After a long and eventful day on Saturday (the Manhattan/Siena chippiness followed by the ejection of Frank Turner), the four teams pegged by the coaches in the preseason to be the best will play in today's MAAC Tournament semifinals. The first game matches a Rider squad that's playing better basketball, especially on the defensive end of the floor, and regular season champion Siena.
With the top four seeds all moving into the NEC Tournament semifinals we should have two very good matchups on Sunday. The headliner: Mount St. Mary's visiting Robert Morris (7 PM, NortheastConference.TV) in the third meeting between the two this season. This also marks the fifth consecutive NEC Tournament in which the Mountaineers and Colonials play each other, with RMU winning last year's NEC final in Moon Township. The two teams split their regular season meetings with the home team winning both.
Friday was a good day for the America East champion Stony Brook Seawolves, who cleaned up in regards to the end of season awards. Senior Muhammad El-Amin was named Kevin Roberson Player of the Year and Steve Pikiell Coach of the Year. Also honored by the conference were Tommy Brenton (2nd Team All-Conference, All-Defensive) and Bryan Dougher (2nd Team All-Conference). Stony Brook begins their quest towards the America East Tournament title at noon when they take on eighth-seeded Albany.
The MAAC quarterfinals take center stage on Saturday with the top six teams joining the fray along with Friday night winners Manhattan (94-79 over Loyola) and Canisius (72-54 over Marist). The biggest storyline: can Siena pick up their third consecutive MAAC crown? Anything less will likely mean a trip to the NIT despite a solid RPI due to their lack of any RPI Top 50 wins.
"First Round Friday" is here with a pair of games to kick off the men's basketball tournament at the Times Union Center. If there was ever an opportunity to see which teams/players want to keep playing and which ones have simply "checked out" this is it. Marist is back in the tenth seed with hopes of duplicating last year's feat of winning their first game in Albany. But they'll be taking on a Canisius squad that not only has whipped them in both meetings but also should be ready to play hard for departing senior Frank Turner.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced its end of season individual honors on Thursday afternoon, and they are as follows:
Rookie of the Year: G Derek Needham (Fairfield)
6th Man of the Year: F Mike Evanovich (Fairfield)
Defensive Player of the Year: F Anthony Johnson (Fairfield)
Coach of the Year: Kevin Willard (Iona)
Player of the Year: F Alex Franklin (Siena)
One of the eight teams in the Northeast Conference is just three wins away from earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with quarterfinal play kicking things off tonight. Quinnipiac and Robert Morris shared the regular season crown with matching 15-3 league records but Tom Moore's Bobcats get the top seed as a result of their head-to-head win in the lone meeting between the two.
The Northeast Conference announced its all-conference teams and major individual honors on Tuesday morning. The honorees are:
Jim Phelan Coach of the Year: Tom Moore (Quinnipiac)
Player of the Year: F Justin Rutty (Quinnipiac)
Rookie of the Year: G Karon Abraham (Robert Morris)
Defensive Player of the Year: G Mezie Newigwe (Robert Morris)
Most Improved Player: C Liam Potter (Sacred Heart)