2023 Hercules Tires MAAC Basketball Championships Digital Program
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TEAMS Canisius College..................................40 Fairfield University..............................44 Iona University....................................48 Manhattan College..............................52 Marist College.....................................56 Mount St. Mary's University.................60 Niagara University...............................64 Quinnipiac University..........................68 Rider University...................................72 Saint Peter’s University.......................76 Siena College.......................................80
CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION Welcome Letters...................................6 Feature Story.......................................12 MAAC Chronology.................................17 MAAC Commissioner.............................20 The MAAC Story....................................24 Operating Structure............................26 NCAA Tournament Brackets................28 MAAC Championship Brackets............30 Final Statistics and Results.................34 Record Book........................................37 Commissioner’s Cup............................39 Academic Honor Roll...........................84 MAAC Honor Roll Profiles....................85 Championship History.........................92
MAAC STAFF Commissioner...............................................................Richard J. Ensor, Esq. Deputy Commissioner..............................................................Jessica Grasso Senior Associate Commissioner/Chief Operating Officer......Whitney Swab Senior Associate Commissioner/Basketball....................Jordan Confessore Associate Commissioner/Senior Minority Administrator......Hamilton Cook Associate Commissioner of Marketing and Broadcasting..Valerie McQuade Director of Women’s Basketball Operations..........................Caitlin Lowe Director of Championships................................................Kelsey Nugent Director of Digital Media/Broadcasting.............................Steve Connelly Director of Championships.....................................................Mia Kness Director of Compliance & Championships..................................Tim Dezzi Interim Director of New Media for Communications.....Samuel Watkins Jr. Administrative Fellow........................................................Muhammad Amjad Administrative Fellow....................................................................Brian Davis Administrative Fellow...................................................................Rob Mahala Coordinator of Men's Basketball Officials........................Michael Stephens Coordinator of Women's Basketball Officials..................Debbie Williamson Associate Coordinator of Women's Basketball Officials......Brad McMillion Chairman & CEO, Van Wagner Group........................Richard M. Schaps Chief Operating Officer, Van Wagner Group......................John Massoni President, Van Wagner College............................................Mike Palisi Chief Revenue Officer, Van Wagner College.......................Mark Donley Vice President, Marketing, Van Wagner College..............Diana LePore Assistant VP, Conferences, Van Wagner College..........Ellen Harrington General Manager, Van Wagner College............................Patrick Quinn 800 Third Ave. 28 th Fl., New York, NY 10022 • 212.699.8400
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March 7, 2023
March 7, 2023
On behalf of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, (CRDA), we welcome back the MAAC basketball teams and coaches to Atlantic City and historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Last year’s tournament saw Saint Peter’s Final Four journey begin with their MAAC win, and we expect another action-packed tournament at this year’s 2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Championship. We are excited to have the tournament return to our venue and are confident that our building management team, Oakview Group, will provide a safe and friendly environment to play this championship event. We look forward to our continued partnership with MAAC and we invite the athletes, coaches, fans and families to experience all the amenities that our destination has to offer. From world class accommodations to dining, shopping and entertainment, we are sure you’ll find plenty to do during your time here. Visit our website at www.atlanticcity.com for a listing of all upcoming events and attractions. On behalf of the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, (CRDA), we welcome back the MAAC basketball teams and coaches to Atlantic City and historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Last year’s tournament saw St. Peter’s Final Four journey begin with their MAAC win, and we expect another action-packed tournament at this year’s 2023 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Championship. We are excited to have the tournament return to our venue and are confident that our building management team, Oakview Group, will provide a safe and friendly environment to play this championship event. We look forward to our continued partnership with MAAC and we invite the athletes, coaches, fans and families to experience all the amenities that our destination has to offer. From world class accommodations to dining, shopping and entertainment, we are sure you’ll find plenty to do during your time here. Visit our website at www.atlanticcity.com for a listing of all upcoming events and attractions.
Dear MAAC Basketball Fans: Welcome to the 42nd annual Hercules Tires MAAC Basketball Championships! 2023 marks the fourth year that the MAAC’s premier event is being hosted by Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Atlantic City has been a great host to the championships working with the conference to maintain the event through the COVID pandemic and is now ready to welcome fans in the manner that was envisioned before the 2020 tourney was cut short. This will be the 35th year I’ve been overseeing the MAAC Basketball Championships, and as I prepare to retire in June it seems appropriate to reflect on how the event has grown. In 1989 when the MAAC was hosted by the Meadowlands Arena, it was just the men’s semifinals and finals that were played in the venue. It was also the weekend of a colossal ice storm the night of the finals and I recall thinking we should announce the fans that somehow made it to arena, rather than the teams, as the introductions would be shorter. Despite that shaky start, I have always envisioned the basketball championships as culmination event that celebrated the MAAC’s premier men’s and women’s sport. For that reason, we elevated the championship to include all teams when the conference moved to the new Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY in 1990. This expanded to all men’s and women’s teams at the arena starting in 1992 and it has remained a joint men’s and women’s championships format since then as the MAAC leadership recognized our men’s and women’s basketball players should have a similar championship experience. During my tenure, the MAAC has been hosted by many communities including Albany, NY; Buffalo, NY; Springfield, MA; Trenton, NJ; Bridgeport, CT; and most recently Atlantic City, NJ which was chosen because it was a neutral site in a destination city with first class accommodations for the teams and fans. The MAAC could not successfully conduct these championships without the assistance of the arena staffs that make it all come together in a seamless manner.
