2024 MAAC Tournament Preview, Picks, and Best Bets

2024 MAAC Tournament Preview, Picks, and Best Bets

When it comes to March Madness, the MAAC champion has provided its share of recent memories. Who can forget the 2022 run from St. Peter’s that saw the Peacocks make it to the Elite Eight? While we can’t guarantee that this year’s winner will advance, we can say that this year’s conference tourney is shaping up to be one of the best the MAAC has seen. Let’s dive into it with our 2024 MAAC tournament preview with picks and best bets.

The 2024 MAAC conference tournament tips off on Tuesday night and the entire tournament will be played at the Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

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2024 MAAC Tournament Preview, Picks, and Best Bets

Is top-seeded Quinnipiac going to cruise into The Big Dance? Can Fairfield go dancing for the first time since 1997? Or will another team go dancing?

2024 MAAC Tournament Preview, Picks, and Best Bets

The Favorite: Fairfield +300

Quinnipiac is the one-seed in the MAAC, but two-seed Fairfield has the best odds. Why? Well, the Stags split the season series against Quinnipiac with a win on the road and a two-point loss at home. Fairfield also split with Marist with a win at home and a loss on the road and swept four-seed Rider.

Fairfield is coming in hot, having won five out of their last six. However, the Stags went 10-4 at home but were a bit more mortal on the road with a 10-6 record. This tournament is at a neutral site, and that won’t play to Fairfield’s strength.

Fairfield will either face Iona or Manhattan in their first tournament game. They lost twice to Iona and beat Manhattan twice. The Stags can get past either team, but Iona is clearly the tougher matchup.

Marist is the likely opponent in the semifinals, and that’s another winnable game. There really isn’t a team in the other half of the bracket that can trip up Fairfield outside of Quinnipiac.

The biggest concern is the potential quarterfinal matchup against Iona. Marist is also a 50/50 game, assuming the Red Foxes win their semifinal game. Also, Fairfield has one of the better offenses in the conference, but they are really poor at the defensive end. Those are big enough landmines to make Fairfield not worth more than a sprinkle.

Other Contenders

Quinnipiac holds the top seed and has +380 odds. The Bobcats will face either Canisius or Mount St. Mary’s in the semifinal round. Quinnipiac split both series.

If the Bobcats advance past the semifinal matchup, they’ll face either Rider or Saint Peter’s in the quarterfinals. Quinnipiac swept the Peacocks but split with Rider.

Quinnipiac is facing a tough matchup in their semifinal, but there’s nothing here that isn’t unwinnable. The Peacocks are a potential landmine in the quarterfinals.

Marist is a three-seed and has +550 odds. The Red Foxes have the best defense in the conference but are a bit hard to watch on the offensive end. They can lock down just about anyone in the tournament and make an occasional three-pointer, but they aren’t great at the free-throw line or from the field.

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Darkhorse: Rider +700

Rider is a capable, mainly veteran squad that is dangerous enough on both ends to cause problems for the opposition. They went 12-8 in the conference and had several wins against top seeds.

The Broncs are led by senior forward Mervin James. James is averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 52% from the field and 84% from free. He’s Mr. Everything for Rider, and they’ll need him to show up in a big way to make a run.

Rider draws St. Peter’s in the semifinal round. These two teams just played, and Rider won by five. They also played in February, and Rider won by five. The Broncs will likely get Quinnipiac in the quarterfinals. The two teams split the season series, with Rider most recently winning by 10 at home.

Rider has a winnable path to the final and is available at 7-to-1 odds. He’s worth a sprinkle as a dark horse.

 

Even More College Basketball Content

SGPN has you covered with all the best college basketball content. Our team of degens, experts, and handicappers have been diving deep to know all the teams in advance of March Madness.

So, who are you going to roll with as we get into the Conference and NCAA Tournaments? Some Johnny-Come-Lately Corporate Gambling Shill, or the Degens.

We are LIVE every night at midnight Eastern, breaking down EVERY SINGLE GAME. Ride with Degen Nation, and SGPN will not let you down. Find out what’s new after the 2024 MAAC Tournament Preview, Picks, and Best Bets.

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