Mid-Major Voters to MAAC: Lose, Then Don't Play If You Want "IN" Our Poll

David FreemanContributor IMarch 14, 2011

BRIDGEPORT, CT - MARCH 07:  Killian the mascot for the Iona Gaels performs against the St. Peter's Peacocks during the final of the MAAC men's conference basketball tournment at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard on March 7, 2011 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Despite exiting the 2011 Spark Energy Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament early, Fairfield (24-7) remains the only MAAC team in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll.

Iona (22-11) dropped into the "Others Receiving Votes" pit where they join MAAC Champion Saint Peter's (20-13) who is headed to the NCAA Tournament.

Last week, the Stags and Gaels were ranked No. 19 and No. 21, respectively while the Peacocks received just a handful of votes. That poll was released 24 hours after Saint Peter's had dismantled top-seeded Fairfield 62-48 on their home court in the semifinal round.

About an hour after the poll was released, the Peacocks and Gaels battled in the Championship Game, shown nationally on ESPN2. Saint Peter's defeated Iona 62-57 to win their third MAAC Championship in school history and earn the MAAC's automatic bid to the Big Dance.

Despite the highest RPI in the MAAC, the Gaels were bounced from the poll after just one week, while the Peacocks could garner just a few more votes despite moving four RPI places above the Stags.

On the other hand, Fairfield moved UP to No. 18 this week, despite playing no games since last Sunday afternoon's pummeling. Outside the MAAC, equally puzzling was the fate of NEC Champ Long Island: They WON their tournament on Wednesday, shown on the Deuce, yet were knocked down one spot in this week's poll.

Apparently, the voting panel does not like teams that play on ESPN2.

The Peacocks will face Purdue (25-7) in the second round of the NCAA Southwest Region this Friday night (7:20 p.m. EDT) at the United Center in Chicago.

Despite the snub, the Gaels will travel to Indiana to face Valparaiso (21-11) in the first round of the 2011 CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) on Wednesday night.

The Stags return to action tomorrow night, hosting Colorado State (19-10) in the first round of the 2011 National Invitational Tournament (NIT).

Luckily for them, the game will be televised on ESPN3.