February 21st, 2005
This Week in the MAAC:
With this week being
the final week of the season, itís time for many teams to buckle down
and make a stretch run to the MAAC tournament. While Niagara and Rider
may have locked up the top two spots, which team will win the regular
season crown is still in question. Seeds 3-8 are up for grabs as well,
making for some big games this week before the teams head to Buffalo for
the tournament March 3-7. Hereís a look at some of the more notable
games this week.
Game of the Week:
Niagara at Rider (Saturday, 2pm)
This will no doubt be
the game of the year for either team, and depending on what happens
before this matchup goes down, the winner could walk away with the
regular season title and the all-important bye to the tournament
semifinals. It would be a horrible time for the Purple Eagles to drop
another road game and possibly playing themselves out of the top spot.
The Broncsí win against Fairfield on the 16th knocked the
Stags out of contention for first place, making this showdown all the
more important as it made the race for the bye a two-team race.
Dog of the Week:
Siena at Loyola (Thursday, 7pm)
The Greyhounds were
next-to-last going into the previous weekendís action but held a
three-game lead over the Saints. Loyola needs a win to possibly lock up
8th place in the conference depending on what happens in
their other games this week. A win by the Saints after upsetting
second-place Rider on the 20th would give them a boost going
into the tournament.
Other Notable Games
Marist at Iona
Hereís proof how
close the race is in the middle of the MAAC: Iona can move into a tie
for 4th with a win and have a chance to clinch a first-round
bye in the tournament. However, a Marist win and a Fairfield loss later
in the day means that the Red Foxes will be tied for third and may send
the Gaels to the bottom half of the conference standings.
St. Peterís at
Fairfield (Monday, 6pm)
The Stags need to win
as well to stay in the hunt for a first-round bye. The problem is, so
do the Peacocks. Both teams need to bring their game with them because
the losing squad will drop out of contention and stick themselves with a
Canisius at Manhattan
Both teams are
mathematically still in the hunt for fourth place, but Manhattan has the
better chance of getting thereóa win could place them in a tie for the 4th
playoff spot. A Golden Griffin win ties them with the Jaspers in the
standings, but they will need help to climb into the top half of the
conference (namely from Iona and St. Peterís).
Niagara at St.
Peterís (Thursday, 7pm)
The Purple Eagles
havenít been able to lose on their home court, the Gallagher Center.
Unfortunately, they havenít been able to win on the road (4-8) and with
the Peacocksí record at 8-1 at home and the playoff race tight, now is
the time for Niagara to get over their road troubles.
Manhattan at St.
Peterís (Sunday, 2pm)
The final conference
game of the season. This should be important for both teams because
depending on this weekís action, one of these teams could be playing for
the all-important bye through the first round of the tournament.
Next week Iíll have a
preview of the MAAC Tournament.