Sean Pattwell Executive Director Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Sean Pattwell Executive Director Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
I want to thank all the MAAC’s partners and co-hosts for their efforts this year. The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), the City of Atlantic City, Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, the Atlantic City Sports Commission, Visit Atlantic City, Rider University, and the MAAC have worked diligently to create a first-class event for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. Included in these acknowledgements are the MAAC’s hospitality hosts at the Tropicana Casino and Resort, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, The Showboat Hotel, The Claridge – A Radisson Hotel and the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel. This annual event is a showcase of college basketball that the conference membership looks forward to each March and brings economic rewards to the region through team and fan travel and entertainment. For 35 years I have been privileged to serve as MAAC Commissioner, but the heavy lifting of administering the event has fallen on the MAAC staff who tirelessly work to put on a first-rate event for our teams and fans. I want to single out MAAC Senior Associate Commissioner, Jordan Confessore, who oversees all elements of the championships with her team of Caitlin Lowe for women’s basketball, Valerie McQuade for broadcasting, Kelsey Nugent for hotels and esports, and Hamilton Cook for media relations. Along with Deputy Commissioner, Jess Grasso, all the MAAC staff is focused on ensuring all operations work to elevate the MAAC brand and highlight the accomplishments of the student-athletes. I am very grateful for their efforts and the many that preceded them in their roles. Fortunately, for fans unable to attend in-person the MAAC’s ESPN long-time partner will ensure that all championship games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The broadcast partnership with ESPN has been a huge game changer for the MAAC since it was launched in 2014. With all MAAC home games broadcast on either ESPNU, ESPN3 or ESPN+ it has allowed the conference and its member schools to expand its brand and reach throughout the nation and also internationally through our Sidearm Sports streaming service. Playing in the NCAA Tournament is a life-long goal of MAAC athletes and coaches, and that is why the level of play is so intense as 22 teams chase the elusive bid that starts the “Road to the Final Four.” The pressure is real and the stakes high for all 22 MAAC teams as they get a shot to punch their ticket to the “Big Dance.” This year the “Big Dance” will conclude in Houston, TX for the men and Dallas, TX for the women and the MAAC championship winners are ready to ‘Dance’ as March Madness returns to Atlantic City. The ability of a team to move on from the MAAC Championship and be successful in the NCAA’s was reinforced when last year’s men’s champion Saint Peter’s University advanced to the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Tournament. The Peacocks were the Cinderella story of the tourney and despite busting most fan’s brackets, their extraordinary run with wins over Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue garnered support from college basketball fans all over the nation. In that 4-game tournament run the Peacocks had four of the top 20 ranked viewer ratings games on CBS/Turner with ratings ranked 3rd, 7th, 17th & 19th. As a graduate of Saint Peter’s ’75, I sat in the stands alone before the North Carolina game and reflected on my own career journey that started as a team manager and advanced to the Conference Commissioner role. It has been a great ride and I thank you all for attending the 2023 Championships this week as I conclude my own 35-year run. I also want to remind our basketball fans that the MVP Arena along with the MAAC and Siena College will host the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds in Albany, NY. The long-time commitment to hosting NCAA championships by the MAAC is part of the conference’s give back to the Association as well as our partner host communities and local sports fans. In 2024, the MAAC will also host the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional Rounds in Albany, NY at the MVP Arena. Finally, I want to thank all of those who have worked tirelessly to make the event a memorable experience, with special thanks to the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall General Manager, Jim McDonald and his staff, our colleagues at the CRDA, as well as Atlantic City Sports Commission, CEO Larry Sieg, and staffers Dan Gallagher, Casey Sickler and Nancy Taylor. Also, Michelle Perry, the MAAC’s design and operations consultant at Game Changers Consultants, and MAAC Properties sponsorship team from Van Wagner including Patrick Quinn. Van Wagner has been connecting brands to sports for over twenty years and is an important piece to the teams that financially supports the basketball championships. We look forward to exciting MAAC basketball this week, as well as showcasing Atlantic City through our broadcast partner, ESPN, to a national audience of sports fans. Thank you for your continued support and enjoy the championships! Sincerely,
March 7, 2023
Welcome to the 2023 Hercules Tires MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. We are once again honored to host the event and thrilled to have the student-athletes, their families, and friends back in Atlantic City. Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall has a long history of hosting large and memorable events, and this week will be no exception as we all get to witness 22 men’s and women’s teams battle for their chance to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Thank you for joining us this week and allowing us to showcase our world-class facility and city! Atlantic City has a lot to offer the athletes, families and fans of the event and we hope you get to experience as much as you can in your free time. We wish all the student-athletes and coach’s good luck this week as you compete to earn a spot in the big dance. Enjoy the week with us and we look forward to seeing you at another event in the future.
Jim McDonald General Manager
Richard J. Ensor Commissioner
6 JIM WHELAN BOARDWALK HALL | ATLANTIC CITY
2023 | HERCULES TIRES MAAC MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 7
March 7, 2023
Welcome to the 2023 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships! On behalf of Visit Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Sports Commission, I am pleased to welcome you back to our beautiful seaside destination. We are thrilled to welcome back the championships to Atlantic City at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. The tournament week will be full of the finest college basketball featuring elite student athletes battling for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Your hard work, preparation, and dedication will be showcased for all to see throughout the tournament taking place in one of the East Coast’s iconic shore towns. While visiting Atlantic City, I encourage you to dine, explore and play after the games are complete. There are endless experiences all within walking distance of the arena. To discover what’s happening in Atlantic City, visit: www.visitatlanticcity.com. Our hospitality awaits your arrival. Best of luck as you battle at the Boardwalk! Welcome to the 2023 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships ! On behalf of Visit Atlantic City and the Atlantic City Sports Commission, I am pleased to welcome you back to our beautiful seaside destination. We are thrilled to welcome back the championships to Atlantic City at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. The tournament week will be full of the finest college basketball featuring elite student-athletes battling for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Your hard work, preparation, and dedication will be showcased for all to see throughout the tournament taking place in one of the East Coast’s iconic shore towns. While visiting Atlantic City, I encourage you to dine, explore and play after the games are complete. There are endless experiences all within walking distance of the arena. To discover what’s happening in Atlantic City, visit: www.visitatlanticcity.com. Our hospitality awaits your arrival. Best of luck as you battle at the Boardwalk!
