Tag Archives: 2012-13 college basketball season

MAAC Tournament Coverage Recap

Killian is dancing!

Iona Gaels Killian
Killian, dancing

In a battle between schools separated by the length of approximately 500 basketball courts, the Iona Gaels beat Manhattan last night to win the MAAC Tournament and earn the league’s automatic bid to the Big Dance. Iona coach Tim Cluess said after the game he would enjoy Selection Sunday a lot more this year—last season the Gaels got an at-large bid, but Cluess was a nervous wreck until Iona’s name was called.

You might think the Gaels are eager to redeem themselves on the sport’s biggest stage after their record-setting collapse in the play-in round against BYU last year, but they’re playing for something much more important: the memory of a fallen teammate. Mike Haynes, a Chicago recruit headed for Iona last fall, was shot dead in July. Iona’s players dedicated this season to his memory and have worn patches on their jerseys to honor him.

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MAAC Womens Final: Can Iona Upset Marist?

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Tony Bozzella and Brian Giorgis have shaken hands with each other 26 times after a basketball game. The two coaches arrived in the MAAC at the same time, in 2002; Bozzella at Iona and Giorgis at Marist. In the 26 post-game handshakes, four of which came after a MAAC Tournament game, Bozzella has always been the one doing the congratulating, Giorgis the consoling. Marist has won seven consecutive MAAC titles and 28 straight against Iona, with Giorgis owning a personal 26-game win streak against Bozzella. The two—who are, surprisingly, very good friends—will meet again in today’s women’s championship (noon, ESPNU).

You’d think Bozzella would want nothing to do with a guy who has dominated him over his 11-year Iona career, but that couldn’t be less true. Bozzella says Giorgis has been a great friend to him and his family. He considers him a mentor and says Giorgis, who owns an impressive collection of sports memorabilia, has been generous in giving some of his items to Bozzella’s kids.
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2013 MAAC Basketball Tournament Preview

Every year, in practically every conference, you’ll hear the phrase “wide open” in reference to the league tournament. Coaches say it out of respect to other teams; the media uses it as a hedge against their predictions; P.R. folks spit it out to generate hype. So bear with me when I tell you that this weekend’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament is wide open.

But if it’s not true this season in this conference, it never will be. “The charm of our team is that we know we can lose to any team,” Joe Mihalich said during Monday’s conference call with the media. Mihalich is the coach of Niagara, the league’s No. 1 seed. Held at the MassMutualCenter, a neutral site in Springfield, Mass., nearly every team has a reasonable shot at the title.
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