Iona clinches No. 1 seed in MAAC, eighth straight national postseason bid | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / October 23.
  • Iona clinches No. 1 seed in MAAC, eighth straight national postseason bid

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Coach Tim Cluess and the Iona Gaels aren’t on pace for another 20-win season, but once again they are guaranteed another national postseason berth.

    With an 86-79 win at Rider on Friday night — combined with Canisius’ win over Siena — the Gaels (14-15, 12-6 MAAC) secured the 2019 MAAC regular season championship and No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament, which runs March 7-11 in Albany. Winners of seven straight, the Gaels automatically clinched an NIT bid, the program’s eighth straight national postseason berth.

    If Iona goes on to win the MAAC Championship later this month, the Gaels will head to their fourth straight NCAA Tournament and sixth in nine years under Cluess.

    Considering the Gaels began the season 2-9 and amid a controversy after senior forward Roland Griffin was kicked off the team following a fight with an assistant, these accomplishments are especially impressive.

    Asante Gist, who won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title with two different programs (St. Anthony’s and Roselle Catholic), scored 22 points in the win. E.J. Crawford tallied 21 points, Rickey McGill 14 and Tajuan Agee 13.

    Photo: Iona

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.