What-to-know tourney preview: The MAAC

Joe Mihalich is trying to coach Niagara to its fourth NCAA tournament. (USATSI)


1. Will Niagara sweep the regular-season and tournament titles?

Joe Mihalich's program was picked fifth in the preseason poll, but it won the regular-season title and is favored to win its first tourney crown since 2007. Antoine Mason and Juan'ya Green combine to average more than 35 points per game for the top seed.

2. What is the most entertaining aspect of the MAAC tourney?

Clearly Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos. He once put two guys on Stephen Curry for the entire game, and he also sat in the stands for the better part of one game. You just never know what he's going to do next. Patsos' Greyhounds won the tourney last season -- and have a chance to repeat this year with Erik Etherly leading the way. 

3. Can the Baron father-son duo cap off a special season with a title and an NCAA tourney berth?  

Jim got fired at Rhode Island last season and took the job at Canisius, and his son Billy followed. The program won a total of five games under Tom Parrotta last season and was picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll but went 18-12 and finished in fourth place.

Schedule: All games at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.: March 8 (first round); March 9 (quarterfinals); March 10 (semifinals); March 11 (championship)

Title game: Monday, March 11 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (at MassMutual Arena in Springfield, Mass.)


  • Erik Etherly (Loyola)
  • Billy Baron (Canisius)
  • Lamont Jones (Iona)

Conference RPI: 14
KenPom.com rating:
Sagarin rating:

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