The Iona Gaels (16-15; 12-6 in-conference) and Monmouth Hawks (14-20; 10-8 in-conference), who weren’t exactly expected to be playing on March 11, will match up for the third time this season. The two schools prepare for battle in the 2018-19 Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship Game at Times Union Center in Albany, New York on Monday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN2. If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of ESPN2 on your computer, phone or streaming device via one of the following live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including ESPN2.
You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Echo Show, or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
You can start a free 5-day trial of PS Vue right here (select “Start Streaming” in the upper-right corner), and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the PS Vue website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation (3 or 4), or other supported device via the PS Vue app.
Sling TV: ESPN2 is included in the “Sling Orange” channel bundle.
You can start a free seven-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, or other streaming device via the Sling TV app.
How Iona and Monmouth got here:
For the third straight season (three consecutive victories) and eighth time in the past nine seasons, Iona has reached the MAAC Tournament Championship Game. Head coach Tim Cluess has had unprecedented success with the mid-major program since taking over in April 2010. Cluess has developed a brand of fast-moving, high-scoring basketball that the Gaels have used as part of their success.
The Gaels won the 2019 regular-season title for the fourth time during Cluess’ tenure, securing the top seed in the MAAC Tournament. Iona narrowly avoided an upset with a 73-71 win against No. 9 seed Saint Peters on Friday before rebounding to the tune of a 16-point (73-57) victory against No. 5 seed Siena on Sunday.
On December 20, the Hawks were staring at an eight-point (66-58) loss to Yale and 12th consecutive defeat to start the season. Monmouth fought back, though, winning 14 of its next 22 games, a respectable second half considering how lowly the first months of the regular season were. For their efforts, the Hawks actually finished 10-8 in conference play, entering the MAC Tournament as the No. 6 seed.
The Hawks had a difficult path to Monday, needing to win three games in order to do so. Starting with the conference’s No. 11 seed, Monmouth knocked off Niagara 76-72, followed by outlasting Quinnipiac in a 98-92 slugfest. Riding the wave of momentum, Monmouth beat Canisius 73-59 on Sunday.
Sophomore guard Ray Salnave, who led the Hawks in scoring during the regular season averaging 12.4 points per game, stepped up against Niagara and Quinnipiac, leading the way with 20 and 19 points respectively. Despite scoring only five points Sunday, the Hawks found 68 points elsewhere and are one game away from a historic NCAA Tournament automatic berth.
Iona and Monmouth split the season series. Iona defeated Monmouth 103-84 at home on January 3, while the Hawks returned the favor with a slim 83-81 win against the Gaels in New Jersey just 18 days later on January 20.
Last year’s MAAC Championship Game result:
Iona entered last season’s MAAC Tournament as the No. 4 seed, ending postseason play with three straight wins and third consecutive conference title. In 2018, the No. 1 (Rider), No. 2 (Canisius) and No. 3 (Niagara) were all stunned in the quarterfinals, leading to the Gaels taking home another championship with a 83-71 win against No. 6 seed Fairfield.
NCAA Tournament History:
Iona has made 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, with one vacated Round of 32 appearance back in 1980. Despite Cluess’ success in his eight years with the school, the Gaels have never won a NCAA Tournament game under his watch, with losses to Iowa State, Oregon (Final Four appearance) and Duke from 2016-18.
Monmouth has four NCAA Tournament appearances as a Division I program (1996, 2001, 2004, 2006), failing to capitalize on three other MAAC regular-season titles in 2005, and 2016-17.
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