The NCAA Tournament can certainly develop some interesting story lines.
In Friday night’s Round of 64 match-up between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 15 Iona, the top story line heading into this second round contest is the expected match-up on the perimeter between Aaron Craft and Lamont “MoMo” Jones.
As a sophomore in 2011-12, Craft was named the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year and once again has provided the Buckeyes with tons of pressure and toughness at the top of their defense here in 2013. On Friday night, it can only be expected that Craft will be pinned up against Jones, the Gaels’ big-time scorer.
If you don’t recognize the names “MoMo” Jones, you probably should. The 6-foot Harlem-native was formerly a member of the Arizona Wildcats‘ squad that advanced to the Sweet 16 back in 2011. Jones transferred to Iona and instantly became eligible thanks to a waiver from the NCAA. Last season, Iona qualified for the Big Dance by way of an at-large berth, but the Gaels blew the biggest lead in NCAA Tournament history in the First Four Round against BYU.
Jones is back despite some other losses from a season ago and once again has the Gaels dancing. Despite their seeding, Iona can certainly present some issues. In fact, the Gaels enter the tournament field boasting the nation’s number two scoring offense from the regular season.
Jones is the leader in that regard. On the season, Jones ranks third in the nation, averaging 23.0 points per game.
The facts don’t lie – Craft vs. Jones is going to be one unbelievable match-up.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS