After earn their surprising No. 14 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, the Iona Gaels will be playing its first game on Thursday against No. 14 BYU Cougars in Dayton, OH (9 p.m. on truTV). The Gaels earned an at-large bid from the tournament's selection committee after finishing the regular season 26-8.
Despite their strong regular season, there was a lot of doubt on whether or not Iona would earn a NCAA berth after being upset in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament earlier in the week. Luckily, that stumble didn't cost them the program's ninth tournament bid, however, they will need to still earn an extra victory to advance to the Round of 64, where the No. 3-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles await.
Meanwhile, the Cougars finished their season 25-8 overall and earned its sixth straight at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament after being eliminated in the West Coast Conference Tournament earlier in the week.
Statistically, BYU is paced by Noah Hartsock who averaged 16.7 points per game during the season, while Brandon Davies adds 15.0 ppg and 7.3 rebounds per game. Both players earned All-WCC honors.
Here's the roster and stats:
For more on Iona, visit the SB Nation team page, while SB Nation's blog Vanquish The Foe is all about BYU . For more coverage of Iona basketball in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, visit SB Nation New York's StoryStream. Click here for a link to our NCAA bracket 2012.
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