When the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference moved its basketball tournament from frequent host city Albany, then-Loyola coach Jimmy Patsos was perhaps more upset than even arena and city officials. Patsos loved the downtown experience, he loved Albany’s restaurants, and he loved the knowledgeable college basketball crowds that made mid-major basketball feel like the big time each March.
Several regional college basketball teams are making runs at the NCAA tournament this week.
Today at noon in Springfield, the Marist College women’s basketball team goes for its eighth straight MAAC championship against Iona, a longtime foe that has never been able to send the Red Foxes packing in March. Top-ranked Marist is in the championship for the 10th straight year and has beaten Iona in the title game in 2007 and ’08.
On the men’s side, the Iona faces Manhattan tonight at 9.
In the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder picked up their third straight win last night to pull within 2 ½ games of first-place San Antonio in the NBA's Western Conference. The Thunder downed the Knicks 95-94 in New York.
The only other NBA game last night had Denver beating the Los Angeles Clippers 109-92. It's the seventh straight win for the Nuggets and their 12th in a row in Denver. They own the league's best home mark at 27-3. The loss drops the Clippers five games off the Western Conference lead.