MAAC Wrapup & Tourney Preview

Posted by nvr1983 on March 6th, 2009

Ray Floriani of College Chalktalk is the RTC correspondent for the MAAC and NEC Conferences.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Times Union Center in Albany is the site. The women’s tournament started Thursday for the MAAC and the men get things going tonight with the champion crowned on Monday evening. The schedule…

Friday
7:30- Loyola – Canisius
9:30- Iona – Marist

Saturday
2:30- Manhattan-Fairfield
5:00- Siena vs. Loyola-Canisius winner
7:30- Niagara vs. Iona-Marist winner
10:00- Rider-St.Peter’s

Sunday
7:30- Semifinal
10:00- Semifinal

Monday
9:00- Championship (on ESPN)

The seeds and EM (efficiency margin is offensive – defensive points per possession).

SEED TEAM EM
1. Siena +.12
2. Niagara +.14
3. Rider +.02
4. Manhattan -.03
5. Fairfield -.02
6. St.Peter’s -.03
7. Iona -.02
8. Loyola -.04
9. Canisius -.08
10. Marist -.10

Rider-St.Peter’s is an interesting matchup. St.Peter’s has captured five straight MAAC games and enters Albany with a great deal of momentum. The second game of that string was a win at Rider on February 13th so this one should be quite an intriguing contest.

TOP 5 Offensive PPP
1. Siena 1.08
2. Niagara 1.07
3. Rider 1.04
4. Fairfield 1.00
5. Loyola .98

Top 5 Defensive PPP
1. Niagara .93
2. Iona .94
3. Manhattan .95
4. Siena .96
5. St.Peter’s .97

Iona was second in PPP on the defensive end so why are the Gaels in a 10 p.m. 1st round game ? Simple, offense or lack of it. Iona’s offensive PPP was .94 and their 23% turnover rate was the poorest in the conference.

If things go true to form , Siena will face Niagara or Rider in the finals. The Saints have two MAAC losses , one to each of their two possible semifinal opponents. Siena is the fastest paced MAAC team with 73 possessions per outing. The conference average this season was 68 possessions. Rider (70 POSS) and Niagara (71) do not exactly walk it up the floor and would be willing to get out and run with Fran McCaffrey’s club.

Siena’s semifinal opponent will be Manhattan or Fairfield. Both operate at an under 70 possession pace so it will be interesting to see if whomever advances can impose their will and shorten the game. Pace will be a significant factor in that contest.

The possible Siena-Niagara championship game brings up the psychological aspect. Siena was handled 100-85 at Niagara’s Gallagher Center a week ago. One of two things can happen. The Saints could look to give a payback or the game could play on their psyche. That 15 point loss made Siena look less than invincible.

Final note…That Niagara-Siena affair was quite the entertaining contest if you are a Purple Eagle fan and/or you love transition basketball. The game pace was 78 possessions. Siena had an 1.11 PPP while Niagara, with six double figure scorers, checked in at 1.25 PPP. Quite an offensive display and something McCaffrey will remind his players about should the two meet again.

nvr1983 (1308 Posts)


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