ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany will play Siena College for the Albany Cup.
For mid-major programs, the conference tournaments in May, and thus, the conference schedules throughout the year are what really matter.
But in the Capital Region, basketball fans put their stock in one non-conference matchup above the rest – the Albany Cup.
The Albany Cup is given annually to the winner of the UAlbany vs. Siena game. It has been in the hands of the Great Danes for the last two years. UAlbany will look to retain it for a third straight year on Saturday at the Times Union Center.
More than 10,000 fans are expected to pack the area. The energy is palpable and unique to rivalry games, but only three current Great Danes know what it’s like to play in the game, so they’re letting the new guys know what to expect.
“They basically just told us, ‘Play this like another game. Don’t try to do stuff you don’t usually do. It’s gonna be a big crowd, a lotta people talking about the game,’” junior guard Evan Singletary said. “They said, ‘Just play your game and be patient.’”
“There’s an adrenaline rush for sure when you walk in for warm ups and you see how many people are there and then how loud it is,” head coach Will Brown said. “You know, you gotta try not to get caught up in the atmosphere and just focus on trying to win the game.”
The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday – the second half of a double header with the women’s teams.