Seven teams get to continue their seasons in postseason play; while the New York metropolitan area goes another year without a participant in the NCAA Tournament there's value in being able to play somewhere. Three schools will take part in the NIT with Seton Hall and Stony Brook hosting games while St. John's hits the road. Three other schools will play in the CBI and CIT tournaments (Quinnipiac added in for a full article), meaning that just under a third of the twenty-four schools will play in a postseason tournament.
The top two seeds in the Northeast Conference tip off in less than two hours in Hamden with the winner earning the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Robert Morris and Quinnipiac met just once in the regular season with the Bobcats winning 87-79 back on February 20th. Tom Moore's team is 14-0 in home games this season, most recently surviving a challenge from LIU in Sunday's NEC semifinal. RMU, on the other hand, whipped Mount St. Mary's to earn their third consecutive NEC title game appearance.
The time to determine who will earn the MAAC's automatic bid is finally here and the matchup between Fairfield and Siena (7 PM, ESPN2) should not disappoint. Of course the Saints won both regular season meetings but they had to hold in in the second, winning by just two points at the Times Union Center on February 8th. Derek Needham scored 26 points in that game for the Stags but he also had five turnovers, as did Sean Crawford. That was essentially the difference (along with two more free throws for Siena): fifteen turnovers to ten for the Saints.
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