As one of three NYC metro area men's basketball teams headed to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, Saint Peter's College is set to host their very own selection show party starting at 6 pm tonight on campus.
Along with St. John's and Long Island Universities, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion Peacocks (20-13) will have their eyes glued to Channel 2 to see where and when they are headed.
Despite the fifth-lowest RPI (No. 93) among the 68-team field, the Peacocks should easily avoid this year's "First Four" round, and be nothing less than a No. 15 seed.
After defeating third-seeded Loyola (MD) 70-60 in their MAAC first-round matchup, Saint Peter's stunned top-seeded Fairfield 62-48 on their home court in the semifinals. In Monday night's championship game, MAAC Tournament MVP Jeron Belin led Saint Peter's with 17 points, including 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc as the Peacocks defeated second-seeded Iona 62-57.
Saint Peter's held the high-scoring Gaels to 20 points below their 79.7 season points per game average, their lowest point total of the season. Iona was limited to just a 32 percent from the floor, and made just three three-pointers in the entire game.
The defensive effort in this year's MAAC Tournament was no fluke. So far this season, Saint Peter's has held their foes to a 37.4 field goal percentage—second best in the nation. They have also limited opponents to just 59.9 points per game, 12th best in the nation.
The Peacocks are quite capable of victory in the early going, especially if they are put in the East Bracket. Seniors Ryan Bacon, Jeron Belin, Nick Leon and Wesley Jenkins would like nothing more than to lead Saint Peter's to a Sweet 16 berth at the Prudential Center in Newark, knowing the Peacock Nation could assemble and create a home-court advantage for them.
A little after 6pm tonight, they'll know where they need to go to do it.