LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Following the Nov. 6 decision reached by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Council of Presidents to revise the previously announced men’s and women’s basketball league schedules to reflect evolving COVID-19 testing, travel, and venue standards, the MAAC released amended 2020-21 conference schedules Monday morning. Reigning MAAC Champion and unanimous preseason favorite Siena Men’s Basketball will now begin its title defense with a pair of games at Fairfield on Friday, Dec. 11, and Saturday, Dec. 12.
As previously outlined in the MAAC’s Nov. 6 announcement, the revised league schedule features a 20-game double round robin format, with conference action now set to tip off on Friday, Dec. 11. MAAC games will now be contested weekly on Fridays and Saturdays, with teams playing the same opponent at the same venue on both days. Games will not be played on Christmas Weekend, while the penultimate week of the regular season (Feb. 22-28) will continue to be reserved as a COVID-19 “Makeup Week” should any previously affected league contests need to be rescheduled. Additionally, due to the unequal number of conference schools, each team will also have one bye week.
Each team will now play a total of 10 MAAC “series,” featuring five conference home weekends and five conference away weekends. Each school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will now have schedules mirroring each other, as both teams will play the same opponent each weekend, albeit one team will be home while the other will be on the road. Each team will also now make just one trip to Western New York this season to face either Canisius or Niagara, while hosting the other at home.
Following their conference-opening weekend at Fairfield, the Saints are now slated to return home to host Canisius for a pair of contests on Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 on campus at the Alumni Recreation Center. Siena previously announced that the men’s basketball season would begin with home games played on campus at the ARC without spectators at least through the end of December.
In addition to Canisius, Siena will also host a pair of home games apiece on Fridays and Saturdays against Monmouth (Jan. 1-2), Saint Peter’s (Jan. 22-23), Manhattan (Feb. 12-13), and Quinnipiac (Feb. 19-20). Meanwhile, the Saints will also travel to Rider (Jan. 15-16), Niagara (Jan. 29-30), and Iona (Feb. 5-6), before concluding regular season action at I-87 rival Marist (Mar. 5-6). Siena’s bye week is set for the weekend of Jan. 8-9. The 2020-21 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships will be hosted for the second straight season by Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall from Mar. 9-13 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Siena is set to welcome back three starters highlighted by unanimous 2020-21 MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Jalen Pickett and fellow unanimous Preseason First Team All-MAAC selection Manny Camper, as the Saints look to defend their title this winter. Siena captured the program’s eighth MAAC Regular Season Championship and was later awarded its sixth MAAC Tournament Title after achieving a 20-10 overall record including a 15-5 mark in league action last season. The Saints have added 10 newcomers to this year’s roster, featuring five transfers and four true freshmen.