Cougars take on Iona in first round of NCAA tournament

DAYTON, Ohio – The BYU Cougars are going dancing! The Cougars sneak in as the No. 14 seed and head to Dayton Ohio to take on Iona in the “First Four,” or first round, of the NCAA tournament today at 7 p.m. on TruTV.

The Cougars were on the bubble all week long and got in the tournament as one of the last teams selected. The Cougars are in the West regional and will head to Louisville, Ky. to take on Marquette who got a No. 3 seed, if they beat Iona.

The First Four started last year pitting the final four large teams against each other and the final four automatic qualifiers against each other. The other three First Four games are No. 12 seed’s California vs. South Florida, No. 16 seed’s Lamar vs. Vermont and No. 16 seed’s Mississippi Valley State. vs. Western Kentucky.

Both teams come into the tournament playing very good basketball. The Cougars head into the First Four, winning seven of their last nine games. Iona, on the other hand, has won 10 of their last 12 games.

So who is Iona? The Iona Gales play in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Gales lead the nation in points per game, scoring 83.3 and assists per game with 19.3. The Gales are also second in the nation in field goal percentage. The Gales’ leading scorer is Mike Glover with 18.5 points per game. Glover also leads the team in rebounds per game with nine. The Gales point guard Scott Machado leads the nation in assists per game at 9.9. The Gales also have Arizona transfer Lamont Jones who has played against the Cougars when he was with Arizona. Jones scored 20 points against the Cougars last year.

Expect the game to be fast passed and high scoring. Both teams have chips on their shoulders, the Cougars feel they deserve a better seed and the Gales thought they were NIT bound and want to prove to the nation they can play with anyone.

For more NCAA Tournament talk, tune into Blake’s Take weekdays from 5-6 p.m. on KZNU Sports Radio – 93.1 FM 1450 AM – or online streaming live on the brand new KZNU Sports website:

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Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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