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MAAC Conference Schedule Released: Quick Reaction

Some thoughts on the league’s schedule.

NCAA Basketball: MAAC Conference Tournament Championship - Marist vs Iona John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has announced its 2023-24 men’s basketball conference schedule, with 20 games for each of the 11 teams played between Nov. 29 and March 9.

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. MAAC Tournament Dates: The annual conference tournament will be held from Tuesday, March 12, to Saturday, March 16, in Atlantic City, N.J. There is no major change to the format of the tournament despite the retirement of longtime commissioner Rich Ensor and the beginning of the Travis Tellitocci era. Back in July, Tellitocci addressed questions from fans on Twitter about the format of the tournament, saying that “[The MAAC is] locked into the Tuesday-Saturday schedule at the moment.” Tellitocci has stated that he is open to some dialogue on changing the format or dates of the tournament, but that will not be happening this year.
  2. Buffalo Trips: Each year, the nine MAAC teams that comprise the southern portion of the conference have to take a weekend trip to Buffalo to face off with Niagara and Canisius on the road, the longest journey in the league for most. Even when the Purple Eagles and Griffs aren’t as competitive — as they are expected to be this year — this has proved a challenge for top MAAC teams, acting as a trap game. In 2021-22, Iona entered its game at Niagara with an 11-0 record in the MAAC, but was handed its first league loss by a Purple Eagles team that was 5-7 before that game. Just this past year, 6-0 Siena lost a close game to 2-5 Canisius, despite the Griffs being without two of their best players, Jordan Henderson and Xzavier Long.

Here is a list of when teams will be making the trip to the lakeshore:

  • Quinnipiac and Saint Peter’s: Dec. 1 and Dec. 3
  • Siena and Fairfield: Jan. 12 and Jan. 14
  • Manhattan and Marist: Jan. 26 and Jan. 28
  • Iona: Feb. 8 and Feb. 10
  • Mount St. Mary’s and Rider: March 1 and March 3

The Battle of the Bridge between Niagara and Canisius will take place at Niagara on February 6th, just two days after Canisius plays a road game at Quinnipiac.

The second Battle of the Bridge will be hosted by Canisius on Feb. 23. It will be the third consecutive conference road game for the Purple Eagles, the only instance of this in the entirety of the MAAC’s schedule.

3. Super Bowl Sunday: The usual Friday night/Sunday afternoon schedule will be interrupted on Super Sunday. The league will instead move to a Thursday/Saturday format that weekend, with games being played on Feb. 8 and 10.

4. Opening Weekend: The MAAC is once again opening its season with one weekend of early December matchups (and even one in late November), before the second month of non-conference play. This will be the first games as a MAAC head coach for the three new coaches in the league, Iona’s Tobin Anderson, Manhattan’s John Gallagher, and Quinnipiac’s Tom Pecora. Here are those opening weekend matchups by team, with the first one listed being played on Dec. 1, and the second on Dec. 3, unless otherwise noted.

  • Canisius: vs Quinnipiac, vs Saint Peter’s
  • Fairfield: vs Iona, at Rider
  • Iona: vs Marist (11/29), at Fairfield (12/1)
  • Manhattan: vs Mount St. Mary’s, at Marist
  • Marist: at Iona (11/29), vs Manhattan
  • Mount St. Mary’s: at Manhattan, vs Siena
  • Niagara: vs Saint Peter’s, vs Quinnipiac
  • Quinnipiac: at Canisius, at Niagara
  • Rider: at Siena, vs Fairfield
  • Saint Peter’s: at Niagara, at Canisius
  • Siena: vs Rider, at Mount St. Mary’s

I’ll have much more in-depth information on the schedules, teams, and coaches in my MAAC Season Preview, which will come out in mid-October, but the release of the schedule makes the season feel just that much closer.