Ohio State is set to play Iona in the 2nd round of the West Division tonight at 7:15pm in Dayton Ohio. You can catch the game on CBS. Iona is 20-13 on the season with a record of 11-7 in the MAAC. Ohio State enters the NCAA Tournament 26-7 overall with a Big Ten record of 13-5 and the Big Ten Tournament trophy. Playing in the Dayton Arena should feel like home for the Buckeyes as they only need to travel a couple of hours on Route 70 to get there.
Iona returns to the NCAA tournament after setting the record for blowing the biggest lead in the tournament’s history last year. They had a 25 point lead on BYU in the opening round in 2012 and lost the game. The Gaels are a 15 seed and played in Dayton last year, so its either going to be more confortable for them or just as unlucky.
Ohio State takes pride in their defense and Iona should be a test tonight, they come in as the Division 1 second highest scoring team at 80.7 points per game. The Buckeyes would like to slow down the game and Iona’s offense and keep the game closer to their average opponent score of 57.9. Iona can shoot from the three point line (8.4 a game) and from the free throw line where they are the fourth best in the country. Sean Armand is a starting guard that is lethal from outside and needs to be defended closely.
Other star’s for Iona include David Laury, a double-double machine, and Lamont “Momo” Jones. Jones scores 23 points a game this year, isn’t as good from outside as Armand but uses his quickness to get fouls and then scores from the foul line. Jones spent two years in Arizona on an Elite Eight team before transferring to the Gaels. Aaron Craft will need to be on top of Jones tonight to keep Iona from putting up points.
DeShaun Thomas hopes to regain some accuracy from outside but is still the leading scorer for Ohio State at 19.5 a game.