Larry Sieg President and CEO Visit Atlantic City and Atlantic City Sports Commission Larry Sieg President and CEO Visit Atlantic City and Atlantic City Sports Commission
March 7, 2023
Welcome to Atlantic City and the 2023 Hercules Tires Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Basketball Championships! As this season reaches its dramatic conclusion this week, we celebrate the countless hours and ceaseless effort of all this year’s competitors. From court to classroom, through every game and every practice, these athletes have dedicated themselves to success in many forms. They exemplify the drive to thrive, and we are honored to be with them on the road to victory. Over the past 70 years and with everything we do, Hercules Tires builds on a foundation first established in 1952: Confident performance, continuous growth, and courageous leadership. That same spirit is carried by the young men and women competing within the MAAC Basketball Championships. Like Hercules, their strength is in unity, teamwork, and the shared outcome of triumph. We rally under the mantra of Ride on Our Strength––But with the accomplishments of these athletes, we are inspired by theirs. We recognize that such strength wouldn’t be possible without support from the passionate students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans of the MAAC Conference Championships. Together, you are the engine that drives us.
Good luck to you all,
Nakia Medlin Director of Marketing Hercules Tires
8 JIM WHELAN BOARDWALK HALL | ATLANTIC CITY
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The End of an Era: Longtime MAAC Commissioner Richard J. Ensor, Esq. to Retire at the End of 2022-23 By Hamilton Cook
A PIONEER OF EQUITY Ensor has been involved with the growth of women’s sports and more specifically, women’s basketball. He serves on the boards of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, has chaired the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee and has been a past member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. Ensor was instrumental in combining the women’s basketball tournament with the men’s basketball tournament in 1992 at what was then called Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY (currently MVP Arena), having both tournaments run simultaneously at the same neutral site for 30 consecutive years – the longest running combined neutral site basketball tournaments in DI. The WBCA has honored Ensor twice for his contributions to women’s basketball with the coach’s association’s Presidents Award in 2014 and as its Administrator of the Year in 2015. EXPANDING THE MAAC'S OUTREACH In the late 90’s, Ensor expanded the MAAC’s reach both nationally and internationally. In the summer of 1998, the league would announce a partnership with Disney’s Wide World of Sports (WWOS) in Orlando, FL as part of the conference’s mission to provide a world-class sports championship experience for its student-athletes, their families, and fans. The inaugural event hosted at Disney would be the 1998 MAAC Volleyball Championship. The partnership between the MAAC and Disney has continued and expanded over the past 23 years, adding men’s and women’s cross country, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer in alternating years during the fall, and men’s and women’s golf annually held in Disney during the spring. Furthermore, Ensor and the MAAC have also brought basketball to the Disney stage, co-hosting the ESPN Events Invitational (previously the Old Spice Classic) annually since 2006 during Thanksgiving and more recently a pair of MAAC/ASUN Challenges in 2019 and 2021, with both events played inside of the ESPN WWOS Field House. During the same summer in July, Ensor took MAAC basketball international, creating a men’s basketball All-Star team and taking them
led to a groundbreaking partnership with ESPN as well as the expansion of the conference membership. His guidance has laid the groundwork for the continued success of the conference, including the groundbreaking global success of the Saint Peter's men's basketball program during March Madness of this year. The enduring and future success of the MAAC has Rich Ensor's imprint on it, as well as the legacy of critical partnerships and relationships within collegiate athletics and beyond.” THE MAAC HAS THRIVED SIGNIFICANTLY UNDER ENSOR'S GUIDANCE AND HAS BEEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVOLUTION THROUGHOUT HIS TENURE When Ensor was hired in 1988, the MAAC sponsored 13 sports and championships and held just two NCAA Championship automatic qualifications (men’s basketball and women’s basketball). Those quantities have since grown to 24 sports and championships and 15 NCAA AQs during his time at the helm of the league. In addition to the current 24 sports, the MAAC also previously sponsored both a football league and ice hockey league, at which time the conference sponsored a league-record 26 sports.
