MAAC Tournament 2013 bracket: Niagara, Iona headline deep field

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

With seven teams in the conference above .500 in MAAC play, fans should expect the unexpected at the MassMutual Center next weekend.

The 2013 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament is set to hit the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass. next weekend with a bid to the NCAA Tournament up for grabs.

Of all the low-major tournaments on the slate this March, few will be as competitive as the MAAC. With seven of the 10 programs finishing with conference records of .500 or better, just about every game on the schedule should be closely contested throughout.

The Niagara Purple Eagles won the regular season title with a 13-5 record, finishing one game ahead of Loyola (MD) and Rider. While Niagara might've led the MAAC in wins, Kenpom, which ranks teams on their offensive and defensive efficiencies, sees Iona as the best team in the conference. The Gaels finished the year with a 11-7 mark thanks to one of the nation's best offenses.

Fans can find the quarterfinals and semifinals streamed live through ESPN3. The championship game will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Last year, Loyola edged Fairfield, 48-44, to cut down the nets.

Here is the full 2013 MAAC Tournament bracket. All times are Eastern.

Friday, March 8 - First Round

7:30 p.m.: No. 8 Marist vs. No. 9 Siena (Game 1)
9:30 p.m.: No. 7 Fairfield vs. No. 10 St. Peter's (Game 2)

Saturday, March 9 - Quarterfinals

2:30 p.m.: No. 1 Niagara vs. Game 1 Winner (Game 3)
4:30 p.m.: No. 4 Iona vs. No. 5 Canisius (Game 4)
7:30 p.m.: No. 2 Rider vs. Game 2 Winner (Game 5)
9:30 p.m.: No. 3 Loyola vs. No. 6 Manhattan (Game 6)

Sunday, March 10 - Semifinals

2:00 p.m.: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner
4:30 p.m.: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 Winner

Monday, March 11 - Championship

7:00 p.m.: Semifinals Winners, ESPN/ESPN2

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