Overall Rank: #136
Conference Rank: #3 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
In a recent installment in his player interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with one of the greatest players (if not the greatest) in Siena history in guard Marc "Showbiz" Brown. Brown ran the point for Mike Deane's team that in 1989 knocked off Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and led the Saints to the 1991 NIT quarters.
Jon Teitel: You were nicknamed "Showbiz". How did you get the nickname, and did you like it?
Northern Iowa became the fifth team to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament, beating Wichita State 67-52 to win their second consecutive Missouri Valley Conference tournament title. Trailing by three at the half, Ben Jacobson's Panthers outscored the Shockers 39-21 in the second half, holding Wichita State to 23.1% shooting in the final twenty minutes. Kwadzo Ahelegbe led the way with 24 points while Jake Koch added 13 off the bench. Koch's performance highlighted a solid effort from the UNI reserves, who helped spark the decisive 23-3 run.
The first week of December also marks the beginning of conference play in leagues like the Metro Atlantic who play their conference tournaments the first weekend in March as opposed to the second. The conference picked up some good results in the first month of the season, with Rider opening the season by beating Mississippi State in Starkville and beating St. Joseph's earlier this week.
The MAAC race should be quite exciting with Niagara, Rider, and Siena all legitimately pushing for the conference title. Expect all three to consistently appear in mid-major rankings.