35 years after taking over as the leader of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), Commissioner Richard J. Ensor, Esq., announced his retirement on August, 17, closing out the longest reign in NCAA history. “It has been a privilege to serve as Commissioner of the MAAC since 1988 and represent a conference dedicated to achieving success in academics and athletics,” notes Ensor. “I want to thank the generations of coaches, athletes and administrators who have competed in the MAAC during my tenure for their commitment to these goals and the MAAC Council of Presidents for their on-going support.” “I also want to single out the numerous MAAC staff members who contributed through their individual commitments to the success of the league,” continued Ensor. “It is a source of pride for me to see how these former staff members have succeeded in their own careers that often began as entry level fellows and directors at the MAAC.” “Finally, I want to thank my family for their support and understanding of the many time demands that a Commissioner juggles in managing a NCAA Division I Conference,” said Ensor. “Deirdre Ensor has been an
integral part of my own success as she managed our family. It has been a great journey together.” The longest tenured NCAA Division I multi-sport conference commissioner, Ensor has held his post at the MAAC since August 1988, when he was named as the third commissioner of the MAAC. When Ensor’s tenure culminates in June, he will have served as MAAC commissioner for approximately 35 years; the longest DI commissioner term in NCAA history, surpassing Doug Elgin of the Missouri Valley Conference, who held his post at the MVC for 33 years. “Rich Ensor has been an outstanding commissioner of the Metro Athletic Atlantic Conference for nearly 34 years,” said Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., President of Niagara University and MAAC President. “Throughout his tenure he has maintained a critical focus on the student-athlete experience, as well as a focus on strong advocacy for the inclusion of women's sports, with women's basketball being a powerful example. In the ever-changing world of NCAA athletics, his steady leadership has provided the conference with strength and stability; his innovative leadership has
JIM WHELAN BOARDWALK HALL | ATLANTIC CITY
2023 | HERCULES TIRES MAAC MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 13
on an eight-game exhibition tour through Japan. The team traveled to six cities over a 14-day period, making stops in Fukuokam Kobe, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Fukui. Seven years later during the summer of 2005, Ensor and the MAAC would again sponsor a men’s basketball All-Star Tour, this time taking 12 student-athletes from the 10 member institutions on a two-week, seven game exhibition tour of China. Since, the MAAC has partnered with the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Sports Changes Life to host two Belfast Classics (2018 and 2019) in Northern Ireland and will co-host the MAAC/ASUN Dublin Challenge in Dublin, Ireland and London Basketball Classic in London, England both in the fall of 2022. Ensor has also put the MAAC on a national and regional broadcast scene, showcasing the league’s premiere sports through top networks such as ESPN, MSG Network, SportsChannel-NY, to name a few. During his first year at the helm of the conference, Ensor signed a television deal with SportsChannel, allowing the company to broadcast eight men’s basketball games during the 1988-89 season. By 1995, that quantity would increase to 19 men’s games and five women’s game, which included the women’s semifinals and championship game. Shortly after, in the summer of 1995, Ensor and the MAAC would agree on an unprecedented eight appearances nationally on ESPN and ESPN2, also featuring the women’s basketball championship airing live on ESPN2 for the first time ever. By 2011, Ensor, the MAAC and ESPN would announce a six-year rights agreement extension for enhanced coverage of MAAC men’s and women’s basketball across multiple platforms, with the deal featuring a record of 80 national appearances over 40 scheduled contests – the most ever for the MAAC. The conference would continue
to grow its partnership with ESPN in May 2014 with the launch of the MAAC branded ESPN3 channel and school produced ESPN3 broadcasts. In May 2016, Ensor embarked on a new eight-year agreement with ESPN to include broadcast annually on ESPN2, ESNPU, ESPN3, and ESPN+ including men' and women's basketball and championships from ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL. The deal also catapulted ESPN3 school productions in which all MAAC member institutions will have fully operational ESPN facilities/trucks and each school produces and transmits their own broadcast to ESPN. The agreement to have school’s producing upwards to 600 broadcasts a year by 2025-26, was exceeded in 2021-22, with MAAC schools producing a conference-record 646 total ESPN productions. Ensor is a 1975 graduate of MAAC charter member, Saint Peter’s University (formerly College). In 1982, he was awarded a Master's degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and in 1987 he graduated from Seton Hall University's School of Law and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of that year. Ensor has served in many administrative capacities in college sports prior to his time as MAAC Commissioner, including positions at his alma mater, Saint Louis University and Seton Hall University.
2023 post season awards show Wednesday, March 8 10:30am Adrian phillips theater jim whelan boardwalk hall Coaches of the Year Players of the Year Tune in as the MAAC announces its: Rookies of the year 6th Players of the year Defensive Players of the Year LIVE ON
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JIM WHELAN BOARDWALK HALL | ATLANTIC CITY
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The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is founded. U.S. Military Academy, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Iona College, Manhattan College, and Saint Peter's College are the charter members, and will begin competition in the fall of 1981.
Fairfield University's men's basketball team becomes the first eighth seed to win the MAAC Tournament championship. The Stags then give top seed North Carolina all it could handle in the first round of the NCAA East Regional before falling to the Tar Heels. Saint Peter's women's team becomes the first team to go unbeaten in the MAAC since the adoption of the home-and-home round- robin schedule en route to their seventh MAAC Tournament crown.
Quinnipiac women’s basketball team makes historic Sweet Sixteen run in the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Bobcats became the second MAAC women’s basketball team to advance to the Sweet 16 since 2007.
No. 15 seed Saint Peter's men's basketball becomes the first MAAC program (men or women) to advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, defeating No. 2 Kentucky (85-79 OT), No. 7 Murray St. (70-60), and No. 3 Purdue (67-64). The Peacocks were also the first ever 15 seed in NCAA history to advance to the Elite Eight.
Longtime MAAC Commissioner Richard Ensor announces retirement at the conclusion of 2022-23 year, ending the longest NCAA DI multi-sport conference commissioner tenure.
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2023 | HERCULES TIRES MAAC MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 17
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Richard J. Ensor, Esq. MAAC Commissioner
will host the 2026 NCAA Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. Ensor, who spearheads the league's marketing efforts, has sought to tie the conference's strong academic image into its marketing campaign. The MAAC has carved a well-earned niche as an athletic conference that balances quality academics and athletics. In 2016, the MAAC announced a new 8-year agreement with ESPN which includes broadcasts annually on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN+ including men' and women's basketball and championships from ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, FL. The deal also formalizes the launch of ESPN3 school production facilities at all MAAC schools which will produce over 500 broadcasts a year by 2025-26. Ensor has long championed as association with ESPN’s brand and the MAAC assisted with the launch of ESPN+ in April 2018, as it had done previously with ESPNU and ESPN3. In 2019 the MAAC announced a new sponsorship sales representation 8-year agreement with Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment which will manage the multimedia rights and negotiate and execute corporate sponsorships on the Conference’s behalf. Van Wagner will work to enhance event-driven experiences for the Conference while creating a year-round brand presence for sponsors, member institutions and their fan bases through sponsorship sales, promotions, event production, broadcast rights and marketing initiatives. The MAAC, along with Walt Disney World Resorts, enters its 23rd year of hosting MAAC Championships in Lake Buena Vista, FL. The championship operation at Disney allows the MAAC to provide its participating student-athletes, their families, and fans a world class sports championship experience. During the championship weekend in Disney, student-athletes have access to the playing facilities, on-site hotels, theme parks, and an awards banquet held after hours in one of Disney’s theme parks. These are designed to provide lasting memories for the student athletes, recruiting opportunities for the coaches and world-class broadcasts. The new agreement continues ESPN live broadcasting elements for all championships and events. ESPN’s state-of-the-art studios broadcast highlights of MAAC championships throughout all Disney World Resort hotel properties on the ESPN channels and MAAC.TV In conjunction with Disney Sports and ESPN the MAAC has co-hosted the ESPN Events Invitational (previously the Advocare/Old Spice Classic) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex since 2006. This eight-team tournament, which is held over Thanksgiving week, continues to draw elite Men’s Basketball teams to compete. One MAAC school is included in the field each year. Siena College represented the MAAC in 2022.
