April 4, 2014
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It's winner take all on Championship Saturday in the Alumni Recreation Center when Siena and Fresno State meet in the rubber match of the College Basketball Invitational Championship Series in a decisive game that will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
Siena won game one 61-57 in Fresno Monday night, but the Bulldogs rallied to post an 89-75 win over the Saints in the ARC Wednesday.
Siena would claim the first national postseason championship by a MAAC school with a victory Saturday and post its 19th 20-win season in the 73 year history of the program.
Here's 10 More Things You Should Know About the Saints Heading Into the Championship:
1) The Saints can clinch the program's first Division I national postseason championship Saturday. Siena won the National Catholic Invitational in 1950. This is the first time Siena has advanced to the Championship of a national postseason Tournament since turning Division I in 1976-77. Siena advanced to the semifinals of the NIT in 1994.
2) Siena is an impressive 17-12 all-time in national postseason tournament play. The Saints are making their 12th postseason appearances as a Division I program - six previous trips to the NCAA Tournament (1989, 1999, 2002 and 2008-10) and five NIT appearances (1988, 1991, 1994, 2000 and 2003).
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3) Siena has won eight of its last 10 games and is 17-11 since starting the season 2-7. The Saints had held the lead in the final 10 minutes of 17 straight games before trailing by double digits for the final 27 minutes and 21 seconds Wednesday night.
4) Marquis Wright was named to the 2013-14 Kyle Macy Freshmen All-America Team Tuesday. One of 25 finalists, Wright is eligible to be named the 2014 Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year when it is announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on Friday in Dallas. Wright is tied for the MAAC lead with 5.3 assists per game.
5) Siena played its first non-exhibition game at the Alumni Recreation Center since a 75-55 loss to Loyola on Feb. 18, 1997 Wednesday night. The program's full-time home from 1974-91 and intermittent home from 1991-97, Siena has posted a 211-65 (.765) all-time record at the facility.
6) Monday night's victory at Fresno State marked the program's first-ever postseason road win. The Saints were previously 0-2 in road MAAC Tournament games and 0-2 on the road in the NIT.
7) Brett Bisping is averaging a team-best 15.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in the CBI. Bisping has shot 50% from the field and 50% from three-point range in the Tournament.
8) This is the longest season in Siena basketball history. Prior to Wednesday, the Saints had never played a game in April - the latest game ever played (before Monday night) was the 1994 NIT Third Place game on March 30. Siena's Nov. 8 opener with UAlbany marked the earliest game the program had ever played.
9) The 38 games Siena will play this season are the most in program history, besting the 36 played by the 2001-02 team.
10) Siena's 11-win improvement ties with Manhattan for the sixth greatest turnaround in Division I this season. The Saints tied a program-record with 24 losses last year (8-24).
Get to Know Fresno State
1) Fresno State has reached the championships of a postseason tournament for the first time since winning the NIT in 1983
2) Fresno State is making its first postseason appearance since 2007 (NIT)
3) Fresno State is the last Mountain West team still in postseason play and one of just 6 schools in the country in a postseason tournament
4) Fresno State's 63.9% FG in Game 2 win was its highest FG% in 10 years
5) Fresno State senior guard Tyler Johnson has scored 20 or more points in 11 games this season and 12 times in his career
6) Johnson was the third-leading scorer in the MW play (18.2 ppg)