Sunday, March 1, 2009

MAAC Seedings Set, Expect Surprises

The regular season ended on Sunday.

Next up, the conference's post-season tournament ... 20 teams in all, 18 games in five days and everyone battling for a single NCAA tournament berth (one each for men and women).

The Siena men and the Marist will will each be prohibitive favorites.

But, as is usually the case, anything can happen.

Both favorites each enter tournament play with two conference losses, and each's two losses came to teams that finished second and third in the respective standings.

The Siena men's most-recent setback came Friday night at Niagara and, then, the Saints struggled on Sunday before winning at Canisius.

The Marist women's losses came several weeks ago and they have been strong since. But, the two regular-season losses give hope to everyone else that, maybe, the Lady Red Foxes aren't quite as invulnerable as they have been in recent years.

Here's a look at the tournament's schedule, with all games to be played at the Times Union Center in downtown Albany.

(Seeding position in brackets)
Women's Games
Game 1 Rider (7) vs. Niagara (10), noon.
Game 2 Manhattan (8) vs. Loyola (9), 2 p.m.

Women's Games
Canisius (2) vs. the Game 1 winner, 9:30 a.m.
Fairfield (3) vs. Siena (6), 11:30 a.m.
Marist (1) vs. Game 2 winner, 1:30 p.m.
Iona (4) vs. Saint Peter's (5), 3:30 p.m.

Men's Games
Game 1 Loyola (8) vs. Canisius (9), 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 Iona (7) vs. Marist (10), 9:30 p.m.

Women's Semifinal round game, 9:30 a.m.
Women's Semifinal round game, 11:30 a.m.

Men's Games
Manhattan (4) vs. Fairfield (5), 2:30 p.m.
Siena (1) vs. Game 1 winner, 5 p.m.
Niagara (2) vs. Game 2 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Rider (3) vs. Saint Peter's (6), 10 p.m.

Women's champioinship game, noon

Men's semifinal round game, 6 p.m.
Men's semifinal round game, 8:30 p.m.

Men's championship game, 9 p.m.

Five days, 18 games ...
It equals basketball heaven.

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