Wednesday night's game between New Mexico and San Diego State was a big one for the visitors, as Steve Alford's team didn't own a single win over a Top 25 team. But also on the line was sole possession of first place in the Mountain West after UNLV fell at TCU on Tuesday night.
Light schedule tonight with Ivy League Fridays not really getting going on a consistent basis until next weekend, but there are some entertaining matchups to keep fans occupied. Both MAAC matchups consist of top-half (of the standings) teams taking on squads hoping to avoid "First Round Friday" in March's conference tournament. One such game is Iona hosting Rider on ESPNU, and while Tommy Dempsey's Broncs have been a major disappointment this year they have the firepower necessary to keep up with the Gaels.
Glover is joined on the first team by Fairfield University junior guard Derek Needham and senior center Ryan Olander, Iona senior guard Scott Machado and Rider University senior guard/forward Novar Gadson.
Iona received eight of the first-place votes and 97 points, followed by last season's preseason pick Fairfield University,which received two first-place votes and 92 points. Loyola University (Maryland) finished in third with 76 points.
In the latest installment in his "Coaching Greats" interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with former Marist head coach Dave Magarity. Coach Magarity, who is now the head coach of the women's basketball program at Army, won 253 games and three conference titles (one NCAA appearance) while at Marist.
Jon Teitel: In 1978 you became head coach at St. Francis and were the youngest Division I head coach in the nation. Did you feel that you were ready to be a head coach at age 27, and did you see your age as an advantage or a
Jon Teitel: Why did you decide to go to Loyola?
The MAAC race should be quite exciting with Niagara, Rider, and Siena all legitimately pushing for the conference title. Expect all three to consistently appear in mid-major rankings.
A full slate in the MAAC on tap tonight, with a showdown for first place being the marquee event. A week after Fairfield went to Albany and failed to take down the defending chanmps, 3-0 Rider gets their shot at the Times Union Center in a rematch of last year's MAAC Tournament final. Of course two of the main characters in that chapter are gone (Rider's Jason Thompson and Siena's Tay Fisher) but both teams stand to be a factor in the title chase until the end of the regular season.
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