Tag:Marist Red Foxes
Posted on: March 8, 2010 10:40 am

Marist Women Continue Domination of MAAC

Yesterday the MAAC Women's Tournament concluded with a sight about as familiar as the UConn Women winning in recent years.

Marist 66, Fairfield 49

With the win, Brian Giorgis' squad clinched their 5th straight MAAC tournament title thanks to star-player Rachel Fitz (named Tournament MVP) and her 15 points and Corielle Yarde's 17 points. It was the teams' 7th straight regular season and title appearance, the teams only loss in the title game was against Canisus in 2005.

Marist will make their 5th straight NCAA appearance and 6th in the last 7 years. Prior to the Red Foxes run, the MAAC had only one Women's NCAA victory (9th seeded La Salle over 8th seeded UConn in 1989, UConn's first NCAA appearance), and Marist has three of them in a two year span. In 2007 as a 13 seed, Marist knocked off 4th seed Ohio State and then 5th seeded Middle Tennessee St., another good women's mid-major program. Marist also scored a victory as a 7 seed in 2008 over 10th seeded DePaul.

And yes, Marist did get attention during that 2007 tournament because anytime a 13 seed makes it to the Sweet Sixteen in the Women's NCAA, it's kind of a big deal. Marist even spent a good portion of the 07-08 season in the Top 25, something unheard of in the unheralded Metro Atlantic.

So how does a team like Marist dominate a league for this long and have it go unnoticed by the mainstream public? Because if it's not the UConn Huskies, Tennessee Vols or another women's power house, the public doesn't care. Mainly because the media doesn't care about it since the only women's stroies this year is UConn winning and Baylor's Griner throwing a punch in a game. So the fact that Marist is 110-12 in the MAAC since the 03-04 season is something that very few outside of Poughkeepsie NY probably know. And that's a real shame.

Because it's very hard for a men's mid-major to sustain success at a high level (like Butler) and get national attention. It's next to impossible for a women's program to do it for as long as Marist has, yet aside from their '07 NCAA run, Marist has gotten basically no media attention.

So Marist isn't on a 70-game winning streak. They aren't ranked in the Top 25 and probably get a double-digit seed in the NCAA tournament. But ask the 11-ranked Oklahoma Sooners how they felt after winning in overtime at Marist in the beginning of the season. They know how good this team is and how dangerous they could be in March.

It's just a shame that no one else does.
Posted on: March 6, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: March 6, 2010 11:02 am

Metro Atlantic (MAAC) First Round Recap

Manhattan 94, Loyola (MD) 79

Jaspers' G Rico Pickett, the leading scorer in the MAAC this season, put on a show in the opening game of the MAAC tournament, scoring a career high 33 points on 10-18 shooting and 10-11 from the FT line, as he helped the Jaspers defeated the Greyhounds in the first round. Manhattan lead by 15 points at the break and were up by as many as 19 before Loyola cut the lead to 5 points late in the second half before Manhattan put them away.

Up next for the Jaspers, a date with No. 1 Siena today at 4:30 PM

Terrible job by me picking Loyola. Why I ever thought it was a good idea to pick with Jimmy Patsos, is beyond me. The lesson, as always, I am an idiot.

Canisus 72, Marist 54

There are a lot of folks in Poughkeepsee, NY saying, "Thank God that's over." The Red Foxes worst season in program history ended yesterday at the hands of the Canisus Golden Griffins. The Griffs went on a 12-0 run in the first half, breaking a 16-all tie and went into the break up by 8. Marist was able to keep the deficit at single-digits early in the 2nd half, but could not stop Canisus' hot shooting. The Griffs hit 10 3-pointers and went 16-21 from the line in the victory.

Up next for Canisus, a game with No. 2 Fairfield at 7:30 PM

Terrible job by MSG yesterday. Instead of putting on two mediocre MAAC tournament games, they put on the Knicks. Clearly the MAAC games would have been better.

I'll be back later with my Quarterfinals preview. Here are some links below to keep tabs on all the MAAC action.

MAAC Tournament Homepage/Bracket
OBM's MAAC/OVC Late Night Special
Posted on: March 5, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: March 5, 2010 11:55 am

2010 Metro Atlantic (MAAC) Tournament Preview

2010 MAAC Tournament
Albany, NY - Times Union Center (8,065 cap.)

Ahhh...March Madness is once again upon us and that means an entire month in front of the TV watching college basketball. This is my favorite time of year, it beats the Super Bowl and NFL playoffs, baseball and the World Series, everything. Maybe it's the brackets. Maybe it's the upsets. Maybe it's just the best post-season format in sports (and adding thirty teams would kill it, but that's for another day).