He previously served on the Division I Championships Cabinet where he chaired the exempted events subcommittee. Ensor has also served on the NCAA Division IAA Governance Committee and on NCAA committees dealing with playing season exemptions, athletic certification, and the regulatory culture of the NCAA, governance restructuring and antitrust issues. Ensor was appointed in 1996 and 2003 to a one-year term as the chair of the IAA commissioners. From 1999-2003 he served Secretary/Treasurer of the Ice Hockey Collegiate Commissioners Association. In 2007 Ensor extended his involvement with national issues when he was appointed to a 5-year term on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee. The committee is charged with annually selecting teams, seeding, bracketing and operating the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship including the Final Four. In 2019 Ensor completed a 2-year term as chair of the NCAA Division Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee, which is charged with guiding the governance of the sport within the association. His term was extended in September 2019 to a four-year extension on the committee. In September 2020, Ensor was named as a member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions which is committed to preserving fairness and credibility within college sports. In 2001 Ensor was named by the American Football Foundation as its Commissioner of the Year and in 1999 he was presented a Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Basketball Writers and in 1998 was inducted into the Saint Peter's University Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the Monsignor Donovan HS Hall of Fame. In 1996, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Sport Management Program named Ensor as the recipient of the VanderZwaag Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 1989, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities named Ensor as one of the "Leaders of Service" in its Bicentennial Series publication. In 1993, Ensor was honored by NACWA as a "Good Guy" for his efforts regarding gender equity. In 2004 Ensor received a Mousecar award from Walt Disney World for his efforts to make dreams happen for the MAAC's student-athletes participating in championships at ESPN Wide World of Sports. In 2016, he was honored by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for his leadership in basketball and contributions to the game. The WBCA has honored Ensor twice for his contributions to women’s basketball with the coach’s association’s Presidents Award in 2014 and as its Administrator of the Year in 2015. Ensor and his wife Deirdre, who are the parents of four children reside in Lanoka Harbor, NJ.
The MAAC Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships are also held annually at Walt Disney World. The golf hosting agreement at Disney’s Magnolia Course was recently extended through the 2024 championships. In 2023 the MAAC will conduct the championships at the Palm Course at Disney as the Magnolia Course completes a major renovation and upgrade to the Magnolia Course. In 2017 the MAAC expanded it brand internationally with the launch of the Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic in Northern Ireland. Manhattan College was the first MAAC team to participate in the MTE which was also the first regular season NCAA Division I basketball game ever played in Europe. The MAAC hosts with the BBHOF several basketball MTEs including the Mohegan Sun Classic and one-day events in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Miami, Toronto and Atlantic City. In 2022 the MAAC/ ASUN Challenge was conducted in Dublin Ireland. Four men’s and four women’s teams competed in the two-day event. A 1975 graduate of Saint Peter's University, Ensor has served in many administrative capacities in college sports including positions at his alma mater, Saint Louis University and Seton Hall University. In 1982, Ensor was awarded a Master's degree in sports management with honors from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. An attorney, Ensor graduated from Seton Hall University's School of Law in 1987 and was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in June of that year. He has taught as an Assistant Professor in Sport Management at UMass, where his concentration was on sports marketing and sports law, and as an adjunct at Seton Hall School of Law. Ensor is a member of many professional associations, including the American Bar Association. In addition, Ensor is a member of sport-related associations such as the Sports Lawyers Association, the New Jersey Bar Association Sports Law Committee, the American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, Philadelphia Sports Congress, NACDA and the CAANJ. In 2017, Ensor was first elected Treasurer of the Sports Lawyer’s Association and his term was extended another three years in 2020. He has published in the areas of Sport Law, and Sport Marketing. In 1994 Ensor served as chair of the New Jersey Bar Association Sport Law Committee. A member of the Collegiate Commissioner's Association (CCA), Ensor served as President of the association from 2007-09. He will serve as chair of the CCA DI Subdivision for 2019-21. Ensor has been involved in NCAA governance since 1999 when he began a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Management Council, a segment of the new national governing system for the intercollegiate sports association. He represented the CCA DI membership on the Council from 2017-19. Ensor had previously served on the previous CAA Council and in January 1996, he served as Chair of the Division I-AA NCAA Convention/Business Session. Since 2016 he has served on the NCAA Nominating Committee.
