Rick Pitino and the Iona Gaels are a trendy pick to upset the Alabama Crimson Tide this afternoon, and it’s easy to understand why. Despite the off-court controversies, Pitino is still one of the best coaches in the business.
Iona’s tournament hopes were dire entering the beginning of the MAAC Tournament. Yet the nine-seed Gaels went on a run, as we’ve seen plenty of Pitino-coached teams do in the past, before punching their ticket to the Big Dance by beating Fairfield 60-51 to win the conference tournament.
Pitino’s Gaels will take on No. 2 Alabama on Saturday in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Some believe Iona is capable of pulling off the upset, mostly because of its head coach and the impact he makes. Charles Barkley thinks otherwise.
The former NBA great gives Pitino and the Gaels no chance of upsetting the Crimson Tide today.
Does Rick Pitino and Iona have any chance to upset Alabama?
Charles Barkley says ZERO CHANCE pic.twitter.com/iCV68avCxs
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) March 20, 2021
Charles Barkley gives Rick Pitino and the Iona Gaels no chance of upsetting Alabama, but crazier things have happened.
We’ve already seen a two-seed fall to a 15-seed in this tournament. No. 15 Oral Roberts stunned the two-seed Ohio State Buckeyes in overtime on Friday. If Oral Roberts can do it, so can the Iona Gaels. It won’t be easy, though.
Alabama is led by senior Herbert Jones, a lengthy wing capable of making an impact on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. If Iona can’t find a way to slow down Jones today, it’s going to be a long afternoon for the Gaels.
Rick Pitino 15-seed Iona takes on two-seed Alabama at 4 p.m. ET on TBS.
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