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Breakfast Buffet: Iona’s collapse may be costly

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Scott Machado (AP)

1. The combination of guards Scott Machado and MoMo Jones and high-scoring forward Mike Glover make Iona a potentially dangerous NCAA tournament team, but the Gaels now may have to win the MAAC tournament to get there. That's how damaging it was for Iona to blow a 20-2 lead against Siena and fall 65-62 on Monday night. The Gaels' modest non-league resume may not be enough to survive losses to the Saints and Manhattan in MAAC play.

2. Traveling to Wyoming commercially in the winter normally means flying to Denver and making a harrowing 2 1/2-hour bus trip over a windy mountain pass, so San Diego State tried to make its trip a little easier by paying to charter a direct flight. Unfortunately for the Aztecs, the plane refueled in Utah and couldn't take off due to bad weather, leaving them stranded Monday night. San Diego State believes it will arrive in Laramie in plenty of time for Tuesday's 6:30 p.m. tipoff, but a tricky road game becomes even tougher.

3. Here's a problem college coaches don't encounter too often: a recruit with no cell phone. New York City's Leroy "Truck" Fludd" originally had his phone taken away from him by his parents as punishment for a "family rules violation" and eventually came to appreciate life without it. The 6-foot-4 17-year-old is being recruited by Kent State, Providence and Xavier.

4. In the next day or two, the NCAA apparently will rule on the eligibility of backup UConn point guard Ryan Boatright, who already missed six games this season for accepting a plane ticket from his former AAU coach. The Huskies miss Boatright's creativity off the dribble, having dropped their last two games to Cincinnati and Tennessee while the freshman sits again pending the second review of his eligibility.

5. Syracuse was good enough to beat Cincinnati on the road without Fab Melo on Monday night, but that certainly doesn't mean the Orange don't need the 7-foot sophomore back to fulfill their Final Four potential this season. They held off the Bearcats thanks to a solid defensive effort from freshman Rakeem Christmas filling in for Melo and superb play from veteran Scoop Jardine (17 points, 8 of 11 shooting, six assists, zero turnovers).

The first great dunk of the season still might be the best one. Watch this two-minute clip of the best dunks of the year, and tell me if there's a better one than this Nov. 11 baseline jam from UConn's Jeremy Lamb against Columbia. It's the final dunk in the above compilation.

"To get a mediocre group to come together and be a good team, there's a bunch of coaches (who can do that), To get all-stars, like Phil Jackson, to play the triangle offense and defend together and communicate together and have a 'Breakfast Club' together, that's the challenge." -- Kentucky coach John Calipari on what it takes to be a great coach. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

• Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. EST

• South Florida at Marquette, 8 p.m. EST

• San Diego State at Wyoming, 8:30 p.m. EST

• Kentucky at Georgia, 9 p.m. EST

• Iowa State at Texas, 9 p.m. EST

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