MAAC reveals men’s basketball conference schedule

NCAA Basketball

LOUDONVILLE, NY – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has released its 2020-21 men’s basketball conference schedule. Reigning MAAC Champion Siena will play a balanced 20-game league slate, and is scheduled to open its title defense on Dec. 8 at Rider.

The conference schedule follows the 2020-21 MAAC Men’sBasketball Schedule Model announced last Thursday, which has made adjustments this season to accommodate changes and potential disruptions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, all 20 league games will be played weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays beginning the week of Dec. 7, with the additional day between contests added to allow student athletes and basketball staffs to be accommodative to NCAA COVID-19 testing protocols. The week of Feb. 22 will be an open week and serve as a “COVID-19 Make-Up Week, allowing teams to make-up any postponed games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, fans will not be permitted to attend games through Dec. 23, at which point the MAAC Basketball Working Group will review the policy in accordance to amended local and state regulations.

For the second straight season, the MAAC will play a 20-game league schedule. As a result, the Saints are set to face each of their 10 MAAC rivals twice – once both home and away – as part of a balanced conference docket.

Siena begins its title defense and tips off its 32nd season of MAAC competition on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Rider, before returning to the Capital Region to host Saint Peter’s for its conference home-opener on Friday, Dec. 11. The matchup features a showdown of the league’s top-two teams from last season, as the Saints held off the Peacocks by one game to capture the regular season crown. Siena makes the return trip to Jersey City Jan. 29.

Following a trip to Monmouth (Dec. 15), the Saints return home to host Quinnipiac (Dec. 18), as Siena will play each of their first four MAAC games against the four teams who finished directly behind them second through fifth in the league standings last season.

The Saints conclude 2020 – and a stretch where they play three of four at home – on Dec. 29 vs. Fairfield. However, Siena will not play more than two consecutive home or road games at any point during the conference season. Additionally, the Saints will have the league bye on New Year’s Day, Friday, Jan. 1, as well as on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

The first matchup of the MAAC’s last five champions is set for Tuesday, Jan. 19 when Siena hosts Iona and Hall of Fame Head Coach Rick Pitino. The teams will meet in New Rochelle on Friday, Feb. 12.

Siena plays I-87 rival Marist exactly a month apart, traveling to Poughkeepsie Jan. 5 before welcoming the Red Foxes to the Capital Region on Friday, Feb. 5.

The Saints conclude regular season action by playing three of their final four games in the Capital Region, finishing with Canisius at home on Friday, Mar. 5.

The 2021 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships return to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey for the second straight season Mar. 9-13. Once again this year, tournament action will commence with First Round games on Tuesday, with the championship game scheduled for Saturday.

Siena’s complete 2020-21 schedule – including the Saints’ full non-conference slate, game times, and additional information – will be released in the near future.

Excitement entering the 2020-21 season surrounding the reigning MAAC Champions is at a fever pitch. The Saints are set to welcome back three starters from last year’s title-winning squad which posted a 20-10 overall record including a 15-5 mark in the MAAC, highlighted by the return of First Team All-MAAC selections Manny Camper and Jalen Pickett (Player of the Year). Siena is also set to welcome 10 talented newcomers to this year’s squad including five transfers and four true freshmen, as they look to build upon the nation’s seventh longest active winning streak of 10 games.

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