Manhattan vs. Iona Pick
College Basketball Picks
Date/Time: March 11th, 9:00 pm ET
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NCAA Basketball Pick – March 11th
Opportunity is clearly knocking in the Metro Atlantic, as two of the bottom seeds from the tournament are going to meet up in a shocking college basketball betting battle with a spot in the NCAA Tournament on the line. The Iona Gaels will take on the Manhattan Jaspers for the right to dance with the MAAC’s automatic bid.
One glance at the Jaspers, and all you’re going to see is a team that is 14-17 that finished with a 9-9 mark in a marginal conference this year. You’ll see a team that averaged just 58.3 points per game on the campaign and one that lost its best scorer, G George Beamon right at the start of the season with an ankle injury. However, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll also see a team that is scorching at the moment, unlike a team like the Liberty Flames, who literally only caught some fire during the conference tournament. Coming into the MAAC Tournament, the Jaspers had won six of their last eight games, and they were 7-1 ATS in those outings. Their defense really was locked in during that stretch as well, allowing an average of just 54.3 points per game in that run. Is it still shocking that Manhattan was able to get through both the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds and the Fairfield Stags? Absolutely. But is it unreal to believe? Not nearly.
Iona has to feel like it has a shot at some vindication on Monday night. The Gaels got into the NCAA Tournament last year as one of the play-in game teams. They didn’t ultimately lost here in the MAAC Final to Loyola Maryland in a loss that really was fairly embarrassing. It has been a rough season for Iona as well, as the boys from New Rochelle came into this tournament at just 17-13. However, we once again preach that records can sometimes be deceiving. Look back at the losses that this team sustained. The 13 losses this year came by a combined 56 points. Seven of the 13 losses came by three points or fewer, while nine of the 13 came by five points or fewer. The amount of unlucky breaks that this team has suffered is unbelievable. The Gaels still fly up and down the court, and they are still the same experienced team as they were last season with most of the parts still in place. G Lamont Jones is averaging 23.3 points per game very quietly, and he is leading this team to 81.3 points per game as a result.
This really could be can’t miss TV on Monday night. The Jaspers are going to try to slow this one down, while the Gaels are going to try to get it to speed up. We think that the vindication theme is going to rule on Monday night, though. The Gaels really were the most talented, albeit the most unlucky, team in the Metro Atlantic this year, and they deserve to dance. Iona 73 – Manhattan 65