This is the fifth time that Siena was qualified for the NCAA Tournament, after winning the MAAC Championship over Niagara University, 77 to 70, on March 9. The Upstate New York Franciscan college played in the tournament last year.
The Saints are the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region and will face Big 10 and eighth-seeded Ohio State in the NCCA first round. The No. 9 seed is the highest ranking ever for the Saints.
Siena College president Kevin Mullen, OFM, and Julian Davies, OFM, instructor of philosophy, will travel to Ohio to watch their beloved Saints.
News of Siena’s NCAA berth was announced early this week at a NCAA Basketball Selection Show Party for the team, coaching staff, students and fans. Scott Noel, the announcer at the college’s Times Union Center, hosted Sunday’s party, where team was also introduced. Basketball players and coaches were interviewed.
The highlight of the party was the CBS-TV telecast of the 2009 Men’s Basketball Selection Show that revealed the 65 teams for this year’s tournament.
The Saints’ trip to the famed “Big Dance” will be the team’s second consecutive appearance. Last year, Siena defeated Vanderbilt University 83 to 62 in the first round, before falling to Villanova University in the second round.