Monday, March 14, 2011

Post-Season Has Many MAAC Connections

National post-season tournament time is upon us, and the MAAC is well-represented, not only in terms of teams moving on, but with some individuals participating who have past conference ties.

Here's the line-up from the conference, as best as your blogging hoopscribe can determine:

- Saint Peter's, of course, is headed to the NCAA event courtesy of its conference tournament championship.

The Peacocks (20-13 overall) will meet Purdue (25-7) in a first-round game Friday in Chicago. Purdue is its region's No. 3 seed, while Saint Peter's is a No. 14 seed.

- MAAC regular-season champion Fairfield got the conference's automatic berth to the National Invitation Tournament awarded to regular-season titlists that don't also capture their league's post-season event.

Fairfield (24-7) will play a first-round game on Tuesday at 9 p.m. at Colorado State (19-12).

- Iona and Rider have both accepted invitations to compete in the College Postseason Tournament.

Rider (23-10) plays at Northern Iowa (19-13) in a first-round contest on Tuesday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at 7 p.m.

Iona (22-11) travels to play at Valparaiso of Indiana (23-11) in an 8 p.m. game on Wednesday.

Others in the tournament with MAAC ties:

- Michigan is a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament and plays a first-round game Friday against Tennessee in Charlotte, N.C. The Wolverines are coached by John Beilein, who coached at Canisius from 1992-93 through the 1996-97 season.

- Florida is a no. 2 seed and meets UCSB in a first round game Thursday in Tampa, Fla. Rob Lanier, the former Siena head coach (2001-02 through 2004-05), is an assistant on the Gators' staff.

- Former Manhattan player Chris Smith, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, is now on the Louisville roster where he is listed as a walk-on transfer. Louisville, a No. 4 seed, plays its first round contest Thursday in Denver against Morehead State. Smith is Louisville's fifth-leading scorer (9.1 points per game) and third-leading rebounder (4.6).

If we've missed any MAAC connections for post-season participation, please leave the oversight in the comments' section.

We'll check in with the women's post-season connections tomorrow. Post-season tournament assignments for women's teams take place later tonight (Monday).

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