A proven leader in intercollegiate sports, event management and sport law for over three decades, Richard J. Ensor was named the third Commissioner of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in August 1988. Ensor has provided leadership through a national pandemic that shuttered sports in 2020 and through resulting financial and operational challenges as intercollegiate competition remerged in 2021 in an environment of bubbles, testing and arenas with no fans. In a period of continuing conference realignment in intercollegiate athletics, legal and equity challenges and a pending revision of the NCAA Constitution and Bylaws, Commissioner Ensor continues to provide the MAAC with strong guidance and advocacy for its interests within the NCAA. During his tenure the MAAC has secured a stable membership base, expanded the number of championships conducted and developed an extensive marketing program cemented with broadcast agreements with ESPN, a web paged hosted by SIDEARM Sports and secured championship venues such as Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall (Atlantic City, NJ) and Disney Sports Attractions. During a time of tumultuous realignment, health and financial challenges within NCAA Division I conferences the MAAC remains a homogenous association of private institutions of similar size and funding, which are committed to student-athlete excellence both on the playing fields and in the classroom. The MAAC’s graduation rate is yearly in the top 25% of all leagues and the MAAC regularly receives NCAA Public Recognition Awards for its member schools placing in the top 10% in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate for student-athletes. Ensor is a past member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and past president of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA). He serves on the boards of the Sports Lawyers Association, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, and NACDA's IAAA ADs. He has served multiple terms on the NCAA DI Council and has served as chair of the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee on which he will remain with a recent term renewal that concludes in 2023. Since 2017, Ensor has served on the Arizona State University Sports Law and Business Program National Advisory Board. In 2020, Ensor was named a member of the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Directors for a three-year term. The Women's Basketball Hall of Fame honors those who have contributed to the sport of women's basketball. The Hall of Fame opened in 1999 in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is the only facility of its kind dedicated to all levels of women's basketball.
Under Ensor's direction, the MAAC has focused efforts to showcase its member institutions in its annual men's and women's basketball championship. Since 1990 with the support of the MAAC Council of Presidents and the league's athletic administrators and coaches the MAAC has held its premier event in state of the art playing facilities such as MVP Arena (former Times Union Center) in Albany, NY, and the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. The MAAC announced in 2018 that Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ had been selected to host the 2020-22 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. The inaugural Hercules Tires MAAC Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships in the world-famous venue was cut short when the COVID-19 Pandemic caused the cancellation of March Madness and all remaining college sports for the 2019-20 academic year. In 2021 the championships resumed competition, but the teams competed before limited audiences of friends and families as teams qualified for the NCAA that were conducted in single sites for all 64 or 68 teams in COVID-19 bubbles. The 2020 cancellation also ended the hosting of its inaugural coed Esports Championships in Atlantic City in the Adrian Phillips Theater, which is part of Boardwalk Hall. The MAAC did conduct the championships the following month for the following games online: League of Legends; Overwatch; Rocket League; and, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Marist College was the overall winner of the MAAC Esports Championships presented by New Jersey Army National Guard and was named the Program of the Year. MAAC champions will receive bids in the future to the national tournaments for the games under the MAAC’s membership in the Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF). Instrumental in the expansion of MAAC sports offerings to reflect the MAAC’s commitment to Division I membership and diversity, Ensor guided efforts within the MAAC beginning in 1992 to add women's soccer, in 1996 men's lacrosse, and in 1997 women's lacrosse, men's and women's indoor track and rowing. In 1998, the MAAC added outdoor track and field and women's golf, and in 2002-03 it added women's water polo. Esports was added in 2020. The league currently sponsors 23 sports and is awarded automatic or play-in bids to 15 NCAA championships [baseball, softball, tennis (m&w), golf (m&w), basketball (m&w), lacrosse (m&w), rowing (w), soccer (m&w) water polo (w), and volleyball (w)]. Additionally, MAAC men's and women's cross country have access to the NCAA championship through a regional qualifier race. Over half the MAAC sponsored sports now have direct access to NCAA Championships for the first time in the history of the
conference. (Up from 13 sports and two automatic bids in 1988). To award its fans, arena partners and membership, provide staff training and networking, the MAAC during Ensor's tenure has been very aggressive in seeking out opportunities to host NCAA Championships in various sports. With member schools it has served as a co-host of the 1995, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Times Union Center and the KeyBank Center 2014 2nd & 3rd rounds, respectively, and the 2003 NCAA Men's Basketball East Regional at the Albany, NY arena and the 2003 and 2019 NCAA Men's Frozen Four at the Buffalo venue. Additionally, the MAAC co-hosted the 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2016 NCAA Northeast Cross Country Regional at Van Cortlandt Park - Bronx, NY. In 2002, the MAAC was a co-host of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at the Times Union Center, and it repeated as host in 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The MAAC co-hosted the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ in 2006 and then hosted the Trenton Regional at the same site in 2009. In 2013 the MAAC hosted the regional again, this time at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT, and in 2018 and 2019 it co-hosted the regional again at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY with Siena College. In 2022, the MAAC, Canisius College, and Niagara University co-hosted the 2022 NCAA Men’s basketball First & Second Rounds at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. In 2020, the MAAC was awarded additional future NCAA hosting opportunities including the 2023 Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds and the 2024 Women's Basketball Regionals at the MVP Arena in Albany, NY which will be co-hosted with Siena College. The MAAC, alongside the Ivy League, was also selected to host the 2025 NCAA Women's Rowing Championship Finals (Divisions I, II, and III) at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ. In 2026, the MAAC along with Canisius College and Niagara University
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THE MAAC STORY
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THE MAAC STORY
THE MAAC STORY
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Story
events with the ECAC, including the highly successful HV Gamer Con 2019 in Albany, NY. In 2022, the MAAC held its first in-person Esports Championships at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City. Team champions were Iona (Rocket League), Marist (Overwatch and League of Legends), and Quinnipiac (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). Marist was named the 2022 Program of the Year. Esports returns to the Showboat Hotel in 2023 as the sports continues to grow at member schools.
