Iona may have snagged one of the last at-large spots in the 2012 NCAA Tournament but opponents should be far more concerned with the fact that the Gaels ranked as the No. 1 overall scoring offense when the Selection Committee chose them.
Iona's inclusion in the field of 68 teams was enough of a surprise on Selection Sunday that NCAA Tournament committee chairman Jeff Hathaway was compelled to make it clear that they were not the very last team to earn a bid. Led by prolific guard Scott Machado, the Gaels will push the tempo and move the ball to the open shooter in hopes of scoring enough points to make up for a porous defense.
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Bringing its own prolific offense, the BYU Cougars will be happy to light up the scoreboard, too. Returning to the tournament again, BYU is making its ninth appearance in 12 years. Even with tournament sensation Jimmer Fredette having departed for the NBA, BYU isn't sneaking up on anybody these days, even if they may actually have been the very last team to sneak into the field as Erick Smith of USA Today surmised.
Could Iona be this year's Cinderella? Or will BYU show that they were more than just the Jimmer Show? The winner will go on to play No. 3 seed Marquette in the East Region.
Stay tuned for LIVE UPDATES throughout the game. Tweet @HuffPostSports to get involved in the conversation.
03/13/2012 11:59 PM EDT
After trailing by 25 points in the first half, BYU comes all the way back to send Iona home. A stellar performance by Noah Hartsock and Brandon Davies on the interior and nimble coaching for BYU. The zone destroyed the Gaels' flow. Harrison provided a tone change from the bench. Amazing result!
03/13/2012 11:57 PM EDT
Extending The Game
Carlino fouled immediately after getting the inbounds pass. Iona looking to keep it going. But he knocks down both.
03/13/2012 11:56 PM EDT
What A Night
@ YahooForde :
What a completely berserk night in Dayton. You see maybe one game like this a year ... we get two in a night.
03/13/2012 11:56 PM EDT
Miss, Miss, Make
Gaels miss to three-pointers but get a putback two. It's a four-point lead. BYU ball with 14 ticks to tock off the clock.
03/13/2012 11:54 PM EDT
BYU turns back Iona at the net and then Zylstra gets all the way to the rack at the other end. HOOP AND THE HARM! And this could be it. Wow.
03/13/2012 11:53 PM EDT
Good Look, Bad Result
Iona gets another good shot but can't get it to drop. At the other end, BYU gets another whistle. A weak call to send Glover to the bench for the remainder. We've got 45 seconds remaining, BYU has two free throws coming and a 1-point lead.
03/13/2012 11:52 PM EDT
Davies To The Line
He misses again but Glover has four fouls. Dezouvre is already gone.
03/13/2012 11:51 PM EDT
Elastic zone is everywhere that Iona wants to be and that's a shot clock violation as we get under two minutes.
03/13/2012 11:49 PM EDT
Your New Jimmer
Is Noah Hartsock. Terrific ball movement around the perimeter looses Hartsock for a three-point shot and BYU has come all the way back to take the lead. It's 71-70 in favor of the Cougars with 2:11 remaining.
03/13/2012 11:47 PM EDT
Glover misses a terrific look and BYU has it back.
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