Games of the Week
While we wait for news on the MAAC tournament -- the presidents voted today, but because details haven't been ironed out, no announcement is expected today -- here are five games to look for this week.
With conference play here, we'll run down the games of the week each Monday, starting today. For the purposes of this post, next Sunday is included in this week's games. There aren't a whole lot of marquee matchups to chose from, but the one Wednesday night in Albany will have to carry us through the week.
5. Saint Peter's at Rutgers, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
Rutgers is 7-1 at the RAC, and looked fairly impressive last Tuesday against Rider. The Peacocks, meanwhile, have been anything but impressive, having inexplicably lost at home to Wagner. But Rutgers remains a bottom-tier Big East team prone to slip-ups in similar games (see 2007 against an SPC team younger and less talented than this one), making this a winnable game for Ryan Bacon and Co.
4. Saint Bonaventure at Niagara, 7 p.m. Tuesday
The Bonnies are hardly in the same class as Temple and Xavier, but they're not exactly Forham either. Add in the local rivalry angle and the fact that the Eagles are still trying to find themselves without Bilal Benn, and it's an intriguing non-confernece tuneup for Niagara.
3. Loyola at Indiana, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
We know that Hounds have talent, but we've yet to see them put it to good use against worthwhile competition. These Hoosiers are as similar to IU teams of the past as the Kansas City Royals are to their George-Brett-era predecessors, but it's still a road game against a Big 10 team for Loyola. A win would be a nice way to go into the holidays above .500.
2. Iona at No. 14 UConn, 2 p.m. Sunday, ESPNU
The Gaels are the most dangerous 0-2 MAAC team I can remember in the last several years. Though they haven't played a team with the Huskies' firepower, they've played well in up games (just ask Providence and Florida State), and UConn needed a second-half surge to get past Central Florida yesterday afternoon. It'll take a Christmas miracle for the Gaels to win, but they might be able to make it interesting.
1. Rider at Siena, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
The Broncs have had this one circled on their calendar since the schedule was drawn up, and the Saints would love to make an emphatic statement that they're still the dominant force in the MAAC. Throw in Tommy Dempsey's first-place vote in the preseason coaches' poll, and it's hard to imagine either fan base being more revved up for a game in December.