MAAC cancels rest of basketball tournament


Atlantic City, N.J.

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference canceled the remainder of its men’s and women’s postseason basketball tournament this afternoon in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor said the league held two conference calls with the council of presidents and another with the committee on athletic administration before reaching a decision.

He said the presidents’ vote was unanimous.

“These were difficult conversations,’’ Ensor said. “We’re all in the business of protecting our student-athletes, but also providing them the opportunity to succeed and shine at this time of year. It’s certainly a blow for us all to have to cancel this.”

Ensor also announced the MAAC is canceling all spring sports competition.

With no tournament champion, the Siena men’s basketball team would get the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, if that tournament proceeds. The NCAA Board of Governors had an emergency conference call at 3 p.m, according to Ensor.

The top-seeded Saints didn’t have the chance to cut the net down in Atlantic City after winning the program’s first regular-season title since 2010. Maciariello said his heart went out to the four senior players and senior team manager.

Siena (20-10) will have to wait and see if its season ends with a 10-game winning streak, punctuated by a 63-49 victory over Manhattan in the MAAC quarterfinals on Thursday. The NCAA is scheduled to announce the 68-team tournament field on Sunday at 6 p.m.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing, but we always want to look at the broader picture and what’s best for our student-athletes,”https://www.timesunion.com/” Siena men’s head coach Carmen Maciariello said. “So obviously, safety and health is of the most importance … When it’s all said and done, we were able to kind of start to leave our mark and nobody can take away our regular-season title. But by handling that business, if there is an NCAA Tournament, we guarantee our spot in that. It’s bittersweet.  I think we’re playing our best basketball and we wanted to be playing our best basketball at this point in time.”

After the victory over Manhattan, the MAAC announced it would play the remainder of the tournament without fans.

The MAAC played only one more game, the Siena women’s 72-56 loss to Fairfield this afternoon, before pulling the plug on the event.  The decision seemed inevitable with every other Division I league, except the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, that hadn’t already crowned a champion canceling its tournament.

Among them were major conferences such as the Big East, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big Ten.



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