Basketball team became the first MAAC Women's Basketball program to make it to a postseason championship game. The Saints advanced all the way to the title contest of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) where Siena fell to Louisiana-Lafayette. In 2007, the Marist Women's Basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to the eventual National Champion, Tennessee. The Red Foxes have recorded an additional five NCAA wins since their run in 2007. The Saint Peter's Men's Basketball team claimed the 2017 CollegeInsider. com Postseason Tournament (CIT) title, to become the first MAAC program to win a national postseason championship since Siena's Men's Basketball team in 2014. The Saints earned the league's first basketball postseason championship in its history by winning the 2014 College Basketball Invitational (CBI). In 2013, the MAAC had a record six Men's Basketball programs participate in postseason play – Iona (NCAA Championship), Niagara (NIT), Canisius, Fairfield, Loyola, and Rider (CIT). Canisius and Loyola both advanced to the Quarterfinal Round, while Rider reached the second round. In 2012, the MAAC had two teams advance to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship for the first time in 16 years, with Loyola earning the league's automatic bid and Iona garnering an at-large bid. In baseball in 2021, the MAAC received its first at-large selection to a NCAA regional in conference history when Fairfield Baseball earned the third-seed in the Austin Regional. The Stags made it all the way to the Austin Regional Final, defeating fourth-seeded Southern and second-seeded Arizona State. Fairfield began the regular season 28-0 in conference play and finished 39-5 overall. The MAAC has also been a leader in the forefront of technology, expanding the notoriety of the league into cyberspace. In 2017, the league reached a conference wide agreement with SIDEARM Sports (extended in 2020), to design and host the MAAC web page. MAACSports.com has been a great success, providing fans with fresh content, up-to-date results, live and on-demand video, and an online merchandise store. The site was redesigned in the fall of 2021. In September 2011, the conference announced the launch of MAAC.TV, the league's first broadband network. Eight schools (Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Rider, and Saint Peter's) were part of the original network. In May 2014, the MAAC continued to grow its partnership with ESPN by announcing the launch of the MAAC Branded ESPN+/3 Channel. All MAAC and school produced digital contact can be viewed through this channel. In the 2017-18 academic year the MAAC entered into a new eight-year agreement with ESPN and produced a total of 325 events on the ESPN family of networks. The first MAAC events on ESPN+ were men's & women's lacrosse games produced by Monmouth University. The 2018 Baseball Championship was the first MAAC championship to air entirely on ESPN+. As a part of the current MAAC-ESPN partnership ESPN+ will become home to hundreds of MAAC games, championships, and shows that are easily accessible to MAAC fans throughout the country. Under the ESPN agreement, 2019-20 marked the first year that all MAAC institutions had school production facilities and by the end of 2024-25 the conference and schools will produce over 700 collegiate athletic events and shows on the ESPN family of networks. The MAAC President for the 2022-23 academic year is Rev. James J. Maher, President of Niagara University. The Vice-President is Judy D. Olian, PhD, President of Quinnipiac University, Commissioner Richard J. Ensor, Esq. serves as the league's Secretary/Treasurer, Marianne Reilly, Director of Athletics at Manhattan College, will chair the Committee on Athletic Administration, and Elizabeth Donohue, Associate Director of Athletics/SWA/Compliance at Marist College, will serve as Vice Chair.
Country Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park with Iona and Manhattan, the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball First & Second Rounds at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY with Canisius and Niagara, which marked the fifth time that all three parties partnered for this same event (2004, 2007, 2010, and 2014), and the 2017 NCAA Division I, II, & III Rowing Championships with the Ivy League at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, NJ. The MAAC, Canisius, and Niagara successfully hosted the 2014 and 2022 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. The MAAC and Fairfield hosted the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. The MAAC and Rider co hosted the 2012 NCAA Rowing Championships at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, NJ and also co-hosted the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The MAAC and Rider co-hosted the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Regional at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ, after recording the third highest attendance figure for the women's championship with the First & Second Rounds in 2006. In 2017, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the field of teams for the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic, a college basketball tournament held in conjunction with the MAAC, Sport Changes Life, Rory McIlroy's Foundation, the Rory Foundation, and The SSE Arena, Belfast. The two-day tournament was held December 1-2, 2017 and featured Holy Cross, Manhattan, La Salle, and Towson. The 2018 event featured an expanded field to eight schools. The schools competed in two four-team brackets, with campus round games in the United States leading into two tournament brackets in Belfast aptly named 'Samson' and 'Goliath' after the iconic Harland and Wolfe cranes in the Titanic quarter shipyard of Belfast. Marist represented the MAAC in the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Belfast Classic. In 2022, the MAAC brought its first women’s basketball games to Ireland when the MAAC ASUN Men’s and Women’s Basketball Challenge was conducted in the National Basketball Arena located in Dublin. The Marist and Rider women’s teams competed in this first ever regular season women’s games hosted in Europe alongside the men’s teams from Niagara and Rider. In June of 1995, the MAAC developed new opportunities for student-athletes as the conference announced the formation of the MAAC Men's and Women's Lacrosse leagues. The men's league began competition in the spring of 1996, while the women's league commenced in the spring of 1997. Since their inception as associate sports leagues, both Men's and Women's Lacrosse have been upgraded to full MAAC sports. The men's league currently consists of six MAAC schools (Canisius, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Quinnipiac, and Siena along with two associate members Detroit Mercy and St. Bonaventure). The women's league features competition among nine MAAC institutions (Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Niagara, Quinnipiac, and Siena). The 2017 Men's Lacrosse Championship game aired on ESPNU and Sirius XM for the first time in history. In the spring of 2014, the MAAC expanded the championship field to six teams in Men's and Women's Soccer, Volleyball, Women's Lacrosse, Softball, and Baseball. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAAC canceled all spring sport competitions, practices, and other athletic related activities for the remainder of the 2020 Spring semester. Later the decision was made to move the fall 2020 sports into the winter of 2021 providing scaled back schedules and expanded championship formats as the pandemic continued to restrict athletic competition. This was the first time a season of sports competition was ever canceled in the MAAC. The MAAC Council of Presidents approved bylaws to launch an Esports League and Championships in 2020. The presidents approved Esports as an official MAAC co-ed club sport. The decision came after two years of evaluation and co-sponsorship of
