.com’s media site THEY ARE INCLUDING THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE @ FORT KENT GAME STATS. Thus, the padding of team and individual statistics have begun.
In the past Husson men and USM men both D-3 teams have beaten the Maine men in exhibition games.
One of the reasons Maine plays non D-1 teams and teams as low as in the 5th or 6th level of the 10 college basketball divisions is that it is very hard to get regular season non-conference D-1 schools to come to Maine for non-conference games so they have to play somebody.
It is all about location, location, location even though Maine has an excellent home court facility in the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor which the only drawback is that it seats under 6,000 and neither Maine team has ever filled the 4 year old facility for a home game.
Other D-1 schools don’t want to travel to Maine especially in the winter time. The long travel and cold winter conditions all contribute to the difficulty in scheduling strong D-1 opponents for non-conference games.
Maine schedules guarantee money road games (like the men just did in playing Texas Tech in Lubbock Tech) which they paid a big price as they got hammered 83-44).
The guaranteed money games must make it all worth while. They also have 3 other such guarantee road games this non-conference schedule.
The men had 2 exhibition games, have scheduled 15 non-conference games 11 on the road, 4 at home 2 being UMPI and UMM and 16 conference games split at 8 home and 8 away.
The women had 1 exhibition game, 1 scrimmage, 13 non conference games 5 at home (2 at “The Pit” and 2 against UMFK and MMA)) and 8 away games and 16 conference games, 8 home and 8 away.
The America East conference tournaments for the Men are at the seed of the highest team in each quarter-final game and semi-final game and the final.
The women’s America East tournament games are being held at the Cross insurance Arena in Portland for the second year in a row.
They each have at least 1 America East Tournament post season game. 2 games if they make the semi-finals and 3 games if thry get to the conference tourney final like the women did last 2 years as the men bowed out in the quarter-final game the past 3 years.
Also, Maine’s location, the weather, the travel for more road games then home games is not an attractive feature when it comes to recruiting US players. It is easier to recruit international players then the negatives for US players.
Again, like many things about the state of Maine it is all about location, location, location when it come for scheduling non-conference games and it is all about the money when scheduling D-1 opponents for guarantee away games.