Talk about a tough-to-figure final four for the Monsignor Martin Association.
The semifinals are Sunday evening at Canisius College. The first game pits the teams that love to hate each other, Canisius and St. Joe's, at 6 p.m. In the second semifinal, top-seeded Nichols taking on Bishop Timon-St. Jude at 7:30 p.m.
Canisius swept St. Joe's this season in two blowouts. The Crusaders won, 79-54, at St. Joe's on Jan. 27, and Canisius won, 70-57, at home last Sunday. Those are the only two losses for St. Joe's in its last 11 games; the Marauders also knocked off Nichols.
If there's any two teams where, after two double-digit wins, you'd still think the third meeting could go the other way, it's this one. The Koessler Athletic Center is sure to be packed for a game that will end one of the rivals' seasons.
Nichols takes on a Timon team that stunned the Vikings at home, 54-51, on Feb. 6; however, Nichols struck back less than one week later in a 64-47 rout.
Vote in the polls below and let us know why your picks will win via the comments section. If you're really bold, tell us how the final will go as well.
My vote? You toss out the records when it's Canisius-St. Joe's, but those big wins are resonating with me. And Timon's upset of Nichols seems, in retrospect, to be a wake-up call of sorts. I've thought that Canisius and Nichols would battle in the final all season long and I don't see any reason to change.
There are more previews and polls to come: We'll post polls on all the Section VI boys semifinals as well as the girls finals.