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Round 3: Buffalo at Iona

Having survived western Michigan UB will go on the road for the third time.  This time they say in state to face off against Iona of the MAAC.

The Gaels are probably the best team left in a tournament that featured first round upsets. This is the best part about these 'lower tournaments'. UB gets a chance to play a quality mid-major team on the road. The Gaels come into this tournament with an RPI of 70, arguably an NIT snub. On our regular season schedule only Kent, BYU, and Indiana State had better RPI's.

The fact that Iona is in the New York area might help some alumni get out to the game, Quinnipiac was well attended by UB faithful so there is no reason to assume that a good number won't make this trip.

Iona's last game:

Iona took a 5-3 lead with almost eighteen minutes remaining in the first half and never trailed against Valparaiso. Valpo only got to the line for eleven free throws and only sank six but Iona drained 22 of 32 shots form the line. This was despite the fact that the number of personal fouls was not really lopsided  (18 to 13 in favor of Iona).

It was really just a matter of the Gaels playing fundimentally very strong game, only two players for Iona shot under 50% (six for Valpo).

With ten minutes left in the first the Gaels opened up a ten point lead that held for almost the entire contest. Once or twice Iona charged to within six before falling off again.

Value National
Assists 589 5
Assists Per Game 17.3 5
Effective Field Goal Pct 54.4 9
Field Goals Made 964 11
Field Goal Pct 47.7 11
Points Per Game 79.2 14
Assist to Turnover 1.36 14
Points Per Possessions 1.12 17
Efficiency 112.3 18
Points 2692 18
Field Goal Attempts 2022 23
3-pt Field Goals Made 272 24
Floor Pct 55.8 25
Fouls 608 153
Team Rebounds Per Game 3.2 154
Blocks 109 163
Turnovers 434 164
Blocks Per Game 3.2 183
Field Goal Point Pct 51.4 184
Free Throw Rate 37.2 194
Block Pct 5.7 197
Disqualifications 11 203
Turnovers Per Game 12.8 232
Fouls Per Game 17.9 240
Losses 11 273
Turnover Pct 18.1 281
Free Throw Pct 65.4 284
Free Throw Point Pct 18.3 299

Iona by the Numbers:

The Gaels play a great bran of team ball ranking in the top 10, nationally, in assist, assist per game, and effective field goal shooting. The also show well in assist to turnover ratio (1.36)

The Gaels are putting up almost eighty points a game and 1.12 points per possession.

Their Assist to turnovers is boosted by their number five ranking in assist because they do tend to turn the ball over, a lot. They rank 232nd in division one hoops when it comes to holding onto the ball. and 240th at avoiding the whistle.

The biggest bit of hope you have going in is that their free throw shooting against Valpo was an outlier. this is the 51st worst team in the nation at the line. Their last win shows they can shoot it from the line but their whole season shows that they rarely do.

When Last we met:

The Bulls are 4-3 all time against Iona including a win at the 94 Pepsi-Iona tournament and a loss in the 2006 Bracketbuster game.

The most recent meeting between these two teams was the return game for the bracket buster when Iona came to Amherst in the fall of 2006.

Greg Gamble posted 15 points and 10 rebounds and the Bulls posted four players in double figures. Eric Moore also scored 15 points while grabbing six rebounds. Yassin Idbihi scored 13 points with eight rebounds, while Parnell Smith had 10 points and seven boards.

It was a game Buffalo almost choked away. The Bulls held 20-point lead with nine minutes left before a 17-2 run brought Iona back to within five with 1:21 to go. Then Gamble and Idbihi each converted two-shot attempts at the foul line, sealing the win.

Who to watch:

Mike Glover: A beast in the paint. He scores off drop-off passes from Scott Machado. When he gets it in the paint, he’ll take two dribbles and get up and under you.

Keys To The Game:

  • The Gaels shoot too well to leave points at the line. Anything less than a 65% day from the charity stripe spells trouble for Buffalo.
  • They will turn the ball over and you can rebound on them, these are the two things that UB needs to do well to counter Iona's offense.If UB gets into a shooting war with the Gaels we will likely come up on the losing side. Unless the bulls come out on fire they should slow the pace of the game as much as possible.
  • The Bigs have to show up defensively, Glover has the potential to run all over UB.

To the Victor:

I would imagine whoever wins this game ends up playing the winner of Ohio or East Tennessee State. Yes I do think the CIT would be so cruel as to push the last two MAC teams together in the semi-finals.  There is an outside shot at a trip to Northern Iowa (which works great for me being just 4 hours away).