Edison, NJ –Following approval from the Council of Presidents earlier this week, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has announced its schedule model for the upcoming 2020-21 men’s and women’s basketball season.
|2020-21 MAAC Hoops Schedule Model|
|Men’s Basketball||Women’s Basketball|
|NCAA Start Date: Wednesday, November 25|
|Non-Conf||Nov. 25 – Nov. 29|
|Non-Conf||Nov. 30 – Dec. 6|
|Week 1||Dec. 8||Dec. 11||Dec. 9||Dec. 12|
|Week 2||Dec. 15||Dec. 18||Dec. 16||Dec. 19|
|Non-Conf||Dec. 22-23||Dec. 22-23|
|Week 3||Dec. 29||Jan. 1||Dec. 30||Jan. 2|
|Week 4||Jan. 5||Jan. 8||Jan. 6||Jan. 9|
|Week 5||Jan. 12||Jan. 15||Jan. 13||Jan. 16|
|Week 6||Jan. 19||Jan. 22||Jan. 20||Jan. 23|
|Week 7||Jan. 26||Jan. 29||Jan. 27||Jan. 30|
|Week 8||Feb. 2||Feb. 5||Feb. 3||Feb. 6|
|Week 9||Feb. 9||Feb. 12||Feb. 10||Feb. 13|
|Week 10||Feb. 16||Feb. 19||Feb. 17||Feb. 20|
|Week 11||COVID-19 Make Up|
|Week 12||Mar. 2||Mar. 5||Mar. 3||Mar. 6|
|MAAC Championships: March 9-13|
The 2020-21 basketball schedule model is subject to final NCAA Board of Director approval at their September 22 meeting.
“The creation of this schedule model involved many moving pieces from multiple groups who are dedicated to seeing MAAC student-athletes return to action this season,” said MAAC Commissioner Rich Ensor. “I commend everybody involved in the creation process, including the MAAC Council of Presidents, MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration (COAA), MAAC staff and the MAAC Basketball Working Group. Their hard work made this possible. We are ready and committed to providing a safe playing environment for our student-athletes as we navigate the evolving landscape and possible disruptions to the schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Monmouth University President and MAAC Vice President Patrick F. Leahy added “I salute the tremendous effort that went into developing a scheduling and competition model that puts student safety at the forefront of our efforts to return to an athletic schedule that is as close to normal as possible. The current plans for MAAC basketball certainly showcase the thoughtful collaboration that has long been a hallmark of our distinguished conference partners.”
Men’s action is set to take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, while women’s action will be held Wednesdays and Saturdays. An additional day between contests allows student-athletes and basketball staffs to be accommodable to NCAA COVID-19 testing standards. Any game spacing issues will be reassessed as soon as NCAA testing protocols are finalized. At this point in time, fans will not be allowed to attend games through December 23, at which point the MAAC Basketball Working Group will review the policy in accordance to amended local and state regulations.
“The 2020-2021 MAAC Basketball scheduling model that the Council of Presidents approved on Monday represents what we see as our best plan to complete the MAAC schedule,” Canisius Director of Athletics and MAAC COAA Chair Bill Maher said. “The MAAC Basketball Working Group, comprised of four presidents and four athletic administrators, spent the last few months working with the MAAC staff to consider various scheduling models that we felt would provide the safest and most practical model for our membership. This framework, which received the endorsement from our athletic administrators and head coaches, gives the MAAC a clear path forward, but also affords us the flexibility to respond to interruptions should we experience that in the coming season.”
In coming to a decision on the model, postseason eligibility and non-conference opportunities played a major role. Preserving the traditional conference schedule was key in assuring an automatic qualifier (AQ) for MAAC teams in the NCAA Tournament come March. The proposed schedule also gives schools the opportunity to schedule non-conference competition in late November and December. All non-conference competitions will be left to the discretion of each institution.
“The MAAC Presidents, Athletic Directors, and Senior Woman’s Administrators were all instrumental in creating this model,” said Siena College Vice President and Director of Athletics John D’Argenio, who also serves as the MAAC Men’s Basketball Committee Chair. “Our guiding principles were putting the health of our student athletes and coaches first, and making the MAAC regular season and postseason schedules a priority. I believe that the group developed a strong scheduling model which spaces league games throughout the season, which gives us the flexibility to make adjustments during the season should any of our teams be faced with an interruption in play.”
The top priority entering the 2020-21 basketball season will be the safety and wellbeing of MAAC student-athletes and coaches. The flexibility Maher and D’Argenio mentioned refers to an open week in late February, that will allow schools to make up any cancelled/postponed games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to be able to adjust and be flexible is key in this everchanging environment.
“We’re extremely pleased to have a schedule model in place for the 2020-21 basketball season,” said Marist Director of Athletics and MAAC Women’s Basketball Committee Chair Tim Murray. “A crucial part of the process was the engagement of our presidents. This is a very challenging time on our campuses, and we’re appreciative for their leadership and focus on basketball. I know the athletes are looking forward to getting back on the court after an abrupt ending to last season.”
The 2020 Hercules Tires MAAC Basketball Championships were cut short last March due to the pandemic, with MAAC basketball student-athletes not having seen play since. This year’s championships are set to return to Jim Whalen Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 9-13. The proposed season schedule model sees competition in men’s hoops end on March 5 and women’s hoops end the following day on March 6.
The official MAAC men’s and women’s basketball schedules are set to be released next week.
About the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference:
With 11 institutions strongly bound by the sound principles of quality and integrity in academics and excellence in athletics, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) celebrates its 40th year of competition during the 2020-21 academic year. Current conference members include: Canisius, Fairfield, Iona, Manhattan, Marist, Monmouth, Niagara, Quinnipiac, Rider, Saint Peter’s and Siena.