Update: Yeah, I read the standings wrong and thought Siena and Canisius had the same record coming into this weekend. They don’t. Siena will be the 3-seed no matter what.
The penultimate weekend of the 2013 regular season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is in the books, so we have an even clearer picture of where things stand when it comes to the MAAC playoffs. Thursday’s post is still in play, but could stand some updating.
|Marist @ Manhattan|
|VMI @ Siena|
|Detroit @ Canisius|
The two impactful games from the weekend went as expected: Marist and Jacksonville (barely) held serve against Siena and Canisius. The third game actually saw an upset, with VMI removing itself form Reverse Survivor contention by earning its first win of the year over fellow bottom-dweller Manhattan.
Jacksonville has finished its conference slate, but the remaining teams in the league all play this Saturday to settle things once and for all. Fortunately, most of the seeds are already locked in:
1. Marist (5-0, head-to-head over 5-1 Jacksonville)
2. Jacksonville (5-1, complete schedule)
3/4/5. Siena/Canisius/Detroit (see below).
6/7. VMI/Manhattan (irrelevant to the tournament).
Figuring out 3/4/5
Things still aren’t settled in the middle of the conference, thanks to the results going as expected over the weekend. IGNORE THIS PART, IT’S WRONG:
Siena could technically drop down to the four-seed, but cannot miss the tournament. Canisius could end up anywhere from 3-5, whereas Detroit will either sneak into the tournament as the 4-seed thanks to a tiebreaker, or miss as the 5-seed. How can Siena become the No. 4? It requires both a loss to VMI and a Canisius win over Detroit. Of course, the loss to VMI is practically unthinkable (TempoFreeLax says it’s less than 5% likely to happen), so I wouldn’t spend too much time thinking about this scenario. VMI may have a bit of momentum after beating Manhattan, but it takes more than that to beat Siena. Canisius would be 4-2 in conference, and Siena would be 3-3. Detroit would actually tie for fifth in the league with VMI at 2-4. Assuming the Saints take care of business against the Keydets, that means
Detroit and Canisius are playing for that final spot in the MAAC Tournament Saturday afternoon at Titan Field. A Golden Griffins win gives them a 4-2 record in the conference and the 4-seed (Siena holds the tiebreaker for No. 3) in the league championship. A Titans win means the teams tie in-conference at 3-3, but gives UDM the head-to-head tiebreaker.
TempoeFreeLax.com gives Detroit a 54.05% chance of winning.
The Likely Bracket
That all means we’re likely to see the following matchups in the first round of the MAAC tournament:
1. Marist v. 4. Detroit/Canisius
2. Jacksonville v. 3 Siena
The tournament takes place in Buffalo, so if Detroit knocks out Canisius, there will be no home-field advantage for anyone. If Canisius wins Saturday, they have that extra bit of juice to potentially knock off No. 1. This is also the shortest road trip in the league for Detroit, so if they manage to qualify, some of their traditional disadvantages may be neutralized.
Stay tuned Saturday to see how the final two games shake out.