2024 MAAC Conference Basketball Tournament

The 2024 MAAC Conference Tournament is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey from March 12th to the 16th at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.  

New Jersey’s version of March Madness in a gambling friendly city has little similarities with the conference tournament action taking place in Las Vegas. Boardwalk Hall is a cavernous, outdated facility more suited for the 1954 Miss America Pageant than it is for a modern sports viewing experience. 


This has been a tournament recently dominated by Iona. The Tim Cluess squads won four straight titles from 2016-2019 and two of the last three during the Rick Pitino redemption tour. 

During that span from 2016, the regular season outright conference winner only took home the conference title twice. 

How to Watch the MAAC Conference Tournament

When: March 12-16

Where: Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall 

Format: All 11 teams get a berth with the Seeds 1, 2, and 3 playing the winner of the three opening round games 

Watch: ESPN+, Championship Game on ESPNU/ESPN+ on Mar. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

College Basketball Odds | College Basketball Betting Splits | Greg Peterson’s Daily Lines | Steve Makinen’s Power Ratings

MAAC Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds

MAAC Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds

1. Quinnipiac (+380)

2. Fairfield (+300)

3. Marist (+550)

4. Rider (+700) 

5. Saint Peter’s (+500)

6. Niagara (+1700)

7. Iona (+800)

8. Mount St. Mary’s (+1300)

9. Canisius (+4000)

10. Manhattan (+45000)

11. Siena (+50000)

(odds from DraftKings Sportsbook accurate at time of publish)

Favorite To Win MAAC Conference Tournament

Quinnipiac, with a four game winning streak to end the regular season, earned a conference title. It is Fairfield though (+300) that enters the MAAC tournament as the favorite. Analytically, there isn’t much difference between all the contenders. KenPom’s Scatter plot graph of the MAAC is heavily condensed with only Manhattan and Siena being outliers. 

This conference is highlighted by varying styles of play. Fairfield and Quinnipiac want to win by trying to score 80 points a game (Stags: 79.4 scoring average in conference, Bobcats: 78.4 scoring average in conference). Saint Peter’s and Marist do it much differently with far less offensive talent by slowing the pace to keep the game in the low 60s. Then there is Rider, Niagara and Iona, all content to play a game in the low 70s. 

MAAC Conference Tournament Darkhorse

The tournament format heavily benefits the top three seeds, but Pitino’s 2021 Iona team won the title coming out of the 9th spot to beat the 7th seeded Stags in the championship game. 

Last year, 11th-seeded Marist made the title game, so betting options can run deep in AC. 

Saint Peter’s physical style could enable the Peacocks to overachieve during the tournament like they did in the regular season. The key will be whether the officiating allows for the Peacocks to create their optimal level of clutching and grabbing on defense. 

SPU opens tournament play against Rider, the preseason favorite now riding in the darkhorse lane at +700. The Broncs are 2-0 against SPU this year. Both were similar low scoring games (62-57 and 61-56) that featured plenty of post-whistle shoves. 

Even if Rider could sweep SPU with a quarterfinals win, bouncing back the next night after a combative game will be a factor to watch. 

Players to Watch in MAAC Conference Tournament

Rider’s Mervin James is generously listed as a 6-7 big man with an energetic style that makes him the best player in the conference. A majority of his league leading 19 points a game come from hustle baskets and outworking opponents on the offensive boards. 

A disappointing regular season for Rider wasn’t from a lack of effort by James, who also pulls down 6.0 rebounds a game, rather it resulted from the absence of a consistent second and third option on offense. 

Multiple scorers isn’t an issue for Fairfield. The Stags rely on the perimeter scoring trio of Jalen Leach (16.3 ppg), Caleb Fields (16.0 ppg) and Brycen Goodine (13.2 ppg). Another guard, Jasper Floyd is the MAAC leader in steals and is the team’s top rebounder. 

The Quinnipiac offense runs through experienced guard Matt Balanc who is right behind James for the league scoring title at 18.4 ppg. 

Corey Washington (16.2 ppg) leads the Peacocks’ grinding style. 

In a guard-centric conference, the two best post bigs reside in the MAAC’s Buffalo corridor. Canisius’ Frank Mitchell leads the league in rebounding (11.3 per game) while consistently producing a double-double (12.8 ppg). Niagara’s 7-footer Harlan Obioha (10 ppg, 7.9 rpg) plays the traditional center style on the blocks. 

Betting Pick to Win the MAAC Conference Tournament

Both Iona and Rider are going to get attention because of the attractive odds next to the names of the two teams that were supposed to be the MAAC’s best this season. The problem for making a value play is their less than favorable draws. For the Gaels, it is first facing a Manhattan squad that blew them out last week with Fairfield awaiting the winner. 

The Broncs will first need to survive against SPU and then deal with the postgame bruises.  

I’m avoiding Fairfield because I don’t believe they should be the favorite. The Stags will likely have a challenge against Iona in the quarterfinals. Next would be Marist and its deliberate style that can slow down the Fairfield offense. 

Being on the other side of the bracket gives Quinnipiac a better route to the championship game and my betting play. The Bobcats have the positioning and talent to be less of a speculative play than the other options and available with higher odds than Fairfield. 

Pick: Quinnipiac +380

Makinen Power Ratings for MAAC

Check out the other previews in our 2024 College Basketball Conference Tournament Betting Guide.