Championship Week Preview- MAAC
MAAC TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
Bubble- Siena- Probably has to win the tourney to get into the Big Dance.
3 Players to Watch-
Alex Franklin (Siena)- Named MAAC Player of the Year. Averaged 15.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg. 2nd in FG % 56.6%.
Tyrone Lewis (Niagara)- A remarkable story, just read. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?columnist=oneil_dana&id=4882816. Oh, and he can play.
Ryan Thompson(Rider)- Following in his brothers footsteps at Rider, the little Thompson, Ryan has had a very productive career. His older brother Jason plays for the Sacramento Kings. Ryan was 2nd in the MAAC in scoring, averaging 16.9 ppg.
Projected Championship Game- 1. Siena (24-6) (17-1) vs 6. Niagara (17-14) (9-9)
Niagara is a stretch, but they have the experience to methodically pick through the competition. Siena and Niagara have met in the MAAC Title Game 2 of the last 3 years. This would be the rubber match, Niagara won in 2007, Siena last season.
Tyrone Lewis is a good player, and he can carry Niagara. Bilal Benn is The Purple Eagles have been a bit of a dissapointment this season, they were projected to finish in the top four of the MAAC standings in pre-season predictions. They are a six seed in the MAAC Tournament. They did hand Siena its only conference loss this season.
Siena has been a NCAA Tournament Nightmare for teams the previous two seasons, winning a pair of First Round NCAA Tournament Games. They beat the #4 seed Vanderbilt in the 2008 Tourney, and #8 seed Ohio State last season.
Siena is led by Player of the Year F Alex Franklin, swingman Edwin Ubiles, and point guard Ronald Moore. Moore is a fantastic distributer, leading the NCAA with 7.7 apg. Ubiles puts in 15.2 points a night.
Prediction- Siena, they win the rubber match and head to their 3rd straight NCAA Tournament Appearance.
Projected NCAA Tournament Seed- Siena (12)