Springfield, MA—Iona led Fairfield by six midway through the second half of Sunday’s MAAC Tournament semifinal when the Gaels’ Scott Machado attempted a three-pointer. Iona had just forced a turnover and Machado was open on the wing. He missed, just barely, and Fairfield’s three-pointer on the ensuing possession started a 16-1 run that propelled the Stags to an 85-75 victory. A basketball game—and a chance at the NCAA Tournament—can change that quickly.
By losing in its conference tournament and therefore failing to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, this is Iona’s predicament. But it’s also Drexel’s. It’s Middle Tennessee’s. It could be Long Beach State’s. If college football is split between the Haves and Have-Nots, college basketball gives us the Haves and the Have They Done Enough? Continue reading Will Iona Get an NCAA Tournament Bid?→
To appreciate Scott Machado as a basketball player is to appreciate the simple: the bounce pass to a cutting forward; the chest pass to an open shooter; the awareness to seek the ball after a turnover. Sure, you’ll see lob passes for dunks and crossover dribbles and deep three-pointers. But if that is all you see, you’re missing a lot.
Manhattan coach Steve Masiello calls the Iona College senior “the best point guard in the country, bar none.” Others around the game think, at the very least, Machado belongs in the discussion: he is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Scouts from more than a dozen NBA teams have visited New Rochelle’s Hynes Athletics Center to watch Machado, the nation’s leader in assists at 10.1 per game. Continue reading Scott Machado Has Eyes on MAAC Title, NBA→
This should be the MAAC’s best rivalry. Iona and Manhattan are separated by less than 10 miles and both schools have proud basketball tradition. But for any rivalry to thrive there needs to be competitive balance and meaningful stakes. Historically, this match-up has had both: heading into Saturday’s game Iona led the all-time series 42-36; since 2000 they have combined for five MAAC Tournament titles. But not since 2006 have both schools even finished above .500 in the conference.