The Iona Gaels advanced to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game a year ago and made it all the way to the title game of the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament. That sent them into 2011-12 feeling pretty good, and they were the overwhelming pick to win the conference this year.
Following a loss to Purdue in their season opener, the Gaels ran off seven straight wins and ended up cruising to the MAAC's regular season title with a 25-7 overall record and 15-3 MAAC record. Along the way, they established themselves as the top scoring team in the country, averaging 83.3 points per game and shooting .504 from the field, the second best mark in the nation.
It did not go so well in the conference tournament, though. The Gaels lost to Fairfield in the semifinals, blowing a two-point halftime lead. Iona had won each of the previous two meetings. Just to add insult to injury, Fairfield fell to Loyola (Md.) in the finals.
Despite the loss, Iona made the tournament as a No. 14 seed and will play BYU in a First Four matchup. The winner will face No. 3 seed Marquette in the second round.
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