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Rick Pitino, Iona book spot in NCAA Tournament

Iona head coach Rick Pitino yells to his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball...
Iona head coach Rick Pitino yells to his team in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Fairfield during the finals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, Saturday, March 13, 2021, in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)(Matt Slocum | AP Images)
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 6:21 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 13, 2021 at 6:35 PM EST
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (WYMT/WKYT) - Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels ran the table as the No. 9 seed and beat No. 8 seed Fairfield 60-51 Saturday afternoon to win the MAAC tournament championship.

With the win, Iona has booked a spot in the NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.

Pitino becomes just the third coach to lead five different teams to the NCAA Tournament. He has also led Boston, Providence Kentucky and Louisville to the Big Dance.

Martin County’s Trey James is a member of the Iona team. The state’s all-time leader in blocks enrolled in January with the Gaels.

This is the 13th MAAC title for Iona.

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