The first installment:
RIDER (minus 4) over Loyola:
Just because Rider played a hell of a game last weekend at Fairfield doesn't mean the Broncs are going to start steamrolling people. And that home-court advantage has produced two double-digit losses and two wins by a total of seven points. But the Hounds are in a tailspin, I'm expecting the Broncs to keep scoring points and win a game that won't come down to the final possession.
Prediction: Rider 78, Loyola 72
NIAGARA (minus 8) over Canisius:
This is a tough one, because the Golden Griffs beat their crosstown rivals when they met last Friday and are, for the most part, having a better year. But if you give me a healthy Tyrone Lewis, a rockin' crowd in Lewiston and a Purple Eagles team that still hasnt' lost confidence, I'll give the eight points and go with the home team.
Prediction: Niagara 76, Canisius 66
Iona (plus 8) over SIENA
I'd be shocked if the Gaels won, but they're playing too well not to like them with this big a number. The Saints are still banged up, they haven't really drilled anyone in a while, and I think this one will be close until the final minutes, with the Saints hitting enough clutch shots down the stretch to pull away.
Prediction: Siena 82, Iona 75
Saint Peter's (plus 5 1/2) over FAIRFIELD
With these two teams have played over the past couple of weeks, this is a virtual coin-flip game. Gun to my head, I'll take the Stags in a nail-biter, winning by two or three points the way they usually seem to win these type of games at home. But I can't see the Stags winning with any sort of comfort.
Prediction: Fairfield 68, Saint Peter's 67
MANHATTAN (minus 15) over Marist
As hard as it is to give 15 for a 2-10 team, the combination of Marist's complete ineptitude and the fact that the Jaspers will do anything to avoid losing to the Foxes twice means this one will get out of hand.
Prediction: Manhattan 82, Marist 60