It's a big early conference showdown in the MAAC in the Game of the Night.
Quietly Manhattan is putting together one of the best seasons in Hoops Nation, coming into the game winners of eight straight and holding a 11-2 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in conference. The Jaspers have a couple of real nice pelts on the wall, including a victory at South Carolina in mid December. Manhattan is a good, but not great offensive team, but really gets things done on defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 40.1% (and only 34.6% in conference). Not only do opponents not shoot well, they also don't get a chance to shoot on offense that much, as the Jaspers turn over the opposition on 21 percent of their trips (18th in the nation).
Quinnipiac is a team that likes to push the pace, averaging 73.2 possessions per game, which is 37th in the country. The key on offense for the Bobcats is almost never turning the ball over, despite playing fast, with a turnover rate of just over 15%. Led by forward Ike Azotam, Quinnipiac also collects 61% (3rd in the nation) of rebounds, which allows for a lot of second chances on offense and quick one-and-outs on defense.
Manhattan is sitting on a decent looking profile
for a school from the MAAC with a single 'bad loss' and some good computer numbers. If they can run through the MAAC with few trip ups and win the conference tournament, they could not only play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since knocking out Florida in the first round in 2004, but be in line for a good enough seed to make some postseason noise again.
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