Who? The Red Foxes of Marist.
Where? Poughkeepsie, New York, which has a weird division between the town and the city.
When? March 10th, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Why? They won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.
How? Sophomore Sydney Coffey poured in 23 points, and the Red Foxes leaped out of an unprecendented 35-18 first half hole to nip Quinnipiac, 70-66.
Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they finished tied in record with Iona, losing the first seed on MAAC tiebreakers.
Record: 27-6 (18-2 Metro Atlantic)
Good wins: Oklahoma.
Bad losses: Fairfield.
Who's running this show? Brian Giorgis, since 2002.
Extra, Extra!The Poughkeepsie Journal, which does a bang-up job covering Marist.
My hand to God, I don't know how Marist is doing it this year. I've seen them. I've watched them. They aren't the most talented team in the MAAC. They aren't as careful, as cautious, as precise as they've been in the past. The Marist teams of old would eat this Marist team alive.
But somehow, here they are again. Senior forward Emma O'Connor leads five Red Foxes in double figures with 13.8 points per game, adding 6.8 rebounds. They work well together as a unit, with relentless pressure on the edges of the court.
The x-factors, from the one game I've seen, would be senior Leanne Ockenden's defensive acuity and whether junior center Tori Jarosz can get established down low. She's a big body, but she has a tendency to overthink and thus overshoot her shots.