Siena Saints Exit NCAA Tourney, Enjoy Late Night TV Attention

HNP Communications Around the Province

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — The Siena College community saw its beloved Saints basketball team lose this month in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The March 19 game in Spokane, Wash., “brought to an end the careers of the best class in Siena basketball history,” according to Siena’s Web site.

Purdue University’s Boilermakers beat Siena 72-64 in the South Region matchup before a crowd of nearly 11,000 people.

The disappointment was balanced somewhat by the focus on Siena’s team by Late Night Show host Jimmy Fallon who said on March 17 that he planned to root for the Saints through the 2010 NCAA tournament.

On March 18, college chaplain Greg Jakubowicz, OFM, blessed a truck filled with Siena souvenirs that was being taken that day to Jimmy Fallon’s NBC studio in New York.

Video clips of the show, which airs at 12:30 a.m. EST, were posted on Siena’s Web site. Photos of the game are available on the Siena Saints page of the college’s Web site.

A week after the game, on March 26, the Siena community learned that coach Fran McCaffery is leaving the Capital District for a basketball coach position at the University of Iowa. Photos and updates about McCaffery’s departure and about Siena’s search for his replacement can be found on the blog of the Times Union.