The Iona Gaels look to end their six-year NCAA tournament drought by winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament next week in Springfield, MA.
For the first time, the MAAC takes its conference tournament to the birthplace of basketball. Beginning on Friday, March 2, the MAAC's 10 teams battle for the conference's automatic NCAA tournament berth. The conference finals will be televised live from the MassMutual Center on ESPN2 on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
Saint Peter's won last year's title from the No. 4 seed, but will be hard-pressed to repeat the feat this season. Instead, Saint Peter's opponent in last year's conference championship game, Iona, enters as the tournament favorites.
The Gaels have won five straight entering the postseason, largely thanks to a high-octane offense that leads the nation with 83.4 points per game. Led by senior point guard Scott Machado, who dishes out 10.1 assists per game, Iona also tops the nation with 19.5 assists per game.
Full MAAC tournament bracket and schedule follows:
Friday, March 2 - Men's First Round
Game 1: No. 8 Marist vs. No. 9 Saint Peter's, 7:30 p.m.
Game 2: No. 7 Niagara vs. No. 10 Canisius, 9:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 - Men's Quarterfinals
Game 3: No. 4 Fairfield vs. No. 5 Rider, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Game 4: No. 1 Iona vs. Game 1 winner, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Game 5: No. 2 Loyola vs. Game 2 winner, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Game 6: No. 3 Manhattan vs. No. 6 Siena, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Sunday, March 4 - Men's Semifinals
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 2 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Monday, March 5 - Men's Championship Game
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN 3)