Iona vs BYU preview

Battle of the last at-larges: Iona and BYU preview and open thread

3/13/12 in NCAABB   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

The last two at-large selections to the NCAA Tournament--BYU and Iona--will do battle Tuesday night for the right to become the West Region's No. 14 seed and take on No. 3 Marquette in the second round. 

People have said that neither team belongs in the tournament, however, and both will be out to prove the doubters wrong.

These are two of the highest-scoring teams in the nation (Iona is No. 1, in fact), and both teams prefer a a fun, fast-paced, up-and-down brand of basketball--so this should be an exciting game. 

The Gaels were the best team in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference all season, but a conference tournament loss put their NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy, given their soft non-conference schedule.

Still, the Gaels have the star power to compete with just about anyone. They have a certified star in point guard Scott Machado, one of the nation's best. He averages nearly a double-double with 13.6 points and 9.9 assists per game. They also have a bruising scorer inside in Mike Glover, who averages 18.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

For BYU, there is no Jimmer Fredette this season, but the Cougars are still a very strong squad. BYU likely got a bid thanks to some early-season wins over fellow bubble dwellers such as Oregon and Nevada and will now try and make the most of it.

The Cougars are led by Noah Hartsock (16.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game) and Brandon Davies (15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game), who was suspended by the school during last year's tournament for violating the school's honor code. 

The winner of this game gets a difficult draw in No. 3 seed Marquette. The Golden Eagles might be the strongest No. 3 seed in the tournament, and present matchup problems for both squads. Do you think the winner of this game has a chance in round two?

If you want to talk more about the game, be sure to check out the FanIQ Sports Bar, and don't forget to get your entries to our bracket challengeBattle of the Mascots, and 10-team pick'em before Thursday at 12 p.m. ET.

No. 14 BYU vs. No. 14 Iona, Tuesday, 9:10 p.m. ET, Dayton, Ohio.
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3/13/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

We might be looking at the biggest choke in NCAA Tournament history here.

3/13/12   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Well, Iona can sure score the basketball...