LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena Basketball has been selected as one of eight teams to participate in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2018 Tip-Off Tournament presented by Citi. The Saints will begin both their 2018-19 season and Tournament play with road contests at Big East power Providence and Atlantic 10 foe George Washington, before traveling to Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut to compete in two additional games as part of the Springfield Bracket.
"We're grateful for the opportunity to represent the MAAC at this year's Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-off Tournament, and are excited to compete in the event,” said Siena Basketball Head Coach Jamion Christian. “We look forward to the challenge of playing at two perennially strong programs in Providence and George Washington, as well as the opportunity to be showcased twice at Mohegan Sun Arena."
The annual NCAA Men’s Basketball exempt Tournament sponsored by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference features Siena, Holy Cross, Norfolk State, and Stony Brook in the Springfield Bracket, with George Washington, Michigan, Providence, and South Carolina comprising the Naismith Bracket. Each of the eight teams will play four games as part of the Tournament. Naismith Bracket teams will each host two home games on their respective campuses vs. Springfield Bracket squads, before all eight teams head to Mohegan Sun Arena Nov. 16-18. Predetermined games within each of the two separate brackets are set for the first day, with championship and consolation games in both brackets to follow.
“With the recent extension of our partnership with Mohegan Sun and the addition of Citi as our presenting partner, we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s event,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. “The Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament has cemented itself as one of the best early season competitions and we look forward to hosting this year’s teams and loyal fans.”
The Christian era commences on Tuesday, Nov. 6 in Providence, Rhode Island when the Saints tip-off their 2018-19 season against the Friars. Providence made its program record fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance this past season, and also advanced to the Big East Tournament Championship Game where the Friars fell to eventual National Champion Villanova. Providence posted a 21-14 overall record last season, and tied for third in the Big East with a 10-8 conference mark. The Friars ended their season receiving votes in the final USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Providence leads the all-time series with Siena 10-4, although the programs will be meeting for the first time in 15 years dating back to a 73-66 victory by the Friars on Dec. 28, 2003 in Rhode Island. The Saints defeated Providence 89-81 the previous season on Jan. 4, 2003 in Albany to mark Siena’s milestone 450th Division I win.
Siena then travels to the nation’s capital two days later on Thursday, Nov. 8 to face George Washington for the second time in three seasons. The Colonials edged the Saints 77-75 in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic on Nov. 15, 2016 in Washington, DC. George Washington garnered a 15-18 overall record last season, and finished tied for 10th in the 14-team Atlantic 10 with a 7-11 league ledger. The Colonials had qualified for postseason play in each of the previous four seasons, highlighted by an NIT Championship in 2016. Siena and George Washington have split four prior matchups. In addition to winning the most recent meeting in 2016, the Colonials also captured the inaugural matchup between the programs in 1982. Each of the Saints’ victories in the series came in consecutive seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-00.
Siena begins play at Mohegan Sun Arena on either Friday Nov. 16 or Saturday, Nov. 17 with its first of two Springfield Bracket games. The Saints will open vs. Norfolk State in the first-ever meeting between the programs. The Spartans amassed a 14-19 record this past season, and came in tied for fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with an 11-5 league mark.
The event concludes with Siena facing either Holy Cross or Stony Brook in the Springfield Bracket Championship or Consolation Game. Holy Cross was 12-19 last season including an 8-10 mark in the Patriot League, while Stony Brook posted a 13-19 overall record and finished 7-9 in the America East Conference. The Saints defeated the Crusaders 71-65 this past season on Dec. 22 at the Times Union Center, and now hold a 9-4 advantage in the all-time series. Siena has only previously played Stony Brook once, defeating the Seawolves 66-55 on Mar. 18, 2014 in the First Round of the College Basketball Invitational on their way to winning the CBI Championship.
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference will continue to serve as the host conference for the annual Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. The MAAC has developed a strong partnership with the Basketball Hall of Fame, including the addition of a MAAC exhibit in the Hall of Fame museum in Springfield, Massachusetts.
General public tickets to the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament presented by Citi will go on sale Friday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. via all Ticketmaster outlets and the Mohegan Sun Arena box office. Pre-sales for participating schools begin Friday, June 1. Neutral site game times, television details, and an exclusive pre-sale opportunity via Citi will be released at a later date. For more information, please visit www.halloffametipoff.com.
About Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun Arena is now ranked consistently among the top venues in the world according to Billboard Magazine, Pollstar and Venues Today. It has won “Casino of The Year” at the Country Music Awards in 2008 & 2010 and in 2013, was voted “Arena Of The Year” at the G2E Global Gaming Conference in Las Vegas. Mohegan Sun Arena was also ranked among the top 10 arena venues in the nation for 2014, regardless of size. In 2015, Mohegan Sun took home the IEBA award for “Casino of the Year.” Mohegan Sun also won “Casino of the Year” in 2 categories at the 2013 & 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards. For more information on concerts and other great events, visit Mohegan Sun. For information on this week’s schedule, call the Entertainment and Special Events hotline at 1-888.226-7711, ext. 27163.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
The MAAC, headquartered in Edison, N.J., consists of 11 member institutions: Canisius College, Fairfield University, Iona College, Manhattan College, Marist College, Monmouth University, Niagara University, Quinnipiac University, Rider University, Saint Peter's University and Siena College. For more on the conference, please visit www.maacsports.com.
About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.