ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (NEWS10) — The Siena men’s and women’s basketball teams both have something to prove heading into the MAAC Tournament Thursday.

In early February, Carmen Maciarello’s squad was considered a serious contender for the top overall seed in the men’s bracket. But the Saints limped to the finish line of the regular season, losing its’ final five games, and seven of its’ last nine, en route to garnering the No. 4 seed.

Siena will be matched up with No. 5 Niagara in the quarterfinals. The two sides split the regular season series; the Saints won at Niagara University, and the Purple Eagles pulled out a victory in MVP Arena.

Despite Siena’s recent struggles, anything can happen with March basketball, and Maciarello is using this postseason as an opportunity to hit the reset button.

“We’re the four-seed; no one’s expecting us to do anything,” said Maciarello. “Five-game losing streak. Let’s keep everything in the past, and now we have a chance to go and play one possession at a time. At the end of the day, you’re at a neutral site, and everyone’s record is 0-0. I think back to 2013; Iona was the four-seed, and cut down the nets. And they, I think, lost six of seven during that season. It’s a clean slate. We’re confident we can go down there, and win three games.”

Opening tip-off Thursday is set for 9:30 p.m. from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. The game will air on ESPN+.

The Siena women’s team has been proving critics wrong since the beginning of the season, and will look to continue doing so heading into the MAAC Tournament.

Jim Jabir’s squad was picked to finish tied for ninth in the conference in the preseason polls, and now occupies the four-seed in Atlantic City after amassing 18 regular season wins – the program’s most in 20 seasons.

The Saints face the conference’s reigning tournament champion in the quarterfinals: No. 5 Fairfield. However, they swept the Stags in the regular season series.

One of the many cliche’s thrown around college basketball this time of year – along with the idea that “anything can happen in March” – is the notion that it’s difficult to beat the same team three times in the same season.

But that’s not a notion Jabir is buying into.

“I don’t really put a lot of credence into that,” said Jabir. “If we show up, and do what we’re supposed to do, and play well, I think we’ll be okay. But there’s a lot that goes into showing up, and playing well. We have to do the best we can. But, I mean, whether it’s Fairfield, or somebody else, they’re going to bring a challenge to us, and we have to respond to the challenge.”

Opening tip against the Stags is set for 3:30 p.m. That game can also be streamed live on ESPN+.

NEWS10’s Tommy Valentine will be at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall providing recaps and reactions of both team’s tournament runs. Be sure to follow along with him on social media: @TommyVtine116.