In what has been announced as a ‘new tradition,’ made official by the creation of a rather impressive traveling trophy, the two Franciscan colleges founded by the Holy Name Province Franciscan Friars will play each other annually in a NCAA Division I Mens Basketball game. The two schools, St. Bonaventure University and Siena College, have strong basketball programs for their respective sizes and resources. Bonaventure (est. 1858) is best known in the NCAA world for both a positive and negative note. The positive is its 1970 Final Four appearance and its negative is the recruitment scandal of 2002-2003. Siena has won its conference tourney 3 years in a row and remains the defending champion with two recent NCAA appearances to boast in recent years. The Franciscan Cup is a cross-conference event; St. Bonaventure is A-10 and Siena is MAAC.
Last night’s game was very well played and exciting to watch. Even though the RC arena’s attendance was near 1/2 capacity (in large part due to the Holidays and the lack of students because of winter vacation), it still provided a great atmosphere. Siena would have been in for quite a shock had the students been there and the arena been filled to capacity at just over 6,000. Nevertheless, a game well-played and a win well-earned. St. Bonaventure will see Siena again next year in Albany for the second game in this new tradition.
Even though I currently live and teach at Siena College, I cheered on my alma mater, St. Bonaventure. You have to support your team, this was the only exception to my support of Siena. Now I go back to playing the pep-band drums for Siena.