PMI, Week 3
But while there wasn't enough movement for me to move any teams up other than Loyola, there was ALMOST enough in a couple of areas.
One is that Niagara has been so dominant of late (good enough to earn a No. 9 mid-major ranking by SI.com, which doens't have Siena in its top 10) and Siena, comparably has been so average, that I think it's almost a toss-up for the top spot.
Siena showed some guts in coming from 18 points down to win at Saint Joe's, but that's an average at best Saint Joe's team -- one that won't contend for an A-10 title -- and if Siena was as good as advertised, there would have been no 18-point deficit to begin with.
I can't wait to see how Fairfield does Thursday at Siena. The Stags won at the Times Union Center last year. Can they do it again and deliver a major blow to Siena? Maybe. But what I'm really intersted to see is how the game unfolds. Fairfield, for all its success, still hasnt' really had a measuring stick game that tells us something about it that we didn't already think or know.
If you'd gone through the Stags' schedule before the season began, your most logical estimate would be that they would have been exactly where they were through 12 games. They haven't beaten a team they weren't favored to beat, or lost to a team that they WERE favored to beat. Moreover, not only have the outcomes been exactly what we expected them to be, the margins of victory or defeat, with few exceptions (Fordham was too close for comfort, for instane, and Missouri is good but not THAT good) have been too. If they take Siena down to the wire or win, I'll be impressed.
I also think teams 4-6 are really really close. Manhattan should take a hit for losing by 12 at home to American, but Rider hasn't been nearly good enough to move back up to fourth. In fact, I'd be surprised if the Broncs win at Iona on Thursday afternoon.
Rider has looked really, really bad for a couple of games in a row. The Broncs have lost three out of four, with the only win coming against winless NJIT, which is to say that, for all intents and purposes, they've lost three straight. In those three losses, they've been blown out of the building by La Salle and fallen apart in the second half against Binghamton and Drexel, both of whom have collective losing recrods against the MAAC.
But for now, I'm giving Rider a pass because of Harris Mansell's injury and because that 1-0 league record still means something.
Here's the list:
1. Siena 7-4, 2-0 36
2. Niagara 10-2, 1-0, 47
3. Fairfield 8-4, 2-0 85
4. Manhattan 7-4, 1-1 224
5. Rider 6-5, 1-0 233
6. Iona 5-8, 0-2 207
7. Marist 5-8, 0-2 219
8. Loyola 4-8, 0-2 218
9. SPC 1-1, 4-8 306
10. Canisius 4-8, 0-2 144