Steve Masiello

Manhattan’s Steve Masiello says ‘[MAAC] is not a one-bid league’ after win over Iona

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Emmy Andujar had a career night, scoring 28 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out three assists and coming away with three steals in Manhattan’s big MAAC 80-77 overtime win against regular season champion Iona on Friday night.

Andujar went coast-to-coast at the end of regulation, but was denied by the rim as the Jaspers and Gaels geared up for five more minutes in front of a raucous Draddy Gymnasium crowd.

He came up big in overtime, using a hesitation move to glide along the baseline, putting Manhattan up 80-75 with 24 seconds remaining as Iona elected to play defense instead of fouling. A.J. English got it to a one-possession game moments later. After George Beamon’s missed free throw opened the door for a game-tying three, English came up short. Rhamel Brown missed both free throws, but time expired on the second miss.

Last season, Manhattan and Iona met in Springfield in the MAAC tournament title game, as the Nos. 6 and 4 seeds, respectively. This year, they are the top two teams in the league followed by newcomer Quinnipiac trailing regular season champion Iona by two games.

The MAAC got two bids in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with Loyola (Md.) getting the automatic bid while Iona was slotted as a No. 13 seed in First Four game against BYU.

Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello, who was one win away from the NCAA tournament last season, believes his league deserves multiple bids in 2014.

“This is not a one-bid league,” he said in the post game press conference. “A seventh-place team in a BCS conference is better than these three? I don’t buy it.

“These four teams at the top of the MAAC, you put them in a 13/4 game, that four seed is in trouble,” he continued.

Iona’s RPI is 73. Manhattan’s is 92. Kenpom has the Gaels rated 74 while the Jaspers are ahead of them by a spot in those rankings. It remains to be seen as to whether or not two teams get into the Big Dance. But one thing is certain: if Friday night was an indication of what next week’s conference tournament will look like, the MassMutual Center will be the site to several great games leading up to Selection Sunday.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: Thanksgiving Day Edition!

Kevin Ollie
(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Syracuse vs. No. 18 UConn, 3:30 p.m.

For the first time since the Orange departed the Big East, the two former rivals will square off. Today’s battle will take place at the Battle 4 Atlantis, as the Orange knocked off Charlotte yesterday and the Huskies dispatched Michigan. To get ready for this battle, I’d suggest ready through the conversation @NoEscalators had with himself last night.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 25 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Gonzaga, 1:00 p.m.

The other semifinal in the Battle 4 Atlantis could end up being just as good, as the Aggies — who might be the second best team in the SEC — square off with a Gonzaga team that has one of the best front lines in the country. This will be a good test to figure out just how good both of these teams are.


1. No. 20 Wichita State vs. USC, 2:00 p.m.: The Shockers will be without Fred VanVleet for this event. It will also be a chance for us to gauge just how good this 4-0 USC team is.

2. No. 23 Xavier vs. Alabama, 12:00 p.m: The Musketeers should have no problems dispatching Alabama.

3. No. 8 Villanova vs. Stanford, 4:30 p.m.: The Wildcats are, once again, as good as any team in the country. Josh Hart might be the nation’s most underrated star.

4. No. 14 Cal vs. San Diego State, 12:00 a.m.: Tyrone Wallace and company have been awesome this season. They get their first real test of the season tonight.

5. Providence vs. Evansville, 7:00 p.m.: Evansville is one of the nation’s best mid-majors, good enough to give the likes of Wichita State and Northern Iowa a fight in the Missouri Valley. And Providence? They got a kid named Kris Dunn. Heard of him?


  • No. 3 Michigan State vs. Boston College, 6:30 p.m.
  • No. 11 Arizona vs. Santa Clara, 11:30 p.m.
  • No. 17 Notre Dame vs. Monmouth, 6:30 p.m.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley

No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”: