MAAC Tournament Preview: Odds, Schedule, Information & Predictions
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is a favorite of mine, despite never getting the winner right. True parity has shown on the neutral court in this one and I suppose we should likely expect more chaos this year.
When is the MAAC Tournament?
Wednesday the 7th through Saturday night.
Where is the MAAC Tournament played?
All games will be played on hallowed hardwood of the historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in beautiful Atlantic City, New Jersey.
How to watch the MAAC Tournament
You travel to the Garden State and take it in. The entire thing is pretty much streaming only otherwise. ESPN+ until the semis and final are shown on ESPNews and ESPNU.
Who won the regular season title?
Iona by margin. They finished 17-3 and on an 11 game winning streak.
A wild one saw second-seeded St. Peter’s avoid the landmines and sneak out a win (they would actually win a few more games after that).
Who will participate
The whole megillah. All 11 member teams will be in the tourney.
How Many teams will the MAAC send to the tournament?
The NCAA tournament can only handle one MAAC team, as evidenced by last year’s shenanigans.
MAAC Tournament Bracket
Quarterfinals will be played over two nights, so no days off here. Everything on the neutral and no reseeding.
MAAC Tournament Odds
Big time favorite in a small time league. What could go wrong?
MAAC Tournament Preview
Byes haven’t always been kind to teams in the MAAC tourney and there may be something to playing a game in the unfamiliar locale before facing a tougher opponent. Teams that played a first round game and then faced a team with a bye waiting for them are 8-6 in the past five tournaments. The three teams that have beaten Iona are the next three in the odds, but even so, this is not a conference to avoid a longshot just based on regular season play. You wanna get weird with a team that has the best 3 point shooting AND free throw % in the league? Mount Saint Mary’s is 60/1.
All that said, Iona is very good. Top ranked offense, top ranked defense, fast tempo, low turnover %, not reliant on the deep ball and sitting on an eleven game winning streak. They could end up facing Sienna in the semifinals. Neither matchup between those two teams this year was competitive at all, with the home teams winning by margin. Siena poor play to end the season (losing five straight) could mean Niagara would take their place in the final four. The Purple Eagles also ended the season on a downswing including a 17 point home loss to the Gaels, so I will likely be looking across the bracket in this one.
Bottom half of the Bracket
Quinnipiac has been bet down a bit and probably should be the a little closer to +300 in the markets. They split with Iona, keeping it close in the road loss, and had a pretty nice non-conference season with wins over SFA, Montana State and a strong showing vs Hofstra. Balanced, sharp from outside and, like Iona, they run at a faster pace. Big knocks would be bad free throw shooting and being a little undersized but, they were able to sweep Rider this year and if it came to it again, I like them versus the Broncos perimeter D.
MAAC Tournament Prediction
Betting a hockey school in a basketball tournament. I’ll take the Bobcats of Hamden to prevail in AC.
My Bet: Quinnipiac +500
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