Edison, NJ – The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) today released revised basketball schedules for the 2020-21 season. The MAAC Council of Presidents adjusted the season's scheduling format in early November after taking into consideration evolving COVID-19 testing, travel and venue standards.The new schedules feature a Friday/Saturday playing format at the same venue for both games, with 24 hours of spacing between the two contests. The men's and women's schedules mirror each other so that one institution's program is home while the other is away, both facing the same opponent.
Teams have the weekend of December 25-26 open for the holiday break, where non-conference games are permitted to be scheduled. In addition, the week of February 22-27 remains open for all teams as an opportunity to make up any conference games due to COVID-19 disruptions.
As stated in the recently announced revised scheduling policy release, MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor noted “The MAAC’s goal with the revised scheduling format is to complete the conference season and meet the NCAA minimum of 13 Division I games to be played by teams. In light of the evolving state and local health standards, the increasing levels of infection rates, and decisions related to testing teams and officials three times a week for COVID-19, the MAAC membership revised its existing format for this season. The health and safety of our student-athletes and those associated with our programs is the priority of the Council of Presidents.”
The Council is also in the process of reviewing draft guidelines for Commissioner Ensor to use in the rescheduling of make-up games this season, anticipating disruptions to the schedule caused by the pandemic. The draft policy would grant the commissioner wide latitude and flexibility in rescheduling games, working with the Director of Athletics of the institutions affected, but relying on the commissioner to make the final decision. This would also apply to any additional games that may be scheduled between MAAC teams in their effort to reach the NCAA minimum of 13 contests, including up to four total contests between schools.
“With the focus on conference scheduling, and given COVID-19 disruptions, it is unlikely most schools will play the maximum NCAA limit of 27 games,” said Ensor. “Non-conference games, while helpful for conditioning teams for conference competition, are not mandatory and need to be evaluated to insure student-athlete safety. It’s at an institution’s discretion how many non-conference games should be played.”
Television information and start times will be announced at a later date.
Men’s Schedule Highlights
- Preseason favorite Siena begins the season on the road against Jay Young and Fairfield. The Saints look to recapture the No. 1 seed for the MAAC Basketball Championship while the Stags look to build off an impressive first year with Young at the helm.
- Rick Pitino will make his MAAC debut at the Hynes Center in New Rochelle as the Gaels take on the Monmouth Hawks. Iona was ranked No. 2 in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll, while Monmouth was ranked tied for third.
- Defending MAAC Coach of the Year Shaheen Holloway and the Saint Peter’s Peacocks start their season hosting Niagara before traveling to face New Jersey rival Monmouth.
- The final weekend of the season features five marquee rivalry matchups:
- Rivals Manhattan and Iona face off in New Rochelle. Jaspers coach Steve Masiello and Gaels coach Rick Pitino have an extensive history with each other, as the long-time rivalry between the two schools looks to intensify.
- The battle between Connecticut foes Fairfield and Quinnipiac with the Bobcats hosting the Stags in Hamden
- The “Battle of the Bridge” in Western New York, where Niagara and second year head coach Greg Paulus will host Reggie Witherspoon and Canisius.
- Siena travels down to its closest neighboring school in Marist.
- A New Jersey standoff between Rider and Monmouth as the Broncs play host to the Hawks in Lawrenceville.
Women’s Schedule Highlights
- Manhattan, the preseason favorites, begin the season on the road against the defending Co-Regular Season Champion Rider Broncs.
- Perennial powerhouse and defending Co-Regular Season Champion Marist travels to Buffalo in week one to face Scott Hemer and the Golden Griffs.
- Manhattan and Fairfield are scheduled to play each other the weekend of February 5-6. Due to television commitments, Friday’s game (February 5) will be played in Fairfield, while Saturday’s game (February 6) will be played at Manhattan.
- Since the league’s men’s and women’s schedule mirror each other, the last week of the season for the women also features five can’t-miss matchups:
- Niagara hosts Canisius for the annual “Battle of the Bridge” matchup in Western New York.
- Quinnipiac, MAAC Champions in three consecutive years from 2017-2019, hosts Fairfield in a clash for Connecticut. The two teams tied in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll for second place, only a single point behind the top spot.
- Preseason favorite Manhattan hosts rival Iona in Riverdale. The Jaspers return stars Courtney Warley and Emily LaPointe, the Gaels return standouts in Paulla Weekes and Juana Camilion.
- The Saints host I-90 rival Marist in Loudonville.
- New Jersey rivals Monmouth and Rider square off as the Hawks host the Broncs in West Long Branch.
About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:
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) celebrates its 40th year of competition during the 2020-21 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider, Saint Peter’s and Siena.