Good morning from the Times-Union Center, where the MAAC tournament will get underway at noon when the 10th-seeded Rider women tip off against No. 7 Loyola in the play-in round.
By Saturday night, when the men's quarterfinals start -- and especially when top-seeded Siena plays -- there will be five or six thousand fans here and the kind of buzz that typically comes with postseason basketball.
Well, I'm the only reporter on press row and there are exactly six fans in attendance, meaning there are 8,599 empty seats.
But I'm here and as far as this blog is concerned, that's all that matters.
I'll be posting live updates all day every day from now until whenever both Rider teams have been eliminated from the tournament. Hopefully for Rider that means I'll still be here for the men's championship game on Monday night.
There are two women's games today -- No. 8 Canisius takes on No. 9 Niagara at 2 -- and the men's and women's award ceremonies are tonight.
Jason Thompson is the runaway favorite to be the men's Player of the Year and Tommy Dempsey will likely win Coach of the Year, so it should be a good ceremony for the Broncs. Mike Ringgold was named to the All-Rookie team, making him a finalist for Rookie of the Year, so he will be in attendance as well. The smart money is on Marist guard Jay Gavin to take that honor.
If you haven't already, be sure to submit your men's tournament picks to firstname.lastname@example.org by 7:30 tomorrow in order to enter the sweepstakes for a free t-shirt of your favorite college basketball team, courtesy of the TCHB. Just pick the winner of each game -- essentially, filling out a bracket -- and pick the total number of points scored in teh championship game as a tie-breaker.
I'll be back periodically with updates during the women's game.