Before the announcement, Iona's basketball players and hundreds of their supporters gathered at Hynes Athletic Center to watch jumbo TV screens for the unveiling of the brackets on the NCAA's "Selection Sunday" show.
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The gymnasium, festooned with balloons, crackled with excitement as the dance team and cheerleading squad performed.
As he waited, senior guard Lamont "Momo" Jones said he was flooded with emotions.
"I'm happy, excited, nervous. All of the above," he said. "At the end of the day, it's just a great feeling."
Still, he said the uncertainty was maddening.
"When are they going to call our names? I'm just anxious. Anxious," he said.
Meanwhile, the manager of Iona's bookstore said he hoped March Madness would translate into a sales rush.
"Hopefully, if all goes well, people will be excited about Iona making it to the big dance. So let's hope they buy some shirts," said the manager, Richard Tonns.
Only six No. 15 seeds have beaten No. 2 seeds in tournament history.