Manhattan might be one MAAC team in this year's NCAA men's tournament, but there are plenty of "MAAC connections" about to participate in the national championship event.
So many that, I hope, you'll forgive me if I left any out (and, will let me know which ones I missed).
Here are ones that your scribe was able to find, in no particular order ...
- Pitt, a No. 9 ssed playing its opener in Orlando: Its staff includes top assistant Barry "Slice" Rohrssen, one of the all-time nice guys to have worked in the MAAC. Rohrssen was Manhattan's head coach for five seasons (2006-07 through 2010-11) before he was fired. But, the Jaspers' seniors, the team's core of Rhamel Brown, George Beamon and Mike Alvarado, were his recruits.
- Providence, a No. 11 seed playing its opener in San Antonio: Its head coach is Ed Cooley, now in his third season there. Cooley was previously the head coach at Fairfield. His staff includes assistants Brian Blaney, who was previously an assistant at Loyiola (2006-08) and at Fairfield (2008-11) and Bob Simon, also previously an assistant at Fairfield (2006-11).
- Michigan, a No. 2 seed playing its opener in Milwaukee. Its head coach is John Beilein, who was the head coach at Canisius from 1992-97. Michigan, under Beilein, advanced to last season's NCAA championship game. He is one of two former MAAC head coaches to direct a team to the NCAA's championship game. Former Siena coach Paul Hewitt, when he was at Georgia Tech, is the other. Both lost in the title contest.
- Iowa, relegated to the "First Four" round where it meets Tennessee on Wednesday in Dayton: Its head coach is Fran McCaffery, who coached five seasons at Siena (2005-10) and took that program to three NCAA tournaments. One of his assistants is Andrew Francis, previously a Siena assistant under McCaffery for three seasons.
- Texas, a No. 7 seed, playing its opener in Milwaukee: Its associate head coach is Rob Lanier, who was Siena's head coach for four seasons (2001-05).
- Mount St. Mary's, which plays UAlbany in a "First Four" contest: One of its assistants is Donny Lind, who was a video coordinator/student manager at Loyola for two seasons (2008-10). Its director of basketball operations is Dave Matturo, who was the DBO at Siena for three seasons (2008-11).
- Stanford, a No. 10 seed, playing its opener in St. Louis: Its assistant coach is Tim O'Toole, who was the head coach at Fairfield for eight seasons (1998-2006). He was also an assistant at Iona for a season and at Army for a season when that program was a MAAC me,ner. O'Toole also had a four-year playing career at Fairfield (1983-87).