You might have missed it amongst the bigger conference realignment news, but the MAAC will have a different look in the 2013-2014 season than it did this year.
The league will add Monmouth and Quinnipiac while Loyola (MD) will be departing to join forces with the Patriot League.
That leaves 11 teams for next year, which is why the MAAC announced on Thursday their intent to play 20 league games next season.
“A 20-game double round robin schedule that was unanimously approved by the athletic directors provides equity for all of our competing student-athletes as they work towards the goal of a MAAC championship,” MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor stated.
That’s the best way to determine a true league champion. Let every team play a home-and-home with every other team in the conference. Personally, I love it, and I wish every conference in the country was small enough to make it feasible.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.