The Canisius College men's basketball team will take on Iona in the quarterfinal round of the 2013 MAAC Men's Basketball Championship Saturday, March 9, in Springfield, Mass., the MAAC office announced this afternoon. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.
Canisius will enter the conference tournament as the No. 5 seed after the Golden Griffins went 18-12 overall and 11-7 in league play. The 18 wins are the most for the program since the Blue and Gold posted 20 wins in the 2000-01 campaign, and the 11 league wins ties the program record for conference victories in a season since the MAAC moved to an 18-game conference schedule in 1997-98. Canisius finished the year with a school record 11 home wins in the Koessler Athletic Center and the team's plus-13 win differential over the 2011-12 season is the best in school history and ranks third-best in the nation.
Iona will be the No. 4 seed in this year's tournament after the Gaels went 17-13 overall and 11-7 in MAAC action. Iona earned the No. 4 seed with an 80-61 win over Siena at home Sunday afternoon. Senior guard Lamont Jones leads the Iona offense, which started the last weekend of the regular season ranked third in the nation in scoring average at 80.3 points per game. Jones, a Preseason All-MAAC selection prior to the start of this year, leads the MAAC with his 23.4 points per game, which also ranks second in the country. Canisius and Iona split the regular-season series in 2012-13, with each team posting a win on its home court.
This is the second time Canisius has earned the No. 5 seed in the conference's tournament, with the previous occasion coming in 1996, which is also the last time the Griffs won the MAAC title. Canisius has earned a first-round bye in the MAAC Tournament for just the second time since the 2000 tournament and this will mark the sixth all-time meeting between Canisius and Iona in the conference's postseason event, with the Griffs holding a 3-2 advantage in the previous five contests.Saturday's quarterfinal game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and fans can also hear the game live on AM-1400 in Buffalo and through the Golden Griffin Broadcast Network at GoGriffs.com with Jay Moran and Mike Scott on the call. Fans interested in purchasing tickets in the Canisius fan section are encouraged to call the Canisius Ticket Office at 716-888-2885 or by going online to GoGriffs.com.