The Siena Saints, my Siena Saints, were picked as the #2 team in the MAAC preseason and decided to follow up those expectations by starting the year 4-11.
A 4-11 that included back to back gut-wrenching losses in the Albany and Franciscan Cups (and yes I promise those are both real things).
The team was floundering despite having four 1,000 point scorers, a 2015-16 1st team All-MAAC player, a 2015-16 2nd team All-MAAC player and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year.
Coach Jimmy Patsos looked like he had no idea what he was doing, using bizarre lineups, too many players getting minutes, and things hit a boiling point when the aforementioned reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Nico Clareth, took an indefinite leave from the team.
But now the Saints are getting HOT. Four straight wins, ascending to third in the MAAC and only 1/2 game behind their next opponent, St. Peter’s, for second.
And while this is all well and good and it’s nice to see the team turning things around, they really needed a spark, something to sustain the run they were on to propel them to the next level.
And boy did they get it.
With 2:03 left on the clock and the game seemingly (no lead is truly safe with Siena) in hand, a fracas transpired between Siena’s Marquis Wright and Rider’s Anthony Durham, which lead to the incredibly rare connected (sort of?) punch at a sporting event:
ICYMI: here's video of Anthony Durham of Rider punching Siena's Marquise Wright in the face. Wow. What a sequence to end the game tonight. pic.twitter.com/jJuyZASliU
— Zach Bye (@byesline) January 18, 2017
And from there you would expect the “adults” in this situation to subdue the emotions, but not Jimmy Patsos, the main who routinely sweats angel wings through his suit jackets, would have none of it.
The two coaches exchanged words and both had to be physically restrained by assistants and when the dust settled each coach was assessed a technical and both Wright and Durham were ejected.
With 10 seconds left, Rider coach, Kevin Bagget, called a timeout to instruct his team to walk off the floor when the final buzzer sounded, orders which they followed.
And thank god they did, because what followed was the greatest moment in college basketball this year and the greatest in Siena history since “ONIONS, DOUBLE ORDER!”
(My apologies to Siena’s 2014 CBI winning team, that was cool too…)
Jimmy Patsos told the world that there is nothing more important when it comes to athletics than good spirited sportsmanship as he wandered down the hand shake line with a bunch of ghosts:
— Frederic (@DOM_Frederic) January 18, 2017
Watch out MAAC, watch out NCAA, because Jimmy Patsos just gave Loudonville’s boys a reason to fight.
Also, shoutout to Barstool’s Clem, another Siena alum, for digging up these other absolutely gold Patsos’ moments from the archives: