The Big 4 Basketball Teams Ready For Conference Tournaments | College Sports

Kyle Lofton gave a definitive answer when asked what prospect the St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team has in mind for the Atlantic 10 tournament.

“Win the first game on Friday, take it step by step,” Bona point guard Lofton said. “We want to come back to the championship and prove that we are still No.1 in this league.”

The Bonnies will play the A-10 quarterfinals against an opponent yet to be determined Friday in Washington, DC

The Bonnies earned the fourth seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament and a double bye to the quarterfinals with a 72-65 victory Friday over Richmond. The Bonnies have a week to prepare, rest and heal their injuries before starting the playoffs on Friday in Washington, D.C.

The Bonnies are one of seven men’s and women’s Big 4 basketball teams competing in conference tournaments this week. The UB men and women will play in the Mid-American Conference tournaments in Cleveland, and the Niagara and Canisius men and women will play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournaments in Atlantic City, NJ.

The winners of each tournament will earn an automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament. The men’s and women’s draws will be revealed on March 13.

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Niagara women's basketball within reach of first MAAC tournament bye since 2013

“We’re going to keep going for the goal – we don’t want to play the first day of the tournament,” Niagara coach Jada Pierce said.

Here’s a look at the seven Big 4 programs that will play in their conference tournaments:

University at Buffalo Men’s (19-10, 13-6 MAC): The fifth seed in the MAC Tournament, will face No. 4 Akron in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.

Players to watch: Jeenathan Williams, F, Buffalo (19.2 ppg); Enrique Freeman, F, Akron (11 rebounds per game, 37 blocked shots).

The summary: The Bulls were the preseason pick to win the MAC Tournament and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but a pair of losses to Toledo and Kent State, combined with 19 MAC games, down from 20, made drop the Bulls to the fifth seed. . Akron won the only meeting between the two teams on January 1.

UB women (22-8, 16-4 MAC): The No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament will face the No. 7 from West Michigan at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland.


UB guard Ronaldo Segu looks for an opportune shot as the Bulls prepare for the MAC tournament

In this season, and in four years at UB, Segu’s ability to find the right place at the right time isn’t just a product of good fortune. He is a product of basketball consistency, balance, practice and intelligence that has come through during his career at UB.

Players to watch: Dyaisha Fair, G, Buffalo (23.1 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game); Lauren Ross, G, West Michigan (17.9 ppg).

The summary: The Bulls enter the tournament having won 11 of their last 12 regular season games and won their last four regular season games by an average margin of 19.3 points. Fair has been among the nation’s top scorers this season, and UB’s sixth-year senior Summer Hemphill is averaging 13.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.

Canisius men (11-20, 7-13 MAAC): MAAC’s No. 10 seed will face No. 7 Fairfield in a first-round match at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ

Players to watch: Armon Harried, F, Canisius (11.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg); Supreme Cook, F, Fairfield (10.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg).

The summary: The Golden Griffins had an up and down season, but closed the season on a three-game winning streak, including a 67-64 win over Siena on Saturday. That helped the Griffs move up one spot in the standings, thanks to a Quinnipiac sweep earlier in the season.

Canisius women (5-24, 3-17 MAAC): MAAC’s No. 11 seed will face No. 6 Monmouth in a first-round match at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Atlantic City.

Players to watch: Dani Haskell, G, Canisius (14.1 points per game, 2.8 assists per game); Rhay Porter, F, Canisius (5.1 rebounds per game, 40 blocked shots).

The summary: The Griffs capped their season with a 71-62 win over Iona and are looking to advance to the first round of the MAAC Tournament for the first time since 2019, when the Griffs were knocked out of the quarterfinals. Siena beat Canisius in the first round of the 2020 tournament, and the Griffs did not play in last year’s tournament after its season was suspended due to health and safety protocols.

Niagara Men (14-15, 9-11 MAAC): MAAC’s No. 5 seed will face No. 4 Monmouth in a quarterfinal match at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in Atlantic City.

Players to watch: Marcus Hammond, G, Niagara (18.1 ppg); George Papas, G, Monmouth (15.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg).

The summary: The Purple Eagles have won their last two regular season games by double-digit margins – a 74-52 win over Siena and an 83-52 win over Marist. Hammond has scored in double figures in 25 of the 27 games he has played this season. The Hawks and Purple Eagles have shared the season series, but Monmouth have lost three of their last four games.

Niagara Women (14-14, 11-9 MAAC): MAAC’s No. 4 seed will take on No. 5 seed Siena in a quarterfinal matchup at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Atlantic City.

Players to watch: Angel Parker, G, Niagara (17.5 points), Rayshel Brown, G, Siena (13.8 points).

The summary: The Purple Eagles earned their first first-round bye since 2013, winning seven of their last 10 regular season games, including victories over Canisius and Iona to end the regular season. Parker leads MAAC with 113 steals, and the Purple Eagles lead the nation in steals per game (13.6).

Saint-Bonaventure men (20-8, 12-5 Atlantic 10 Conference): The Atlantic 10’s No. 4 seed will face an opponent TBD in a quarterfinal match at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Players to watch: Jalen Adaway, G, St. Bonaventure (16.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg), Osun Osunniyi, F/C, St. Bonaventure (11.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 79 blocked shots).

The summary: The Bonnies are the defending Atlantic 10 Tournament champions and are eyeing their second NCAA Tournament berth in two years. Bona finished the regular season winning eight of his last nine games, but Bona’s last two wins — a 54-52 win Feb. 26 at Saint Joseph’s and a 72-65 Friday win over Richmond — were games of playoff type that took place in the last possessions. Osunniyi is expected to take advantage of the extra time between games to treat a left ankle injury he suffered against Saint Joseph’s.

March 13: NCAA Tournament Draw Revealed

March 15-16: Premier Four, Dayton, Ohio

March 17-20: NCAA Tournament first and second round games The KeyBank Center will host the first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament on March 17 and 19.

NCAA Women’s Tournament

March 13: NCAA Tournament Draw Revealed

March 16-17: First Four, campus of the top 16 teams

March 18-21: First and second round matches on campus for the top 16 teams

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