The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 4 seed UConn Huskies will face the No. 13 seed Iona Gaels.
Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.
Game date: Thursday, March 16 (OR) Friday, March 17
Game time: 4:20 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Albany, NY
Odds: UConn -10
No. 4 UConn
UConn is entering the NCAA Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country after ending the regular season with 10 consecutive victories. While the Huskies have fallen back to Earth a little bit after their incredible 14-0 straight to the season, Connecticut’s a dangerous team with an offense that can heat up in a hurry.
Adama Sanogo (16.8 PPG) and Jordan Hawkins (16.1 PPG) are among the nation’s top offense duos, while Tristen Newtown (10.2 PPG) and Alex Karaban (9.7 PPG) have proven they can make the most of their opportunities when Sanogo and Hawkins demand defensive attention.
Record: 25-8, 13-7 Big East
Coach: Dan Hurley
KenPom overall: 4
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 7
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 18
PPP overall: 1.114
Leading scorer: Adama Sanogo
Quad 1 record: 6-6
Against The Spread: 21-11-1
Over Total: 18-15-0
No. 13 Iona
The Iona Gaels, the top seed in the MAAC, faced the lowest seed in the conference tournament, the Marist Red Foxes, in the MAAC Championship Game. They dismantled the Red Foxes with ease, winning 76-55 after taking a first-half lead, continuing their dominant streak in the conference tournament. Rick Pitino’s Gaels squad averages 15.3 assists per game and protects the ball well, with a 1.46 assist-to-turnover ratio (17th in the nation).
Iona is led by Walter Clayton, Jr. and Daniss Jenkins on offense, and forward Nelly Junior Joseph adds a whopping 9.4 rebounds per game. The Gaels wrapped up their regular season with four games of 80-plus points, though they haven’t seen that same offensive production in the conference tournament. They last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2021.
Record: 27-7, 17-3 MAAC
Coach: Rick Pitino
KenPom overall: 75
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 80
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 67
PPP overall: 1.086
Leading scorer: Walter Clayton Jr.
Quad 1 record: 0-1
Against The Spread: 20-14-0
Over Total: 15-19-0