The 2018-19 season for Monmouth University has been filled with plenty of ups and downs for Coach King Rice but like the other 10 teams, the Hawks get a fresh start when the MAAC Men’s Basketball Tournament begins Thursday at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.

The Hawks come in with a record of 11-20 which is largely due to an 0-12 start in non-conference games to open the season.  After splitting their next four games Monmouth won four in-a-row and eight of their next ten games.  That was followed by a four-game losing streak before the Hawks won their season finale against Manhattan on March 1st.

Monmouth’s conference record of 10-8 earned them the #6 seed and they will face 11th seeded Niagara in Thursday’s opener (9 p.m.) which will be broadcast live on the Shore Sports Network’s 1160 & 1310AM with Eddy Occhipinti and Steve Bazaz calling the action.  The game can also be viewed on ESPN3.  While Niagara is the last seed they did beat the Hawks 75-48 on January 26 in the only meeting of the season between the teams.

Should Monmouth win on Thursday they would play #3 seed Quinnipiac (16-13, 11-7) on Saturday at 7 p.m.  The Bobcats won both regular season meetings, including a 68-56 victory in West Long Branch late last month.

Iona and Canisius enter the MAAC Tournament as the top seeds with the champion to be decided on Monday, March 11 with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.