Siena draws No. 9 seed in NCAA Tournament

Siena College's big NCAA Tournament Selection Show party lasted less than 10 minutes Sunday.

That's how long it took for CBS to announce that the Saints had received the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region and a first-round game against No. 8 Ohio State Friday in Dayton.

While the players and fans cheered wildly as the match-up was revealed, it did cut the event at the Alumni Recreation Center short. Within 10 minutes, most of the people cleared out of the building.

I was hoping to stay here for 10 to 15 minutes, instead of five, admitted senior guard Kenny Hasbrouck.

The general purpose of the party had been achieved by that point, though " allow hundreds of Siena's most ardent supporters to learn of the Saints' fate with the players and coaches they have cheered through a 26-7 season that included their second consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship.

And while making the field was assured (all 31 national conference tournament champions earn automatic berths), receiving a No. 9 seed was not.

"We were really thinking anything from a No. 10 to a No. 12 seed," said senior forward and Scotia native Josh Duell.

"I'm just happy that our guys got the respect that they deserve," said Siena coach Fran McCaffery. "That committee knows what it's doing. What you get is what you deserve to get."

And what McCaffery believed his team deserved was a single-digit seed.

"I wasn't surprised by it " not when our RPI (ratings percentage index) went up to No. 18 this week," he said.

Part of Siena's seeding was based on the tough non-conference schedule it had this year. The Saints played several teams that wound up also making the NCAA Tournament including Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Kansas.

"We knew we were going to play some of the top teams in the nation (entering the season), and we weren't going to shy away from them," said Hasbrouck.

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