Friday, March 4, 2005

MAAC Conference Tournament Preview

The MAAC regular season title race went down to the final day, when Rider defeated Niagara to gain a share of the championship. Only two other teams finished with ten or more wins in conference play, and the two aforementioned clubs were the only ones that were more than two games above .500 overall.
Favorites: Niagara has one of the best players in the mid-majors in Juan Mendez, who averages a double-double. David Brooks is the scorer from the perimeter, while Alvin Cruz leads the league in assists. Rider has a great inside-outside combo in Jerry Johnson and Edwin Muniz. Fairfield has a big man to match Mendez in Deng Gai, and has Terrence Todd to score.
Sleepers: St.Peter's has one player that can carry them to victory any night in Keydren Clark, the nation's leading scorer. Iona has a great trio in Steve Burtt, Jr., Greg Jenkins, and Ricky Soliver.
Prediction: Niagara is one of the top scoring teams in the league, and has the best player in the league in Mendez. They are, though, the worst defensive team in the conference. Nevertheless, the Purple Eagles should win the tournament because they are the most talented team. Fairfield is going to give Niagara a run for their money in the championship game.

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