#531 Iona +10 over Syracuse 6:00 PM CT
Iona won 22 games last season as the Metro Atlantic tournament champions and they played competitively in a loss Oregon in the NCAA Tournament, with the Ducks an eventual Final Four team. The Gaels start five upperclassmen this season though they have to replace Jordan Washington and a few other seniors. T.K. Edogi (Tulsa) and Zach Lewis (Massachusetts) are transfers that should have a big impact and Rickey McGill will be one of the conference’s top players coming off a fine sophomore season.
The Gaels will be hungry for this opportunity especially following a 0-1 start to the season with a two-point loss at Albany Friday. Albany is a formidable team and that is a tough place to play as the loss won’t look bad by season’s end. Syracuse cruised in the opener against Cornell with a 77-45 win but this should be a much more difficult game. The Orange didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament last season and this year’s team is leaning on several freshmen that will have some inconsistency. Cornell shot just 15 percent from 3-point range against Syracuse as the Gaels should have a better opportunity to have long range success. Iona plays at a fast pace but doesn’t turn the ball over often and this group will be an upset threat at the Carrier Dome.
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