Either way, I get 5 weeks of great college basketball with the Metro Atlantic tourney this weekend, the Big East tourney next week and the NCAA tourney from mid-March to April. Okay, so not everyone cares about the MAAC tournament, but the Big East tournament is going to have huge bubble implications and well, the NCAA tournament is just great. Especially the first weekend with the first two rounds. Nothing can top that week.

So, without further ado, my Metro Atlantic tournament preview...

MAAC Standings

The bottom four in the standings will play (7v10 / 8v9) Friday in the first round. Those teams will be reseeded, the lowest seed playing No. 1 Siena and the higher playing No. 2 Fairfield in the quarterfinals. The other two quarterfinals are set all ready set (3 Iona-6 Niagara / 4 St. Peters- 6 Rider).

The Favorite - No. 1 Siena

I am getting sick of this team. But that's what happens when you're dominating everyone in conference play. No one can beat these guys. It's the best team and program in the conference. Fran McCaffery's four-headed monster of Alex Franklin, Edwin Ubiles, Ryan Rossiter and Clarence Jackson (14 ppg or higher) have lead Siena to another regular season MAAC title and they're looking for their third consectutive NCAA tournament berth. But they'll likely need to win the tournament, as their resume lacks good non-conference wins. Either way, they're playing at home where they're 14-0 this season and are the odds on favorites to win.

The Contenders - No. 2 Fairfield, No. 5 Rider, No. 6 Niagara

Could Iona and St. Peter's (ranked 3 and 4 respectively) make noise in the MAACs, absolutely, but I wouldn't be picking them. Fairfield has quietly had the second best season in the conference, and they've been quietly good for a few years now. Ed Cooley's Stags have endured personnel problems, injuries and a host of other things in recent years and they still keep winning. Fairfield played Siena tough this year, though they lost both times, Siena had to hold on for a two-point victory in Albany on Feb. 8.

Niagara and Rider were pre-season favorites to contend with Siena for the MAAC title. Though they both didn't have great seasons, both overall and in the MAAC, both teams have the talent to beat Siena. Niagara actually has done it, an 87-74 home win Feb. 12. Niagara however lost the tie-breaker with Rider for the 5th seed since Rider swept the season series with the Purple Eagles. Personally, I'd want to be on the other half of the bracket, awaay from Siena, but that's because Siena crushed Rider in both meetings 84-62 and 80-54 this season. Rider however does have the MAAC's best non-conference win, at Miss. St, who was ranked 19th to open the season.

Cinderella Story - No. 7 Canisus

If you're looking for a team to win from the MAAC's bottom four and first round teams, the Griffs are your best bet. They'll have to beat hapless Marist (1-28) and then Fairfield to make the semifinals. Canisus lost both games to Fairfield this year, but by a total of only 8 points.

Quarterfinal to Watch - No. 5 Rider vs. No. 4 St. Peter's

These two in-state rivals split their season series, with each team winning on the other's home court. And these two student fan bases don't need much of a reason to get excited for this game. Only bad news - winner plays Siena.

MAAC Tournament Final That You Want To See... No. 2 Fairfield vs. No. 1 Siena

Okay, I know that chalk isn't all that exciting, but Fairfield has the best resume against Siena, even with two losses. They've been the only team to threaten Siena's home court this season, where the Saints are undefeated. For a national TV stage, these are the two best teams in the MAAC this season. Siena's NCAA resume probably won't be enough to make it into the big dance, so they'll need a MAAC tournament title to seal their fourth trip to the big dance.


First Round:
[7] Canisus, [8] Loyola MD
Quarters: [1] Siena - [5] Rider, [2] Fairfield - [6] Niagara
Semisfinals: [1] Siena - [2] Fairfield
MAAC Title: [1] Siena

Siena is just too good right now at home. Thankfully, the MAAC tournament is moving to Springfield, Mass for the 2012 MAAC tournament, a nuetral site for all Metro Atlantic teams. The 2011 Tournament will take place in Bridgeport, CT and the Arena at Harbor Yard, the off-campus home of the Fairfield Stags. Siena is the class of the Metro Atlantic right now and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. Regardless, even if Siena losses, they have earned an automatic bid to the NIT by virtue of their regular season MAAC title.

I'll be around all weekend blogging about the MAAC before focusing on the Big East next week. And now to channel my inner Dick Vitale..

March Madness is here BABY!!! Greatest time of the year!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com