Blog Entry

Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Goes 3-0 In ESPN's Marathon

Posted on: November 17, 2009 2:44 pm
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) had three teams win nationally televised games today as part of ESPN's 24-Hour Marathon Tip-Off. But that's not what has the MAAC making headlines this year. The MAAC is generally a on-bid Mid-Major conference. This year however, do not be surprised to find two teams from the MAAC dancing in March.

But let's go over the today's games first before I get ahead of myself.

St. Peter's 58, Monmouth 34 -- 6 AM EST -- Easily the hardest starting time for the whole marathon, St. Peter's battle New Jersey rival Monmouth while most people on the East Coast were eating breakfast. Naturally, St. Peter's F Ryan Bacon scored the first points. (Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.) The Peacocks then went on to hold the Hawks to just 21% shooting (10-47) from the field for the game en route to a blowout win in Jersey City.

Niagara 76, Drexel 69 -- 8 AM EST -- Drexel lead early in this game, but after Niagara took the lead 20-16 with 9:37 left in the 1st half, Niagara led the rest of the way. The Dragons made it interesting at the end of the game coming back from 15 down, but never got closer than three points. Rob Garrison (20 pts) and Bilal Benn (19 pts) led the way for the Purple Eagles.

Siena 59, Northeastern 53 -- 12 PM EST -- Northeastern led by 14 points in the first half, but were unable to hold of the Saints in the 2nd half. Edwin Ubiles led the way for the Saints with 26 points on 11-18 shooting from the field. Siena as a team only shot 38.5% (20-52) from the field for the game but held the Huskies to 35% (22-63). Matt Jenning had 14 points for Northeastern.

All of these were home games for the MAAC teams, who all started the season on the road. Siena won at Tennessee St., Niagara blew a late lead at Auburn and St. Peter's lost on a buzzer beater to Seton Hall. Combine those games with Rider (2-0, wins @ Miss St, vs. Lehigh) and 2-0 Fairfield ( CCSU and Fordham) and you've got the makings of a pretty good conference resume so far. Rider will also visit Virginia and Kentucky later this week. Fairfield plays at Maryland tonight. Siena plays at Georgia Tech and Northern Iowa later. That means that the MAAC's conference power rating (related to the RPI) should be pretty high and a few more high-profile wins in November, could go a long way come March.

And with three legitimate contenders for the MAAC title, don't be surprised a MAAC team get an at-large bid come March. Siena is a few weeks away from potentially breaking into the Top 25 polls. Rider has a resume building win at Mississippi State, projected to win the SEC West. Niagara has played tough non-conference teams well in the past. Don't be surprised, especially if the Saints fall in the MAAC title game, to see them get an at-large bid. They have won 1st round games in back-to-back seasons and gave #1 seed Louisville a great game last March as well. Rider and Niagara have been very close gaining other postseason bids (NIT, CBI, etc.)

As always, the MAAC conferences games are always competitive, and look for the top half of the league to slug it out with each other in the coming months. Also, the road to the MAAC Championship once again goes through the Saints, figuratively and literally. The MAAC title game is in Albany, NY at the Times Union Center, the home of the Siena Saints.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 7:15 pm

Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Goes 3-0 In ESPN's Marathon

Thanks for the heads up JEagle87,

I recorded the game and wasn't planning on watching it... But, would love to see Moore give Rafferty the "Onions" shirt!

Go MAAC and Go Saints!

Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2009 3:17 pm

Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Goes 3-0 In ESPN's Marathon

I can't believe I forgot to mention this, but Marmlin missed out. He should have watched the game at home so he could hear The Coach, Bill Raftery! Raftery by the way got a yellow T-shirt with the word "Onions" in green capital letters from Ronald Moore. He signed it with his name and the quote "Double Order" in reference of Raftery's call of the Siena-Ohio State game last March. Moore hit two 3-pointers, one to tie and one to win against the Buckeyes in OT and 2OT.

Since: Jan 5, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 2:57 pm

Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Goes 3-0 In ESPN's Marathon

I was at the Siena-Northeastern Game... Siena was really flat for the 1st 10 minutes and was 20-6 to start the game. Siena then went on a 32-run and took the lead for the rest of the game. It was actually a very poorly played game for Siena and the only player shooting well was Ubiles.

They didn't look like a top-25 team today and if they play that way against Georgia tech or even Niagara, Rider and St. Peters.. they'll likely lose!

That being said, it was actually kind of reassuring to see them win against a decent opponent when they were clearly having an off-night (Day).... I hope ESPN continues to do the 24 hours marathon year after year... It was a lot of fun to skip work on a Tuesday to go to a game!

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