February 25, 2009
By Marcus Johnson
In the Disney movie Cinderella, the main character of the story (Cinderella) is a young teenager whose father gets remarried to a widow with two daughters. Cinderella is then forced to do all of the chores around the house and basically be the maids of the two daughters. Then one day her fairy godmother comes and turns her life around. In the world of college basketball, you can use this analogy to express the value that some schools get from others. Cinderella’s two step daughters would be the power conferences such as the Big 12 and the ACC. Cinderella of course would be the mid-major conferences such as the Mountain West and the Missouri Valley. Every year during the tournament there is a mid-major team that emerges from the shadows of the power conference teams and makes it to the sweet 16 or the elite 8. While most times it is a team that most people don’t expect will make it (other than their fans of course), this year the world of college basketball has many of teams that are clear cut nominees to become a Cinderella team this March. One of those teams, the Saints of Siena College has many of the credentials to make the tournament with an at-large bid. Currently they have an eye popping record of 22-6, and are sitting at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 15-1 conference record. Their RPI is at 24 and their strength of schedule is 74th in the country.
The Saints are a very young, with only two seniors on the team. One of those seniors, Kenny Hasbrouck has been the key to the success of Siena College this year. He leads the team with 15 PPG, would love to end his career with succeeding past the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament this year. (They lost to Villanova in last year’s tournament). Junior Guard/Forward Edwin Ubiles is right behind Hasbrouck with 14.6 PPG.
Siena College looks like a tournament bound team, but there is one problem. They don’t have any quality wins. They have played power conference teams Tennessee, Pittsburgh and Kansas, but they couldn’t get a win out of those games. Their most quality win that they have gotten so far was Saturday’s game against Northern Iowa.
Siena’s biggest knock against them is not having enough quality wins to make the tournament. They will make it into it tourney if they out right win their conference tourney. But they don’t want to take their chances at an at-large bid, because there is a chance they might not receive it.