The MAAC has not produced a team that received an at-large bid since the Iona Gaels were in the First Four of the 2012 NCAA Tournament and the quest for Iona to build a resume worthy of an at-large bid continues on Friday when they hit the road to play the Marist Red Foxes.
Iona Gaels (-12.5, 137.5) vs. Marist Red Foxes
Marist enters Friday playing at one of the slowest paces in the country, ranking 294th in possessions per game, which has led to the team scoring 71 points or fewer in 10 straight games.
For Marist to improve their offensive woes, they need to bust through an Iona defense that ranks 49th in the nation in points allowed on a per possession basis that has surrendered 57 points or fewer in all three games they have played against MAAC opponents this season.
On offense Iona has scored at least 70 points in every game this season as they rank 53rd in America in points scored on a per possession basis, but are averaging 13.6 points fewer per 100 possessions in a road or neutral court environment than at home.
The biggest disadvantage Marist faces is along the 3-point arc at Iona ranks 41st in the country in opponent 3-point shooting percentage while the Foxes are 342nd in this category.
Fortunately for the Marist defense, Iona attempts only just 32.3% of their field goal attempts from 3-point range, a percentage that is 308th in the country. The Marist defense is also allowing opponents to shoot just 43.3% on 2-point shot attempts, which ranks 17th nationally.
With Marist taking 45.9% of their shots from 3-point range, the 22nd-highest percentage in the country, points will be at a premium in Poughkeepsie on Friday.
The Play: Iona vs. Marist Under 137.5
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