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.
Iona wins MAAC Championship for 4th straight season to punch NCAA Tournament ticket
By ADAM ZAGORIARickey McGill and Iona are headed back to the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight season.
McGill made MAAC Championship history by becoming the first player to win four titles when he helped lead top-seeded Iona to an 81-60 win over No. 6 Monmouth at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. It was the 10th straight win for Iona, which began the season 2-9.
“Winning four, that’s a blessing,” McGill said on ESPN2 after becoming one of five players in double-figures with 10 points and 4 rebounds. “Four, that’s history right there, so I’m going to go down in history and try to be great.”
CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm has Iona as a 16 seed and playing among the First Four in Dayton on March 19.
Iona guard Asante Gist led his team with 22 points, including 5-of-9 from deep. Tajaun Agee scored 18 points with 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists, E.J. Crawford had 15 points with 6 rebound and Ben Perez 14 points, 5 rebound and 5 steals.
“We came out, we played hard, we played Iona basketball and we got the win,” McGill said.
This was the seventh straight apperance in the MAAC title game for Iona and Coach Tim Cluess, who has now taken Iona to six NCAA Tournaments in nine years (67 percent) and four straight.
Iona (17-15) also beat Monmouth in the 2016 MAAC title game.
After an 0-12 start, Monmouth (14-21) went 14-9 including wins over No. 11 Niagara, No. 3 Quinnipiac and No. 2 Canisius to get to the MAAC title game.
Gist holds the distinction of having won the New Jersey Tournament of Champions title with two different programs (St. Anthony’s and Roselle Catholic).
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.