Games of the Week
As I wrote yesterday on Twitter, I've been MIA for the past three days because of a massive 40-page history of the Super Bowl section that I put together here at The Trentonian. If you're in Jersey Friday, pick it up. It'll be a good coffee-table book. Lots of goofy photos of guys like Len Dawson and Fran Tarkenton.
The good news is that, since there weren't any MAAC games over the last few days, the Games of the Week post is up the week of hoops gets underway tomorrow.
So better late than never, my top five MAAC games of the week:
5. Fairfield at Loyola, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Sure, the Stags' two recent losses were hardly unforgiveable, one coming at home to Siena and the other by 10 points at surging Iona. But a loss here would make it three out of five -- something that would make Fairfield look a lot more like a middle-of-the-pack team than a contender. And as usual, the Cooley vs. Patsos angle is hard to resist.
4. Manhattan at Saint Peter's, Sunday, 2 p.m., ESPNU
Here's to hoping the Peacocks get a nice, big, relatively loud crowd for Thursday's game against Siena (see below) and this one against the Jaspers, who blew SPC's doors off when the teams met in Riverdale. Saint Peter's is surging, having won five straight since that Jan. 8 loss at Draddy. The Jaspers look destined for the play-in round, but they've hardly been a pushover in recent weeks and are certainly capable of completing the season sweep.
3. Rider at Fairfield, Saturday, 4 p.m.
In my annual homecoming game, there should be plenty at stake for both teams. If Rider beats Manhattan tomorrow, the Broncs would be within reach of .500 of the league for the first time since their win over Marist put them at 3-3. The Stags will either be trying to snap a two-game losing streak or going for their ninth win, which would equal last year's season total with six games left on the schedule.
2. Niagara at Canisius, Friday, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Golden Griffins fans, tormented by Niagara's success and the Griffs' ineptitude over the last five years, have had this one circled on their calendars for months. The Griffs have been up and down this year, but that's a major upgrade over being consistently down, as they've been over the past few years.
The Purple Eagles haven't been this vulnerable in quite some time, but if Tyrone Lewis is healthy, they're still capable of beating anyone other than Siena on any given night.
1. Siena at Saint Peter's, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Three of Siena's last four games will be on the road, but with Niagara and Rider no longer the threats people thought they'd be, this one might be the most dangerous. The Peacocks are on a roll, the Saints are banged up, and you'd have to think if any game can generate some enthusiasm and a decent-sized crowd in Jersey City, it'd be this one.
If the Saints win, they'll be better than even money to run the table.