Siena Heads Into Big Weekend For Saints’ MAAC Seeding
In the preseason MAAC men's basketball coaches poll, Siena was picked to come in sixth place. The Saints don't often get their deserved respect but they roll into Rider Friday night in second place in the conference, with less than 2 weeks remaining in the regular season. Coach Carm and the green and gold are the last team to defeat Rick Pitino and the first place Iona Gaels, who have won seven straight since.
The weekend starts with a battle against Rider, statistically tied with the Saints, on ESPNU at 7pm. Friday will be the seventh nationally televised game to feature Siena this season. The networks don't pick bad teams to be on at prime time. ESPN must know something that the MAAC coaches didn't. Siena is really good and fun to watch.
In the first match up of these two teams in early January, Siena's Jackson Stormo exploded for 24 points to lead the Saints to a 68-63 victory at the MVP Arena. Rider beat Iona in mid January, so they are looking to knock off Siena to put themselves in the lead for the #2 overall seed in the MAAC Tournament starting in a few weeks.
Sunday doesn't get any easier for Coach Maciariello. Following the game against Rider, the team will travel to Iona for a crucial final regular season match-up. Iona sits on top of the MAAC with a 13-3 conference record. The last time the Saints and the Gaels met was January 28th at the MVP Arena in front of the biggest home crowd of the season. The 70-53 blowout victory over Iona was an emotional night for Saints' leading scorer Michael Baer and his Saints teammates. Sunday's game is at 2pm at Hynes Athletics Center and will likely be a sell-out. You can watch the game on ESPN3.
If Siena earns at minimum a split this weekend, they will be assured at least a #3 seeding in The Hercules Tires MAAC Men's Basketball Championship at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, March 7th through the 11th. With a sweep this weekend, the team that was picked sixth to start the year, could be first at the end of it. For tickets to the MAAC Tournament click here. Good luck to the Saints this weekend!