Very few college basketball experts thought Iona would make the NCAA Tournament, but the Gaels reached the dance as a 14-seed. Iona went 25-7 in the regular season and but failed to win the MAAC tournament (Loyola, Md. won it), meaning they got in as an at-large team. Surprisingly, NCAA Tournament committee chairman Jeff Hathaway said Iona was not the last team in the tournament.
“No, they were not the last team in,” Hathaway said on the CBS Selection Show. “Iona they had a very good non-conference strength of schedule — they were 44. I know a lot of people are going to try and compare them to Drexel, Drexel was well over 200. They had some good top 100 wins. Very good basketball team, very good on offense. We think we got that one right, and obviously a lot of people will debate it, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Iona beat Nevada, St. Joe’s, Maryland, and America East tourney winner Vermont non-conference, so that probably helped their case. But looking at their conference schedule, it’s hard for me to believe they had a better resume than, say, Seton Hall.