Iona heads to Johnson City, Tennessee to take on East Tennessee State in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament on Saturday afternoon in a game that pits two talented mid-major teams from the MAAC and Atlantic Sun. The Gaels were probably the best team besides Maryland to not receive an NIT invitation and they’ve done nothing to discredit that reputation since postseason play began. Iona went on the road to Valparaiso and came away with a convincing victory and then took out Buffalo at home on Tuesday.
That’s why Iona is actually favored in this game by Ken Pomeroy’s rankings by exactly one point, 72-71 (57%), even on the road. Of course ETSU has some strengths as well. The Buccaneers recorded two convincing victories over Furman and Ohio on their way to semifinals, but neither of those teams is even close to the same level as Iona. That said, the Basketball State rankings on BBState, have Iona 67th and ETSU 60th. So this seems to be a game between two pretty evenly matched squads.