With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) is in its 42 nd year of competition during the 2022-23 academic year. The MAAC was founded in 1980 by six charter members: the U.S. Military Academy, Fairfield University, Fordham University, Iona College, Manhattan College, and Saint Peter's College. Competition followed one year later in the fall of 1981 with members competing in the sports of Men's Cross Country and Men's Soccer. On January 2, 1982, Army traveled to Iona for the first MAAC Men's Basketball game and the MAAC story had begun. Current Conference members include: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona University, Manhattan College, Marist College, Mount St. Mary's University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University, and Siena College. The MAAC supports 24 sports and championships during the 2022-23 academic year; in addition, the MAAC champion earns automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship in 15 sports. Associate members include Long Island University, Sacred Heart University, Virginia Military Institute, and Wagner College in Men's Lacrosse. La Salle University, Long Island University, St. Francis Brooklyn, Villanova University, Virginia Military Institute, and Wagner College in Water Polo. Drake University, Jacksonville University, Long Island University, Robert Morris University, Sacred Heart University, and Stetson University compete in Women's Rowing. La Salle University, the University at Albany, University of Dayton, and the University of Hartford are members in Women's Golf. On June 1, 2018, the MAAC announced that Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ was selected to host the 2020-22 MAAC Men's & Women's Basketball Championships. In 2020 Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall hosted the MAAC Basketball Championships for the first time in history and the Championships returned to the state of New Jersey for the first time since 2003, when they were played at Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton. A total of nine MAAC Men's Basketball Championships and five Women's Basketball Championships have been held in New Jersey, including the inaugural event in 1982 at what was the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford. In 2022, the MAAC returned to Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, successfully completing the championships with no COVID limitations for the first time since moving to Atlantic City. Saint Peter's men and Fairfield women captured the championship trophies and moved on to the NCAA March Madness field of 68. Saint Peter's would go on to become the Cinderella of the tournament, making MAAC and NCAA history along the way. A No. 15 seed, Saint Peter's became the first MAAC program (men or women) to advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, defeating No. 2 Kentucky (85-79 OT), No. 7 Murray St. (70-60), and No. 3 Purdue (67-64). The Peacocks were also the first ever 15 seed in NCAA history to advance to the Elite Eight. By having an excellent working relationship with various facilities, and a top reputation for hosting events, the MAAC has often hosted NCAA Championships. In 2023, the MAAC and Siena College will host the NCAA Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds and the 2024 Women's Basketball Regionals at the MVP Center in Albany, NY. The MAAC, alongside the Ivy League, was also selected to host the 2025 Women's Rowing Championship Finals (Divisions I, II, and III) at Mercer Lake in West Windsor, NJ. In 2026, the MAAC along with Canisius College and Niagara University will host the Men's Basketball First and Second Rounds at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY. In March 2018 the MAAC hosted the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Regional with Siena College for the second time since 2015 at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. The Albany Regional was the highest attended site out of the four regions with over 20,000 fans in attendance over the two days of competition. During the 2016-17 academic year, the MAAC hosted the NCAA Division I Cross
Academics and Athletics
The MAAC prides itself on the accomplishments of its student-athletes in the classroom, as well as on the field. Mary Beth Riley, a 1991 graduate of Canisius, was the first recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award. In the fall of 1998, Erin Whalen, a member of the Iona Women's Rowing team, was awarded one of the nation's 32 Rhodes Scholarships for academic achievement and civic leadership. Despite the challenges of a global pandemic in recent years, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) student-athletes continue to excel in the classroom at high rates. Following a one-year hiatus, the NCAA announced the latest four year Academic Progress Rates (APR) and 41 MAAC teams achieved perfect APR scores (1,000) – 30 women’s and 11 men’s, while 10 league sports saw an increase in their average rate since the last annual report was announced in 2020. According to the 2020-21 data, Siena College led all MAAC institutions with six teams earning a perfect mark. Fairfield University and Iona College followed with five teams apiece, while Marist College was next with four perfect scores. Five conference programs recorded three flawless scores; they included Canisius College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, and Rider University. Manhattan College registered two teams with a score of 1,000, while a quartet of associate member teams achieved perfect scores. Women's lacrosse had the highest MAAC multiyear average at 995, while women’s rowing (+7) and men’s cross country (+6) had the highest improvements in women's and men's sports, respectively, and men’s basketball improved by five-points, jumping to 971 from its 2020 score. Overall, the MAAC’s four-year average remained static from the last report in 2020 (983), which ranked tied for 15th nationally amongst the other 32 Division I conferences. First-class facilities are the standard within the MAAC, as teams regularly play in top-notch arenas, such as Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, MassMutual Center, KeyBank Center, MVP Arena (former Times Union Center), Webster Bank Arena, Mohegan Sun Arena, and Sun National Bank Center. In October of 2022, the MAAC announced three year partnerships with Clover Stadium for the MAAC Baseball Championship and SPIRE Academy for the MAAC Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships. The Clover Stadium agreement made Pomona, NY the home of the 2023, 2024, and 2025 MAAC Baseball Championships. The SPIRE partnership made Geneva, Ohio the host site for the MAAC Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships for 2024, 2025, and 2026. In the past several years, several the MAAC schools have enjoyed success in national postseason play. Saint Peter's Men's Basketball made March Madness history in 2022 when they became the first ever 15-seed and MAAC Men's Basketball program to reach the Elite Eight. The Peacocks defeated second seeded Kentucky, seventh-seeded Murray State, and third-seeded Purdue on their historic run. In 2018, Quinnipiac Women's Basketball picked up its third NCAA Tournament win in the last two years. The Bobcats defeated Miami in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 1 UConn in the Second Round. In 2017, Quinnipiac won its first NCAA Championship game in program history and became the first MAAC women's basketball program to advance to the Sweet 16 since Marist in 2007. The Bobcats defeated Marquette and Miami en route to their Sweet 16 appearance against South Carolina. In 2015, Siena's Women's
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2023 | HERCULES TIRES MAAC MEN’S & WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS 25
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