Rick Pitino’s No. 9 seeded Iona took on No. 1 Siena on Wednesday night with a spot in the semifinals on the line, and the team came back in the second half to pull off an impressive upset.
The Iona Gaels pulled off a win against top-seeded Siena Saints in the quarterfinals of the 2020-21 Hercules Tires Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship, booking their place in the next round.
Iona had three players score in double-digits, but they also put together a strong defensive effort to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
Siena shot 47.6% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc, while Iona shot only 25.5% from the field and 28.0% from deep.
The free-throw line made a big difference with Iona shooting 20-for-24 (83.3%) from the charity stripe while Siena hit just 7-for-16 (43.8%).
Whatever becomes of Pitino’s Iona squad this year, it’s safe to say that the 68-year-old’s on-court legacy is secure. He remains the only coach in history to lead three different schools to the Final Four, the Spun reports.
Although Iona is unlikely to make it far in the NCAA Tournament, earning a spot in the Big Dance would be a tremendous success for the Gaels and would be added to Pitino’s list of accomplishments.