LOUDONVILLE, NY – The 2017-18 Siena Basketball schedule has been released. The Saints’ 31-game slate features 15 contests at the Times Union Center, tying for the program’s most regular season home dates in 32 years.
Siena played the 82nd hardest schedule nationally last season – including the 32nd toughest non-conference schedule – and the Saints’ 2017-18 docket is setting up to be equally challenging. Including contests vs. MAAC opponents, Siena is set to play 16 games vs. 2017 postseason squads including 14 matchups against opponents which won 20 or more games last season.
The Saints will be tested right off the bat as each of their first four games to tip-off the season will be against 20-win teams, three of which will be played on the road. Siena’s 13-game non-conference schedule features eight squads which won 20 or more games last season, including six which played in the postseason highlighted by four NCAA Tournament teams. The Saints’ 2017-18 non-conference opponents combined to average 20.5 wins and post a .617 winning percentage last season.
“Another tough schedule,” said head coach Jimmy Patsos, who enters his fifth season piloting the program.” Once again we are playing a premier non-conference schedule. I hope that it gets us ready for both the regular season conference games as well as the MAAC Tournament.”
The 77th season of Siena Basketball will begin in the Palmetto State with the first-ever meeting against CAA power College of Charleston on Friday, Nov. 10 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Cougars won 25 games last season and earned a berth to the NIT.
The Saints’ 15-game regular season home slate tips off with a marquee matchup three days later, as Siena welcomes “Dunk City” to the Capital Region for a battle against two-time defending Atlantic Sun Champion Florida Gulf Coast on Monday, Nov. 13. Siena’s 15 dates at the Times Union Center ties the 2010-11 squad for the program’s most regular season home games since playing 17 during the 1985-86 campaign.
“We’re really excited to have 15 homes games this season, which includes a number of quality opponents,” added Patsos. “There are some really good home games, and we hope the fans will come out and enjoy the schedule we’ve put together.”
Following a long weekend trip to Pennsylvania to face Patriot League contenders Lehigh (Nov. 17) and defending champion Bucknell (Nov. 20), the Saints return to the Capital Region to open their first of two separate three-game homestands. Siena hosts Hofstra in a men’s and women’s doubleheader on Thanksgiving Saturday (Nov. 25), before welcoming sister-school St. Bonaventure for the annual Franciscan Cup showdown (Nov. 29), and Robert Morris (Dec. 2).
The Saints then begin play in the Fifth Annual Gotham Classic, featuring four games over a two-week span in the five-team event. Siena opens at perennial national power and 2017 NCAA Tournament team Louisville Dec. 6, in a rematch of the tightly contested Second Round game in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Saints return to the Capital Region for their third straight Saturday home game with the annual Albany Cup doubleheader Dec. 9 vs. crosstown rival and 2017 CIT participant UAlbany, before concluding tournament play with road contests at Bryant (Dec. 17) and Memphis (Dec. 20).
Rounding out Siena’s non-conference schedule is a matchup at defending America East Champion Vermont Dec. 11 (tentative date), and a home date to close out the slate on Dec. 22 vs. Holy Cross.
The Saints open their 29th season of MAAC competition on Friday, Dec. 29 in Poughkeepsie against I-87 rival Marist. Siena then returns home to embark upon its second, three-game homestand to ring in 2018. The Saints will host their MAAC home opener against Quinnipiac on New Year’s Day, and also welcome Western New York rivals Niagara (Jan. 5) and Canisius (Jan. 7) to Albany during the homestand.
The matchup against the Purple Eagles at the Times Union Center will serve as Siena’s lone regular season meeting with Niagara. For the first time since 2012-13 when there were 10 member schools, the MAAC will revert back to an 18-game regular season schedule this year which means that the Saints will face two opponents only once as part of the unbalanced league slate. In addition to the Purple Eagles, Siena will play Rider just once this regular season on Feb. 15 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Marquee MAAC matchups at the Times Union Center vs. Iona and Monmouth are set for Feb. 12 and Feb. 18, respectively. The Saints dropped a memorable, hard-fought, one-point overtime defeat to the Gaels in last year’s MAAC Championship Game, after ousting the two-time defending regular season champion and heavy favorite Hawks a day earlier in the semifinals. Siena heads to New Rochelle Jan. 11, and to the Jersey Shore Jan. 25.
The Saints conclude regular season action at the Times Union Center vs. Fairfield Feb. 21, before traveling to Saint Peter’s Feb. 25.
For the fourth consecutive season as part of a five-year run, Siena and the Times Union Center will serve as the proud hosts of the 2018 MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships Mar. 1-5. The Saints and the arena have previously hosted the MAAC Tournament 18 times over Siena’s first 28 seasons in the league.
2017-18 Siena Basketball Season Tickets are on-sale now, and can be purchased by contacting the Siena Fan Relations Management Center at (518) 487-2202, online at sienasaints.com/tickets, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siena will unofficially open its 2017-18 season later this month with an international trip to Montreal featuring games against Canadian powers Carleton (Aug. 28), McGill (Aug. 30), and Concordia (Aug. 31). Saints fans can also meet the team at the KeyBank Sneak Preview Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center.
Siena is set to return seven letterwinners while also welcoming seven newcomers to the active roster including five true freshmen, for a program which is fresh off its first MAAC Championship Game appearance in seven years. The Saints posted a 17-17 overall record last season, and tied for third in the MAAC with a 12-8 league mark.