Mock Committee: Siena gets last at-large
No team from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has received an at-large bid since Manhattan did so in 1995, but according to a bracket released today by a mock committee of 20 national media members, Siena would recieve the 34th and final at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The committee was given scenarios as to how the conference tournaments would play out. In this situation the committee was told that Siena had lost in the MAAC title game to Fairfield, hence the need for at-large consideration.
“Siena has three things that you need to be successful in March: athleticism, toughness and experience,” CBS college basketball analyst Seth Davis who was on the committee said in an e-mail last week. “They actually have a similar profile to Davidson's last year - a tough nonconference schedule that included a lot of losses, but which served as great preparation for the postseason. The fact that they returned all their starters from a team that won a First Round game last year is also critical. These guys have played together a long time, and they have confidence knowing they have succeeded in the tournament before. Believe me, any coach who sees their name pop up next to Siena's on the Selection Show is going to have a fitful night's sleep.”
The Saints currently have an RPI of 29 according to RealTimeRPI.com.
The bracket predicted Siena to be a 12-seed and take on 5-seeded UCLA. For what it's worth Fairfield was given a 13-seed and a game against 4-seed Xavier.
“Siena struggled early but didn’t fade,” according to ESPN Senior Writer Andy Katz. “Ultimately, Siena did the right thing – the Saints scheduled well, built up their RPI and coasted in the MAAC toward the league title. That’s the recipe for a potential bid and a decent seed once again.”