LOUDONVILLE, NY (NEWS10) – Four matchups against high-major opponents, a prestigious Thanksgiving Weekend Tournament, and the return of a pair of rivalry games to MVP Arena highlight this year’s Siena Basketball non-conference schedule. The Saints are set to play the maximum 11 non-conference contests this season, featuring a trio of dates in downtown Albany.

“I think that we have put together a tremendous non-conference slate to challenge our team,” said head coach Carmen Maciariello.

Siena’s 11-game non-conference schedule includes three dates at MVP Arena (two true home games), five road contests, and three additional neutral site games. The Saints will take on teams from nine different conferences, including confirmed contests against squads from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, and the Atlantic 10, with two more high-major opponents yet-to-be confirmed. Game times for all 11 non-conference contests will be announced soon.

For the second straight season, Siena will play multiple games against Patriot League foes, matching up against three squads from a league which the Saints hold an impressive 100-53 (.654) record against the 10 current members.

Siena will tip off its 2022-23 season with its first of three matchups against Patriot League opponents, when the Saints take on Holy Cross for the start of a new four-year series on Opening Night, Monday, Nov. 7 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The programs are set to meet for the sixth time in six seasons, and second straight matchup at the Hart Center where Siena prevailed 72-59 on Dec. 11.

The Saints then return home to the Capital Region for their next two games at MVP Arena, beginning with the renewal of the Albany Cup on Saturday, Nov. 12 against crosstown rival UAlbany. This year’s matchup tips off the start of a previously announced three-year agreement between the crosstown foes, which features a neutral site contest this season, a game at SEFCU Arena in 2023, and a return Siena home game at MVP Arena in 2024. This year’s Albany Cup game is not a part of the Siena season ticket package. A special presale for Siena Basketball season ticket holders will go on-sale soon before tickets are made available to the general public.  

Siena and UAlbany are set to meet for the first time since 2017, after meeting for 17 consecutive seasons following the Great Danes’ elevation to the Division I level. The Saints hold a 30-24 all-time advantage in the series, including a 10-7 edge during the aforementioned 17-year span.

Siena closes out its mini two-game Capital Region showcase on Wednesday, Nov. 16 when they host a second Patriot League squad in Army West Point. The one-time MAAC foes renewed acquaintances for the first time in 31 years last season, with the Saints earning an 83-67 victory downstate on Nov. 30.

Siena returns to the road with a second early-season short trip to Massachusetts to battle perennial Ivy League power Harvard on Sunday, Nov. 20 in Cambridge. The programs are set to meet for the fourth time in five seasons, with each of the previous three matchups decided by just three points apiece.

The Saints will spend Thanksgiving Weekend in the Sunshine State as they travel to the Happiest Place on Earth to compete in the prestigious ESPN Events Invitational Nov. 24-27 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Siena will take on three-high major opponents in four days at State Farm Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, where the Saints will play to a nationally televised audience as part of ESPN’s Feast Week. All of Siena’s games in the bracket-tournament format will air on the ESPN networks.

“The opportunity to play in the ESPN Events Invitational against three power conference teams on a neutral floor is special,” noted Maciariello. “(MAAC Commissioner) Rich Ensor was a true visionary for positioning the MAAC to champion this event, and we are thankful to be the league’s representative.”

Siena has the honor of playing in the opening game of the ESPN Events Invitational, when they take on perennial national power and ACC foe Florida State on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 24, at 11 a.m. in a nationally televised showcase on ESPN2. The Saints and Seminoles have only met once previously, with ninth-ranked Florida State edging Siena 89-80 in the Preseason NIT on Nov. 18, 1992 in Tallahassee.

The Saints will then take on either SEC opponent Ole Miss or Pac-12 foe Stanford in their second game on Friday, Nov. 25. The winner’s bracket matchup is set for 11 a.m. on ESPN2, with the consolation matchup tipping off at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN+. Siena has never before faced Ole Miss, but has a storied history with Stanford.

The Saints and the Cardinal have split four previous meetings, with Siena’s pair of wins serving as two of the biggest victories in program history. The No. 14 seed Siena upset third-seeded and 13th ranked Stanford 80-78 in the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game on Mar. 16, 1989 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Saints also took down the 20th ranked Cardinal 79-67 in the most recent meeting between the programs on Nov. 17, 2007 in Albany.

The ESPN Events Invitational concludes with a third and final game for Siena on Sunday, Nov. 27. The other teams comprising the field – and possible third-game opponents for the Saints – are Memphis, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Seton Hall. Siena is making its third appearance in the ESPN Events Invitational, having then competed in the previously-named Old Spice Classic in both 2008 and 2013. The Saints were scheduled to participate in the then-called 2020 Orlando Invitational, prior to the event’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ESPN Events Invitational ticket information and travel packages will be announced later this summer, for fans wishing to attend. Fans can sign up on the event website for a pre-sale to guarantee first access and a $10 discount on all price levels. Travel packages, which include a discounted rate at the Gaylord Palms Resort as well as transportation to/from the arena, will soon be available via Anthony Travel. Fans interested in learning more can sign up for notifications by clicking HERE.

Siena opens the month of December, and plays its fourth straight high-major opponent, when they return to the nation’s Capital to face Big East foe Georgetown for a second straight season on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Capital One Arena. The Saints hold a 4-3 advantage in the all-time series with the Hoyas, and will be in search of redemption following last season’s 83-65 setback on Nov. 19 in Washington, DC.

Siena heads south once again to conclude the week with a showdown at defending CAA Tournament Champion and NCAA Tournament participant Delaware on Sunday, Dec. 11. The programs met for the first time in 12 years last season in Albany, with the 22-win Blue Hens posting an 83-63 triumph.

Following final exams, the Saints return to the Capital Region for their final non-conference home game when they battle sister-school St. Bonaventure for the annual Br. Ed Coughlin Franciscan Cup on Monday, Nov. 19 at MVP Arena. The Bonnies won 23 games last season while advancing to the semifinals of the NIT. Siena and St. Bonaventure are set to meet for the 12th time since the trophy was devised by the schools’ presidents to commemorate the annual renewal of the rivalry, of which the Bonnies hold a 7-4 advantage during that time.

The Saints conclude non-conference play with the continuation of their series with Patriot League opponent American, which was put on hold the past two seasons due to the pandemic. Siena returns to Washington, DC to take on the Eagles on Thursday, Dec. 22. The Saints defeated American 96-80 in Maciariello’s head coaching debut in the most recent meeting between the programs on Nov. 5, 2019 in Albany.

2022-23 Siena Basketball season tickets starting at just $99 are on-sale now, and can be secured by logging onto sienasaints.com/tickets, or by contacting the Siena Fan Relations Management Center during traditional business hours Monday-Friday by phone at (518) 487-2202, or by e-mail at sienatickets2@siena.edu. The full 31-game 2022-23 Siena Basketball regular season schedule will be completed with the announcement of the 20-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference slate, which is expected to be revealed next month. 2022-23 Siena Basketball individual game tickets will go on-sale this fall.

Fans will have their first opportunity to meet the 2022-23 Saints at the Siena Basketball Court Rehab Dedication and Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, Aug. 10 from 5-7 p.m. at Lansing Park in nearby Cohoes. Fans wishing to attend the complimentary event, which includes a ticket good for one free ice cream per person, are kindly asked to RSVP at sienasaints.com/rsvp by Monday, Aug. 8.

Siena posted a 15-14 overall record last season, and finished third in the MAAC with a 12-8 league mark. The Saints return 10 letterwinners while welcoming seven newcomers – including six true freshmen – to a squad searching to build off of four straight top-three conference finishes.