The Iona Gaels have been to the NCAA Tournament 10 times in their history, the most recent in 2013. The Gaels best showing on the Big Dance was in 1980 when they went to the Round of 32. The Gaels have also been to the NIT six times and the CIT in 2011 when they advanced to the Championship Game.
Iona was coached by Jim Valvano from 1975-80, who later went on to NC State and won the NCAA Tournament. They were also coached by former Washington Bullets star Jeff Ruland. Pat Kennedy took over for Valvano and coached the Gaels form 1980-86 before taking over the Florida State job. He coached FSU to the Elite Eight.
The Gaels play their home games at Hynes Athletic Center which opened in 1974. It holds a little over 2,600 fans, which means every seat is close to the court. You can sit in the gym where Valvano coached before he became a college basketball icon and watch a great game.
The Gaels home schedule includes Delaware, Fairfield, Texas Southern, Akron, Drexel, Niagara, Rider, Marist, Monmouth, St. Peter’s, Manhattan, Siena, Quinnipiac, Canisius and more. These teams will be trying to win the MAAC Tournament to get the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes with it.
image courtesy of stadiumjourney.com