The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team is right where it wanted to be over three months ago, at the Nat Holman Gymnasium at CCNY with the CUNYAC/Con Edison Men’s Basketball Championship hanging in the balance.  The top-seeded Dolphins will be facing off against No. 2 York College at 8:30pm tonight, with the winner moving on to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament next week.

There’s no reason not to be a part of the action tonight.  Tickets are FREE and CSI is providing free transportation to an from the game on a first-come, first-serve basis.  You will need a ticket to enter the game and get on the fan bus and they can be obtained HERE.  If you cannot make the game, there is a host of ways to tune in.  ESPN3 TV will be covering the game live HERE, while the games will be audiocast via WSIA and CSI SportsNet.  WSIA is available locally at 88.9FM and and CSI SportsNet is available HERE.  CSI SportsNet’s Michael Baybusky and David Pizzuto will carry the call beginning at 8pm with the extended Pre-Game Show with Chris Soriano.

Tonight’s game should be a great battle between the conference’s two best and hottest teams.  The Dolphins enter at 25-2, winners of 24-straight and the No. 18 national ranking from  York College is 20-7, winners of eight straight, led by CUNYAC Most Valuable Player Michael Woods.  It will be their first postseason meeting since 2007.

CSI’s most storied rivalry, the Dolphins will be taking on the Cardinals for the 81st time in program history tonight.  The teams met twice this season, including a 78-76 win at York that began CSI’s now-current 24-game win skein.  The teams have met 9 times in the CUNYAC postseason, and although CSI holds a 6-3 edge, the Cardinals took the last and most meaningful matchup, a 56-54 win in the 2007 Championship.  The two teams had previously met twice in the CUNYAC Final, with CSI having won both times in 1996 (66-62), and 1999 (61-53).  CSI comes into today having won eight-straight overall over York.  Prior to that, York had won seven of the previous 9 meetings, dating back to that 2007 Championship Final.
History was made for CSI on Tuesday night in the CUNYAC Semifinals against Hunter College.  Freshman Frankie Schettino, who leads the nation in total assists and is 4th nationally in assists per game, shattered the CSI single season assist record, and now sits three assists shy of 200 this season.  Senior Bloochy Magloire lifted his career point total to 1,765 with another 12 points against Hunter College, putting him into second-place all-time at the College.  The all-time points leader for CSI is Michael Stewart’s (2001-05) 1,819 points.

With another 50%+ shooting performance from the field on Tuesday, CSI is now shooting 51.2% this season overall, the best mark in school-history, and the most since the 1983-84 Dolphins registered 50.2%.  The record is even more impressive considering that the Dolphins are holding opponents to just 38.3% the other way, also the best mark in school history.  The result makes for a +17.4 point-per-game margin, the 4th-best scoring margin in NCAA Division III.

CSI has out-rebounded their opponents in 12 of their last 13 games, all wins.  Look for that to be a key category tonight.  The Dolphins are 21-1 when winning the rebounding war, and York is just as good, boasting a 13-0 overall record in games where they out-rebound their opponent.  Conversely, the teams are a combined 11-8 when they fail to win the battle of the boards…CSI and York are both 13-0 this season when they shoot on par or better than their season averages.  The charity stripe could tell the story tonight.  Both teams are in the national Top 10 for free-throw attempts this season, and together they average over 35 attempts per game.  Surely both teams will want to take advantage of their trips tonight as they are a combined 19-1 when shooting over 70% from the free-throw line…Something’s got to give tonight as the teams are a combined 5-0 in neutral site games.  CSI has won seven consecutive neutral site contests, their last loss coming at the hands of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen in 2012.