It was frigid outside: PopGates’ Sam and Noah Perkins braved the elements; enduring a four hour car ride together from Boston to Vermont – covering the America East Conference Championship game between Albany and Vermont.

The trip was an homage to One-Bid Wonders – OBW, in many ways was the precursor to PopGates. For those unaware of OBW: Brook.land put out a great feature in 2015 about the life and death of One-Bid Wonders. Additionally, NPR’s Only A Game recently featured Sam and One-Bid Wonders, listen here.

The game was supposed to be a cakewalk for Vermont, who came into the game with a 20 game win-streak (the longest in the country). In a hard fought, back-and-forth contest, UVM narrowly defeated Albany 56-53 – punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.

Sam Perkins put together a photo essay of the championship game.

Trevor Gaines was one of the finest men to ever play at Patrick Gym in Vermont
UVM Forward Drew Urquhart dunks during warmups
Albany players prepare to do battle with conference juggernaut Vermont
UVM takes the floor
An Albany player drops the hammer during warmups
The Great Danes lock arms prior to tipoff
Once more into the fray
The Great Danes defense held Trae Bell-Haynes to 8 points on 2-11 shooting
Albany assistant coach Jon Iati
After the game, Albany Head Coach Will Brown described Dre Wills as a 5’11 center who can dribble
Albany senior Mike Rowley looks for the rebound
Joe Cremo puts up a shot
Vermont feels a change of momentum
Travis Charles mauls his way towards the basket
Albany Head Coach Will Brown talks to his staff
Teammates give a helping hand to Travis Charles
The agony of defeat contrasted with the jubilance of victory
Will Brown reflects
UVM players Anthony Lamb and Dre Wills
Dre Wills is all smiles after the game

Sam Perkins

The founder of Onebidwonders, Sam has previously served as the editor for a weekly newspaper based in the metro west, and has had pieces published by the Associated Press as well as several other publications and newspapers and worked as a correspondent for Boston.com. He has also been a featured guest on several sports talk radio shows, and is currently finishing a book entitled “Echoes in an Empty Arena.”