During last nights Siena mens basketball game, the announcers repeatedly talked about how lousy the Siena Saints men were supposed to be this season.  It's kind of become the narrative when talking about this team, creating a Cinderella effect.  The so-called experts predicted them to finish last in the MAAC pre-season poll but here they are, two wins away from an improbable trip to NCAA March Madness tournament.

After a solid 87-81 win over Rider last night, the Saints now have another formidable task in front of them. They take on Iona, the leagues top team, at 6pm at the Times Union Center in Albany this evening.

The Saints, with a first year superstar-in-the-making head coach, and an all-world freshman guard, have defied the odds and the experts. They've played smart, gritty, hard-nosed basketball for most of the season en route to a second-place finish in the MAAC after experts picked them to finish dead last.

A win today versus Iona would seem like an upset in the mind of many, but not to anyone who has followed this team down the stretch.  Head coach Jamion Christian believes in his guys and his positive energy has lifted this team.  He coaches with joy and has the swagger of Paul Hewitt, a name that Siena fans hold near and dear to their hearts.  Hewitt's success as Saints head coach unparalleled; his teams were loaded with talent.  And they won in March, not only when we were watching, but when the basketball world was as well.

Jalen Pickett, a first team All-MAAC selection, is arguably the leagues best player and is a freshman in name only.  He plays with the poise and confidence of a Ronald Moore or Kenny Hasbrouck, two players who brought Siena to prominence some 10 years ago when the Saints were not only playing in the NCAA tournament, but WINNING games.

Tonight, the Saints take on what 'experts' say is the leagues top team.  Maybe they are, maybe they aren't.  But one thing is for sure , these Saints don't seem to care what the experts think.




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