Five Iona players average at least 10 points per game, led by Rickey McGill (13.5), who made only 5-of-22 shots during the league tournament, although he had a career-high 40 points in the regular-season finale.
The Gaels average almost 80 points per game and were led in the MAAC championship game by a pair of transfers, Roland Griffin and Zach Lewis.
The Blue Devils will take on No. 7-seed Rhode Island in a second round game on Saturday afternoon. They screamed their lungs out during player introductions before Thursday's first-round NCAA tournament East Region game against 15th-seeded Iona, but those cheers were muffled with boos. As for Duke, they needed a bounce-back as well from their tourney loss-and got it in a game that was never really in question.
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Both teams got at-large bids, so naturally there are some fans grumbling about their tournament worthiness. The victor gets the 11th seed in the Midwest Region and an appointment with No. 6 TCU on Friday night.
"We've gotten better", Krzyzewski said.
As Duke prepared for its first NCAA Tournament game, however, they were thinking just the opposite, as evidenced by freshman Gary Trent Jr.'s response to the cliché. "For me, it's just part of the game now", Allen said. Maybe his most important contribution was spearheading the top of Duke's changing zone defenses, which are a work in progress. The Rams had lost three of five games heading into the NCAA Tournament-the last being an upset by Davidson in the conference championship. However, the Blue Devils have had their poor showings during the season. Carter played just 24 minutes on the day. The Blue Devils upped the intensity a bit defensively and when Allen hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, Duke led 53-39.
Afterward, he talked about the importance of guard play in March, about how tough the veteran guards of their next opponent, seventh-seeded Rhode Island, are.
Iona won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament to reach the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row.