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Iona, Manhattan, Stony Brook one win away

3/9/2014

We're on the verge of March Madness here in New York, and Iona, Manhattan and Stony Brook are all one win away from the NCAA tournament.

Iona and Manhattan will face each other in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament championship game, so the Big Apple will have at least one representative in this year's Big Dance.

Iona (22-9, 17-3), the top seed, slipped past No. 4 seed Canisius in Sunday's first semifinal, 75-72. Sean Armand scored a team-high 21 points.

Manhattan (24-7, 15-5), the No. 2 seed, blew out No. 3 seed Quinnipiac in Sunday's second semifinal, 87-68. George Beamon scored a game-high 25 points, 23 of them coming in the second half.

These two archrivals, with campuses just nine miles apart, will face off Monday night in Springfield, Mass., at 7 p.m. (on ESPN2). They met in last year's MAAC title game as well, with Iona winning 60-57. And they split their two previous meetings this season.

Iona has made the NCAA tournament the past two years. Manhattan is seeking its first bid since 2004.

Stony Brook (23-9, 13-3), the No. 2 seed in the America East tournament, advanced to its conference championship game Sunday as well, courtesy of a 69-64 win over No. 3 seed Hartford in Albany, N.Y. Carson Puriefoy scored a team-high 21 points.

The Seawolves will host the America East title game on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (on ESPN2) and play No. 4 seed Albany, which upset top-seeded Vermont on Sunday.

Stony Brook is seeking its first-ever NCAA tournament bid.