No Sweating Bubble This Season, Iona Punches Bid With Win over Manhattan

USA TODAY Sports

Iona used a big game off the bench by Tre Bowman to take away the drama that they experienced a season ago on Selection Sunday.

Last season, it took a miracle on Selection Sunday to place Iona into the NCAA Tournament field. There were quite a few raised eyebrows when the Gaels were announced as one of the final teams into the field.

They attempted to make the most of the opportunity, grabbing a giant lead on fellow shocker at-large candidate BYU, before collapsing in spectacular fashion.

There will be no drama this season, no sweating out the bubble. Iona secured yet another NCAA Tournament berth with a 60-57 win over Manhattan in the MAAC Tournament championship.

The Gaels will make their fifth appearance in the big dance since 2000, capping off a season that began with tragedy when incoming transfer Michael Haynes was killed in Chicago days before reporting to campus.

Iona got 20 points from Tre Bowman off the bench, and 14 more from MAAC player of the year Mo Mo Jones.

Manhattan got 14 points from Michael Alvarado, but struggled shooting overall, making just 40 percent of its shots from the floor. It was even worse inside the 3-point line where the Jaspers made just nine of its 27 shots.

The Gaels are currently projected to be a 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament by SBNation bracketology expert Chris Dobbertean.

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