Siena Saints Win MAAC Title, Earn NCAA Bid

Phil Jacobs Around the Province

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. — Not since 1989 has the Siena College basketball team been in this position. They have a chance to knock off 19th ranked Vanderbilt University in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

That year, Siena defeated third ranked Stanford in a major upset on the their way to the next level of competition.  The talk around the tournament this year is that ranked Vanderbilt is vulnerable and may fall victim to the surging Saints.

On March 10, Siena defeated Rider University of Lawrenceville, N.J., 74-53 to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and earn the school’s fourth berth in the NCAA tournament. In addition to the 1989 appearance, Siena had also advanced to the tournament in 1999 and 2002 to play against teams not as highly ranked as Vanderbilt.  In 2002, the Saints defeated Alcorn State of Mississippi in the first round but then lost to eventual national champion University of Maryland.

This NCAA Midwest Regional game will be played Friday, March 21, 7:20 p.m. in Tampa, Fla.
Friday’s Vanderbilt-Siena winner will battle the victor of the Clemson-Villanova contest on Sunday, March 23.

We wish Siena Head Coach Fran McCaffery’s crew success as they leave local waters and navigate toward a victory over the Commodores.

 Phil Jacobs is a graphic designer in the Province’s Office of Communications.