MAAC Tournament Preview: Prediction, Bracket, Odds, Standings and Schedule

Thanks to a stingy defense, Niagara presents tremendous value in the MAAC Tournament.
Thanks to a stingy defense, Niagara presents tremendous value in the MAAC Tournament. / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

Time for some MAACtion! The MAAC Tournament gets underway in Atlantic City, NJ on Tuesday, March 8th, and Iona hopes to continue their strong play after rolling through the conference in the regular season to the tune of a 17-3 conference record.

The Gaels are listed at -120 at WynnBET to win the tournament, but a number of teams are vying to play spoiler over Iona, who are no lock for March Madness. Saint Peter's is listed with the second-best odds to win the MAAC Tournament at +315, while Monmouth (+850) and Siena (+1200) round out the top four.

Joe Lunardi currently has Iona projected as a 13-seed, but a strong performance in this tournament would solidify their bid.

#8 seed Manhattan and #9 Rider get the action underway Tuesday at 5:00 PM EST. But before they do, let's dive into everything you need to know about the MAAC Tournament, beginning with the odds over at WynnBET:

MAAC Tournament Odds

  • Iona -120
  • Saint Peter's +315
  • Monmouth +850
  • Siena +1200
  • Marist +1500
  • Niagara +3000
  • Manhattan +5000
  • Fairfield +5000
  • Rider +7500
  • Quinnipiac +7500
  • Canisius +7500

MAAC Tournament Standings and Bracket

Here’s a look at the standings and bracket for the MAAC Tournament. 

Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Schedule (Dates, Times, Channel)

Here's how the calendar shapes up for the 2022 MAAC Tournament. All games through Friday will be broadcast on ESPN+, with the finals on Saturday being on ESPNU/

All times are EST in Atlantic City, NJ.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - MAAC Tournament Opening Round

  • 5:00 pm: No. 9 Rider vs. No. 8 Manhattan - GAME 1
  • 7:00 pm: No. 7 Fairfield vs. No. 10 Canisius - GAME 2
  • 9:00 pm: No. 6 Marist vs. No. 11 Quinnipiac - GAME 3

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals

  • 7:00 pm: No. 1 Iona vs Winner of No. 9 Rider vs. No. 8 Manhattan - GAME 4
  • 9:30 pm: No. 2 Saint Peter's vs Winner of No. 7 Fairfield vs. No. 10 Canisius - GAME 5

Thursday, March 10, 2022 - MAAC Tournament Quarterfinals

  • 7:00 pm: No. 3 Siena vs Winner of No. 6 Marist vs. No. 11 Quinnipiac - GAME 6
  • 9:30 pm: No. 4 Monmouth vs No. 5 Niagara - GAME 7

Friday, March 11, 2022 - MAAC Tournament Semifinals

  • 6:00 pm: Winner of Game 4 vs Winner of Game 7 - GAME 8
  • 8:30 pm: Winner of Game 5 vs Winner of Game 6 - GAME 9

Saturday, March 12, 2022 - MAAC Tournament Finals

  • 4:00 pm: Winner of Game 8 vs Winner of Game 9

MAAC Tournament Prediction and Pick

Iona is the deserved favorite. They've won six of their last seven games and KenPom gives them the best chance of emerging victorious:

But at -120, their odds give an implied probability of 54.55%. With KenPom having them at only a 43.3% chance of winning, that means we have some room with these underdogs.

Iona certainly can be beat. They're a meager 3-8 against the spread (ATS) over their last 11 and just lost to Manhattan, who you can see above is not that great. But it's still a tall task for someone to overcome the Gaels, who have the best offense in the conference and the 26th-best defensive effective field goal percentage in the country.

Perhaps Saint Peter's can play spoiler, but they turn the ball over at one of the highest rates in America and allow teams to shoot free throws at a ridiculous rate as well. Those two elements (turnovers and free throws) are crucial in a tournament atmosphere, so at these odds I don't trust the Peacocks.

Marist is an intriguing option. They rattled off six-straight wins in February, including a win over their potential quarterfinal opponent in Siena. The Red Foxes have the best field goal percentage in the MAAC and have the highest three-point shooting efficiency. With a strong interior that ranks 79th nationally in two-point defense, they certainly have the elements to get hot and punch a ticket to the big dance.

I think a bet on Marist is worthy of consideration, but instead I'll look to a team that just beat the Red Foxes by 31 and side with the Niagara Purple Eagles at +3000.

Niagara destroyed Marist in their last game and trounced Siena by 21 in the game before that, so they're on absolute fire right now. The Purple Eagles have a stingy defense and protect the ball well, two elements we're looking for. Over their last five games, Niagara ranks in the 99th percentile in defensive rating and 93rd in free throw shooting. That'll play.

They've got underdog wins over Manhattan and Iona too, the two teams they'll need to beat to make the final, and are peaking at the perfect time. Their odds of +3000 give us an implied probability of 3.23%, so KenPom's estimate of 6.5% means we're getting tremendous value.

In a conference where anyone can be beat, I'll take a shot on Niagara to stay hot and win their way to the NCAA Tournament.

PICK: Niagara (+3000)