Returning all five starters from a team that defeated a #4 seed Vanderbilt in last year's tourney, Siena was a trendy mid-major pick coming into this season. Then they went L, L, L to Tennessee, Wichita State and Oklahoma State in the Old Spice Classic and BOOM! -- trendy no more.
Reality set in and we pretty much forgot about the Saints, but they rebounded with a 16-2 MAAC record and conference final victory over Niagara, and they're back where they should be. Had they lost last night, they would be labeled the ultimate bubble team -- probably on the outside looking in.
Siena isn't scared. They're balanced and athletic and have another opportunity to show they're legit.
More on them after the jump.
Location: Loudonville, New York
Record: 26-7 (16-2)
Leading scorers: Kenny Hasbrouck (14.8 ppg); Edwin Ubiles (14.6 ppg); Alex Franklin (13.6 ppg)
What to know:
- The Saints started the same five players in all but two games this season.
- Hasbrouck is the face of the team, but it's the junior Ubiles who's their best player. The 6'6" forward is a bit undersized (200 pounds), but if any MAAC player is getting looks by the league, it's him.
- They hold a 21 RPI ranking, but are 0-4 against the RPI top 50.
- Hasbrouck, Ubiles and Franklin all shoot under 70 percent from the free throw line. As a team Siena is 66.2 percent. A cause for concern.
Projected seed: 12; and if they are, they're the favorites no matter who their opponent.