Siena You Say?

By Jason Priestas on March 16, 2009 at 7:00 am
Siena CollegeIt's like the Notre Dame of Albany

The Buckeyes return to the NCAA tournament as a #8 seed after a one year layoff and will face the #9 seed Siena Saints Friday evening in Dayton.

Siena finished 26-7 and capped off their second-straight Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship with a 77-70 victory over Niagara to win the MAAC tourney for the 2nd year in a row.

The Saints played some heavies close (7 point loss in Lawrence, 13 point loss at Pitt) and if you've read anything at all about this pairing since it was announced, you know that as a 13 seed last season, they put a hurting on fourth-seeded Vandy in the first round of the tournament. The hero of that upset was guard Kenny Hasbrouck and his 30 points. He's still around.

If there is any good news heading into this tricky matchup, it's that the Saints are relatively small up front. As in 6-5, 6-8 and 6-6. But roster breakdowns will be forthcoming. What about Siena? Where is it, are there any hotties that count themselves as alums, etc.?

Siena is a small, Catholic (Franciscan flavor) university located just outside of Albany in Loudonville, New York. A comparison to Capital University could be made, but Capital is larger (3,800 undergrads to 2,900) and about 100 years older.

With just 150 staff members, the faculty is smaller than the staff of the Buckeye athletic department. Their home court looks like something straight out of Hoosiers and the online presence for the student newspaper, The Promethean, is updated just once a month. But not too small to have their own radio station (with the badass call letters WVCR) or to rock out Twitter. Oh, and then there are the 18 Division I sports the school supports.

The list of notable alumni is rather sparse, with more than a few going into politics or careers within the Catholic church. There is one hottie on the list, albeit a fictional one.

Though not a graduate, 21st president Chester A. Arthur lies in rest at Albany Rural Cemetery, literally a stone's throw away from Siena's campus. Arthur, of course, was the first real diva to inhabit the White House. He was known as "Elegant Arthur" and was rumored to have kept more than 80 pairs of pants in his wardrobe and changed several times a day. And mad points to him for being the only president to trot fur out for his official portrait.

But back to Siena. Tickets go on sale at 10am for $75 per seat. With the Buckeyes playing in the late game Friday, it's a great opportunity for fans to make the short trip over to Dayton in support of The Villain and gang. After all, how many tournament games can you travel to without having to take the day of work off?

Buckeye fans will need to show up as Siena legend has it that 10 whole busloads of students traveled to North Carolina to witness the team's upset of Stanford in the opening round of the 1989 tournament.

Depending on how confident you are, the purchase of tickets for Friday also brings an automatic charge for tickets to Sunday's 2nd round game against Louisville.